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Old 01-19-2020, 06:16 PM
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Modern Manners, aka Standing In The Way


I was thinking about a thing today that happened a while back. It was in a MALL, so you know it was back around the time the oceans drank Atlantis.

I was on the downstairs portion of the mall, and upon determining I wanted to go upstairs, hunted around until I found the escalator, and stepped aboard.

In the process of ascending, I noted that the entire middle of the escalator was clotted with people. Judging from their familiarity and lack of interest in personal space, I concluded that these folks were all members of a family... Mom, Dad, Grandma, Teen Boy, Eldest Girl, Middle Boy, Middle Girl, Pink Bow Toddler, and Tiny Nose Miner. I paid them no heed. They weren’t bothering me.

Until they arrived at the top of the escalator.

Because that was where they stopped. All of them. They all dismounted the escalator, and stood right there, at the top of the escalator, in a tight clot of humanity, apparently to discuss where they would go next, perhaps intending to split up and do their shopping and then meet later at the food court or whatever. I really don’t know. I wasn’t listening to their conversation so much as I was wondering if they were going to get out of the WAY.

They did not get out of the way. They stood there, less than a foot off the escalator steps, completely blocking the exit to the escalator. Dad had begun talking, and everyone was listening raptly to whatever it was he was saying.

I pondered how I would deal with this. My arrival would put me right behind Mom, who was holding Pink Bow Toddler. It occurred to me that perhaps the sudden arrival of a stranger less than a foot behind her might discomfit and alarm her. I certainly didn’t want to do that. What to do?

Perhaps I would run back down the escalator. I glanced behind me. No luck. There was some guy three feet behind me, and others behind HIM. For a moment, I pondered simply leaping the thirty feet back down to the lower floor, but quickly discarded that idea. I simply shrugged, and was disgorged by the escalator directly behind Mom.

Mom reacted about the way I thought she would, with an “Oh!” and a brisk step forward. Dad looked at me like I’d showed up uninvited for Thanksgiving. Grandma looked at me like I’d yanked open my dirty trenchcoat to expose my naughty bits. The kids stared at me like I’d descended from a flying saucer.

Dad gave me an indignant look. I smiled at him. Mom frantically nudged through her children to get away from me.

“Ex-CUSE me?” Dad snapped.

I kept smiling. “Yes, excuse me,” I beamed at him, following Mom’s path through the children. Mom glanced over her shoulder at me, and was apparently shocked that I was still there, and skittered forward, opening me a path. I strode briskly through the opening. Dad looked like he was starting to get angry, and I hoped to put some distance between us before he could work through being surprised. Plus, I felt the presence behind me of another body, and I really didn’t want Guy Behind Me in my back pocket.

As I strode briskly forward, Dad noticed Guy Behind Me, and shifted into High Indignance. Here he was, just trying to marshal his family, and these COMPLETE STRANGERS insisted on barging through their PERSONAL SPACE!

Behind me, Dad apparently noticed Guy Behind Me, and said loudly, “PARDON ME? What are you people DOING?”

Guy Behind Me said, “I’m WALKING here,” in a tone of voice that dared Dad to do something about it.

I did not respond or turn back. I figured if a fight was going to happen, well, perhaps Dad would rather wrassle Guy Behind Me than myself, since I’d already put some distance on.

And at that point, this entire vignette fades from my memory. I don’t remember where I went after that, what I did in the mall, or whether or not Dad realized that he had stopped for a family conference in the one place in the mall where complete strangers really had no choice but to shove him and his family aside, or simply leap off a thirty foot drop for the sake of politeness.

But weirdly enough? This entire thing springs to mind, whole and unedited, every time I try to walk through a doorway in which someone has taken up permanent residence for the sake of a conversation....
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:41 PM
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Ugh, I started a thread about this kind of thing a while back. I'm becoming convinced there are people put on this Earth whose only purpose is to get in my way in public places. They apparently live for the chance to stand still in a traffic area, as the OP describes. Or get in front of me and then drive or walk as slowly as possible. Or walk several people abreast such that nobody can pass. But my favorite has to be people who walk diagonally - you get ready to pass them, then they lazily change direction and you have to go around the other way.

I'm frequently struck by the feeling that we are really bad at designing public spaces in which people need to move. Part of this seems to be that malls, airports and such seem to be purposely obstructing walking paths with advertising signs. Is it me, or is that relatively recent? I don't remember it years ago when malls were more of a thing. At airports the goddam TSA takes over huge swaths of walking space for their lines and create bottlenecks, to say nothing of gate areas that can't remotely hold the number of people getting on the plane (Boston Logan, I'm looking at you...).

In any case, I make an effort to be aware of the traffic around me when I'm walking, and especially when I'm STOPPING. I wish we had more firm social conventions about this.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:46 PM
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These people also go around to get in front of you, then suddenly just stop. I'm pretty sure they drive this way, too.


Problem is, my cat does this too, but he has a brain the size of a walnut and does not have a driver's license. As far as I know. He also likes to creep up behind me and try and trip me. I must redo my will.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:42 PM
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Long leashes should be banned. Or cut.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:51 PM
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This is along the same lines as The Revolving Door Dipshit.

A person who will exit the building through the revolving door, and then will immediately discover a need to stop to do something. It may be to remove a bit of lint from their jacket. It may be to check the stock prices via their cell phone. It might even be to pause to attempt to remember who won the world series in 1986*. It matters not.

What matters is that if you are right behind them in the aforementioned revolving door, it is apparent that you will soon be revolved right out and directly into them. Whereupon your only real option is to shove them aside and say firmly "Get out of my way, Dipshit!" in a loud voice. This is the only solution here.
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*New York Mets
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:04 PM
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I've perfected the loud "Excuse me!" and the smile that doesn't reach my eyes. Lots of practice in the grocery store. I was in Target on Black Friday and a girl and her friend sensed my intent and hurriedly got out of my way. As I passed, I overheard one girl say, "I was going to get run over." And I thought, "Good."
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:39 PM
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People have no sense of what or who is around them, because people have been looking inward for years now. I'm surprised more of them aren't bludgeoned senseless by those of us with a sense of space, or that there aren't random piles of people at the tops of escalators, in the middle of doorways, or in the aisles of the neighborhood grocery.

I've given up trying to be polite to these inconsiderate morons. Most irritating is the group of three (or even just two) who are coming toward me on the sidewalk, and who, for some inexplicable reason, believe they are entitled to the entire width of the walk. I refuse to get out of the way, and will usually just stop as they walk up to me. They'll mutter "Oh, excuse me", but it's obvious that they don't mean it and that they actually expect everyone to step aside. Same goes for people who are mesmerized by whatever LOLZ is on the tiny screen in front of them. "Out of my way, for I possess a smart phone!" Sadly, you're not as smart as your phone is.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:47 AM
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Yeah, we can make smart phones, let's get to work on making smart people.
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Old 01-20-2020, 02:18 AM
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Anyone who is too stupid to realize that they are standing at the top of a conveyor belt of people and thus must move out of the way is someone we don't need in the gene pool. I'm convinced that they are the same people who stand in the security line at the airport watching dozens of other people take out their laptops, remove their belts and shoes and when it's their turn ask: "do I need to take out my laptop? can I keep my shoes on? how about my belt?"

In earlier times, these people would have ended up as saber tooth tiger scat.
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Old 01-20-2020, 02:34 AM
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I can understand it happening accidentally--you just were just distracted and not paying attention to where you were standing. But the second you said something, the response should have been something like "Oh! I'm sorry! I wasn't paying attention. Let me get out of your way." Even if that's not actually said out loud, that would be what their body language would show (quickly getting out of the way, looking apologetic and sheepish, etc.).

I've been the dolt who wasn't paying attention or didn't realize there wasn't room to get around me. But I always move as soon as I'm made aware. And I try my best not to make a habit of it.
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by margin View Post
These people also go around to get in front of you, then suddenly just stop. I'm pretty sure they drive this way, too.


Problem is, my cat does this too, but he has a brain the size of a walnut and does not have a driver's license. As far as I know. He also likes to creep up behind me and try and trip me. I must redo my will.
My dogs like to follow me from the front and then get very offended when they get stepped on.

The people that I always seem to encounter are those that need to check their receipts while blocking the entire exit with their cart at the grocery store.
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:03 AM
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I've found that you can't fight rudeness with manners, only with greater rudeness. In cases like the OP, I usually just bark "Excuse me", shove my way through them, and just keep walking at my usual fast clip. By the time they realize what happened, I'm 20 feet away, and what are they going to do then, chase me down?

Of course, it helps that I'm large and male.
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:50 AM
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I have a minor version of this to tell.

From time to time, I encounter one or more people blocking the aisle at the grocery store, and they may be facing away from me and not know I'm there. If they've parked their carts by the side of the aisle so I can get past, fine.

But if they've parked their carts so they block the aisle, I like to play my EVIL PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE maneuver.

I just quietly wait there for however long it takes until someone notices me. When that finally happens, they will more often than not immediately move their carts out of the way while sheepishly apologizing profusely with great embarrassment and obvious discomfort.

I like when that happens.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:06 AM
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I've given up trying to be polite to these inconsiderate morons. Most irritating is the group of three (or even just two) who are coming toward me on the sidewalk, and who, for some inexplicable reason, believe they are entitled to the entire width of the walk. I refuse to get out of the way, and will usually just stop as they walk up to me. They'll mutter "Oh, excuse me", but it's obvious that they don't mean it and that they actually expect everyone to step aside. Same goes for people who are mesmerized by whatever LOLZ is on the tiny screen in front of them. "Out of my way, for I possess a smart phone!" Sadly, you're not as smart as your phone is.
You stop? That is being polite. I favour continuing on my way, if that results in us brushing jackets or even shoulders, that's fine with me - maybe it will help them get the message.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:25 AM
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I'm 6'2½", 280 pounds, and can call up a deep, booming, announcer-type voice when needed. Sort of like a smaller Fezzik with better enunciation. An "excuse me" in that voice typically gets such folk out of my way while they look sheepish.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 01-20-2020 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:49 AM
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I have a minor version of this to tell.

From time to time, I encounter one or more people blocking the aisle at the grocery store, and they may be facing away from me and not know I'm there. If they've parked their carts by the side of the aisle so I can get past, fine.

But if they've parked their carts so they block the aisle, I like to play my EVIL PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE maneuver.

I just quietly wait there for however long it takes until someone notices me. When that finally happens, they will more often than not immediately move their carts out of the way while sheepishly apologizing profusely with great embarrassment and obvious discomfort.

I like when that happens.
I do the same.

Just last week I went to the yogurt section. There was a lady in the way, and just staring at the yogurt. I stood next to her. And she continued to stare at the yogurt. After a minute or so I took my phone out and surfed the Internet. She eventually noticed my presence, quickly picked out her yogurt, and moved. I grabbed my yogurt in 2 seconds.
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Old 01-20-2020, 06:17 AM
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Personally, I don't care about making a point. I just want my damn yogurt.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:13 AM
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Let me add the dolts who insist on entering an elevator before letting people exit the elevator. I recently had a woman with a walker push into the elevator as I was trying to exit, and she said, "I'll get on then you can get off", as if that was the ideal sequence of events.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:01 AM
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I've been in this situation so many times over the years, I no longer make any pretense about being polite. I just shove my way through as if they weren't there. In my mind, they're not.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:50 AM
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My dogs like to follow me from the front and then get very offended when they get stepped on.

The people that I always seem to encounter are those that need to check their receipts while blocking the entire exit with their cart at the grocery store.
My cat will get in front of me when I am moving somewhere and amble and dart around and this is why this will be on my tombstone:

"Move! MOOOOVVVVVE! Do you see me coming? MOVE! GET OUT OF MY GODDAMNED WAY! MOVE!"

Obviously these people are reincarnated relatives of my cats.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:05 AM
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I hear you.

People in subways moving with the alacrity of enheroinated cows
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:06 AM
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I assume this occurred in the U.S.A.?

I hope it's not too rude to say I'm glad you experienced this. I live in Thailand and it's fair to say that incidents similar to this — though not quite as weirdly stupid, and certainly not as rude(*) as the behavior you observed — do occur here, and might come to mind when someone asks "Tell us the pros and cons of life in Thailand vs life in U.S.A."

* - Although foolishly blocking a pathway does happen here more than it should, in the Land of Smiles only politeness and smiles will follow when you mumble "Beep beep, I'm coming through." The fact that Idiot Family chose to become stupidly rude instead of reacting more appropriately makes me pretty sure that, yes, you did observe this in the U.S.A., "Land of the Free."
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:22 AM
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The incident in question in the OP did indeed happen in the USA. I found it sort of unique, because I've ridden escalators any number of times, and never once had anyone just STOP at the top like that. Sure, there's obliviousness, but it takes a special kind of stupid for an entire group of people to not realize there are MORE PEOPLE COMING BEHIND YOU in such a way as they really have no way NOT to plow into you. Sure, the rest of the group was perhaps letting Dad do their thinking, and Dad wasn't doing it.

Now I sort of wish I'd stopped and turned around and observed how Dad dealt with the realization that he'd done a foolish thing. He was irritated with ME, and flat angry with Guy Behind Me. Did he realize his mistake, or did he tear into Woman With Two Kids who was bringing up the rear for daring to intrude upon this section of mall he'd staked out?

I seldom use revolving doors -- not many of them around here -- but I do find myself pondering what sort of idiot stops in one, or right in FRONT of one. An oblivious one, obviously.

It also brings to mind an incident years ago where I was trying to get to the shopping center, and found myself behind an old couple, me in my car, and they in theirs. And like many old folks, this fellow drove as though his car had arthritis. I didn't mind. I was only a hundred yards or so from where I wanted to be, and I had time.

Until the fellow slowly turned left into the shopping center. All right. He was slow. That was okay. I turned left behind him, to get into the same shopping center.

And then just inside the entrance... he stopped cold. So many cars! So much space! Where to park? What to DO? BRAIN... LOCKING... UP....

And behind him, I was sitting in the middle of the LEFT LANE OF TRAFFIC, with cars in the distance barreling towards me. So I honked at him.

They did not move their vehicle. Instead, they both craned their necks around to stare at the rude youngster who drove with his horn.

I leaned on the horn and screamed at them, "YOU HAVE LEFT ME IN THE MIDDLE OF TRAFFIC, YOU STUPID %#$@#*! MOVE YOUR &%#$@# CAR BEFORE THE TRAFFIC GETS HERE!"

He jerked, startled, and glanced to his right, and realized, why YES, there IS traffic coming! And it's headed right AT this young man, who can't get in because I am sitting right in the middle of the entrance to the parking lot! And he took his foot off the brake and rolled a few feet forward, and I was able to get into the ramp.

And then he stopped again and began surveying the parking lot, wondering what to do.

But at least I was out of traffic, and now I was partially in the parking lot. So I drove AROUND him, further into the parking lot, to go look for my own place to park. As I drove past him, he looked at me, shocked AGAIN at my terrible rudeness in not simply waiting for him to figure out what to do with the rest of his life before advancing past him....

Yeah. Manners.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:35 AM
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I can understand it happening accidentally--you just were just distracted and not paying attention to where you were standing. But the second you said something, the response should have been something like "Oh! I'm sorry! I wasn't paying attention. Let me get out of your way." Even if that's not actually said out loud, that would be what their body language would show (quickly getting out of the way, looking apologetic and sheepish, etc.).

I've been the dolt who wasn't paying attention or didn't realize there wasn't room to get around me. But I always move as soon as I'm made aware. And I try my best not to make a habit of it.
The problem is that some people, when confronted with the fact that they're behaving badly, get indignant instead of apologetic. I see this a lot when driving. Someone will pull out right in front of me in traffic, and I will honk -- not in anger, but to let them know that yes, there is another vehicle on the road besides yours -- and they will honk back and flip me off.

Maybe it would help if there was a universal gesture for "Sorry! I'm an idiot!" that people could use while driving.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:38 AM
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You stop? That is being polite. I favour continuing on my way, if that results in us brushing jackets or even shoulders, that's fine with me - maybe it will help them get the message.
I have done that in the past, when there is almost enough room to get by. I remember once when it was several kids, probably middle school age, who clearly saw me, but refused to move over so I could pass. I figured it was time for a physics lesson in force=mass x acceleration, and that my 235 pounds would likely have an interesting opposite and equal reaction on a kid half my size. Yeah, I was a bully, but he did a lovely pirouette when I clipped his shoulder. "Hey!" sez he, in mock outrage. I just kept walking.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:01 AM
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How is that being a bully? If anything, they were bullying you by standing in your way.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:20 AM
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Maybe it would help if there was a universal gesture for "Sorry! I'm an idiot!" that people could use while driving.
There is. It's made by the people who flip you off.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:36 AM
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There is. It's made by the people who flip you off.
Ha! It does get the second sentence across nicely, but falls some way short on the first one, sadly.

It's at times like this I try to remind myself that if such is the most annoying thing to happen to me that day, I have a very privileged life - which is entirely true.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:43 AM
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That's a very very long story just to point out people stop at the top of escalators. Welcome to the 21st century.

Just plow through them. What else can you do? Time and escalators wait for no man.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:49 AM
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People have no sense of what or who is around them, because people have been looking inward for years now. I'm surprised more of them aren't bludgeoned senseless by those of us with a sense of space, or that there aren't random piles of people at the tops of escalators, in the middle of doorways, or in the aisles of the neighborhood grocery.

I've given up trying to be polite to these inconsiderate morons. Most irritating is the group of three (or even just two) who are coming toward me on the sidewalk, and who, for some inexplicable reason, believe they are entitled to the entire width of the walk. I refuse to get out of the way, and will usually just stop as they walk up to me. They'll mutter "Oh, excuse me", but it's obvious that they don't mean it and that they actually expect everyone to step aside. Same goes for people who are mesmerized by whatever LOLZ is on the tiny screen in front of them. "Out of my way, for I possess a smart phone!" Sadly, you're not as smart as your phone is.
I agree with you on the sidewalk people. If I am all the way to my right and they are coming straight at me (all the way to their left) I no longer deviate from my path, if I run into them I don't care, we walk on the right not the left.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:51 AM
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My local Shop Rite has aisles wide enough for two people, yet people stand there in the middle with their carts blocking all traffic I don't understand it. Move to the side, idiot.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:55 AM
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I've given up trying to be polite to these inconsiderate morons. [...] I refuse to get out of the way, and will usually just stop as they walk up to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessan
I've found that you can't fight rudeness with manners, only with greater rudeness. In cases like the OP, I usually just bark "Excuse me", shove my way through them, and just keep walking at my usual fast clip.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senegoid
I like to play my EVIL PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE maneuver.

I just quietly wait there for however long it takes until someone notices me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45
I no longer make any pretense about being polite. I just shove my way through as if they weren't there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions
Just plow through them. What else can you do?
Huh. Maybe my experience is atypical, but I've almost always found that a polite but firm "Excuse me", coupled with continued forward motion but no actual contact, gets lane-blockers out of the way with a minimum of effort, aggression, or wasted time.

Yes, lane-blockers are being inconsiderate and stupid, but I think a lot of people who encounter them are also just looking for an excuse to get mad and rude. Which is, of course, entirely appropriate here in the Pit, so have at it.

Last edited by Kimstu; 01-20-2020 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:07 PM
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One of my super powers is the ability to be damn near invisible. If someone ignores me, I stand there doing my invisible bit, and wait for them to jump when they finally notice me.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:28 PM
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Don't get me started on mommies with their Urban Assault Strollers. I've reproduced! Make way for the baby! God help you if it's twins, cuz you ain't gettin' around that behemoth.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:33 PM
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I'm 6'2½", 280 pounds, and can call up a deep, booming, announcer-type voice when needed. Sort of like a smaller Fezzik with better enunciation. An "excuse me" in that voice typically gets such folk out of my way while they look sheepish.
During the Christmas rush, I decided that damn it, I'm a teacher. And these people need to be taught. Kindly, yet firmly, and these are principles they need to remember for years.

So I've been doing what I'd do when entering a rowdy classroom: clapping my hands and loudly announcing "PEOPLE, PEOPLE! We need to keep these walkways CLEAR! You canNOT stop right here, or you will be crushed. Preferably by me, but a 300 pound trucker will do the job much more thoroughly!"

If shaming the group doesn't work, I'm more than willing to move on to a witty takedown of each individual... but that hasn't been needed yet.

Last edited by digs; 01-20-2020 at 12:35 PM.
  #36  
Old 01-20-2020, 12:36 PM
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One Xmas shopping season not too long ago I was driving through a busy outdoor mall complex, and slowed to a stop at an intersection where a clot of Valley Girls (or whatever their Ohio equivalent is) was slooowly proceeding to cross in front of me, making faces in my direction for an unknown reason.

After I found a parking space I was walking to a store when I saw the same clot of Valley Girls in front of me, blocking the sidewalk. So I just plowed on through, to a chorus of outraged squeaks.

I admit that it felt good.
  #37  
Old 01-20-2020, 12:56 PM
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Yes, the escalator stoppers - they are probably the most dangerous - their kin, the stair stoppers are also endangering the safety of themselves and others.

The annoying ones - the grocery aisle cart blockers (and their siblings - the two car road blockers) are especially annoying when its "we need to have a conversation with someone who lives next door-I see every week at the high school basketball game - I haven't seen in thirty years and have nothing real to say to them - but I've just run into them in the grocery store/on the road, so we will do it here.

There are the travel in packs crew - which when combined with the escalator stoppers gets what you got. They often appear as teenage girls in shopping centers, but you also find large family groups at Disney - oblivious to the fact that fourteen of them are taking up the entire walkway moving at the speed of the slow ECV driven for the first time by Aunt Sarah, leaving no room for much smaller and faster groups to move past.

Then you have the "live in the moment" crowd. They grab the chance to make small talk with the cashier in the express lane at the grocery store, so if you thought you were going to be on time to get your kids to soccer if you just ran in to grab milk, that plan is now gone. You've wasted ten minutes you don't have when your kids are six and eight and you work full time listening to a stranger describe their hemorrhoid surgery to another stranger.

Sometimes, "excuse me" works. Sometimes you get the blank stare of someone who can tell you are making mouth noises, but has the comprehension of the aforementioned pet who seems generally shocked that there are other people in the world and defines "fair" and "nice" the same way a five year old does - I get what I want and people are nice to me.
  #38  
Old 01-20-2020, 01:26 PM
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Huh.
Yes, lane-blockers are being inconsiderate and stupid, but I think a lot of people who encounter them are also just looking for an excuse to get mad and rude. Which is, of course, entirely appropriate here in the Pit, so have at it.
I think most of us have tried being polite with little success and have given up on being civilized about it. I've tried 'excuse me', 'can I get through, please?', 'I need to get past, please'; and I try to make eye contact on the sidewalk (people look at you, but apparently people my age are invisible). So. . .make eye contact and continue to walk straight at me, and I'm not fucking moving.
  #39  
Old 01-20-2020, 01:32 PM
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As a 6'5", 310 pounder who competes in Strongman competitions, I usually just bounce people off me. My favorite, though, was the little fella walking with his "crew" directly toward me with his head turned. I grabbed him by the shoulders, picked him up, and deposited him to my right. I got a few open-mouthed stares, but I think I made my point.
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Old 01-20-2020, 02:12 PM
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Had a similar experience at Costco on Sunday. It was a typical Sunday, which meant most of the metro area had decided to go to Costco. In the receipt check line to get out, one of the customers decided to hold a conversation with the receipt checker. After a minute or so, she realized she was being rude, so she stepped aside to let the next group get their receipt checked. At this point I blame the receipt checker, as she turned and continued the conversation, ignoring the next person in line.

Along with that, don't draw a smiley face on the back of the receipt for my kid, just hand it to me so we can get out of here.
  #41  
Old 01-20-2020, 04:46 PM
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Reminds me of the time back in the 80's when I was in the left-hand turn lane at a traffic light. I was about two cars back of the lead car. The light changed and he turned left. Meanwhile, an oncoming car turned right, and as they are both in the intersection, they discover that they know each other. What to do? Why, stop where they are and begin a conversation! Which went on and on. I didn't bother honking, as everyone else was doing that. The conversationalists just kept talking for at least two minutes, finally resolving matters to their satisfaction and driving on.
  #42  
Old 01-20-2020, 07:04 PM
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That's a very very long story just to point out people stop at the top of escalators. Welcome to the 21st century.

Just plow through them. What else can you do? Time and escalators wait for no man.
If I was brief, I'd be on Twitter.
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  #43  
Old 01-20-2020, 11:46 PM
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Stopping at the top of an escalator isn't just rude, it can be dangerous, especially when it's crowded. It doesn't take much to make a bunch of people tumble down a flight of moving metal stairs.

Obliviousness makes me nuts. There are people who seem to look for the narrowest spots to leave their shopping carts, and if they can't find one, they park their carts sideways to ensure no one can get past. There are those who converge on the one lane to get out of a parking lot only to jam it up so no one can move, like The Three Stooges trying to get through a door. There are the people who cluster around the demo station at Trader Joe's, because obviously no one else wants a free sample. There are the people who park in driveways so their cars stick out and block the sidewalk, because pedestrians can always walk out into the street where they belong.
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Last edited by Jeff Lichtman; 01-20-2020 at 11:47 PM.
  #44  
Old 01-21-2020, 09:16 AM
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And when your transaction at the cash register is finished, please move your ass. Don't stand there having a phone conversation, sending a message, or whatever it is people do while standing there after there transaction is completed. I have to stand there doing nothing until you are gone and even if there is no one on line behind you, I still have things to do.
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:21 PM
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My experience in North America was in the 20th century. I recall no episode similar to that which OP describes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
That's a very very long story just to point out people stop at the top of escalators. Welcome to the 21st century.

Just plow through them. What else can you do? Time and escalators wait for no man.
Are you saying American social behavior is different now, in the 21st century? (Your own "Just plow through them" suggests you're no stickler for 20th-century etiquette.) Is today's behavior generally worse lately in, e.g. scenarios like OP describes?

If so, the shift is opposite to what I've observed in the Land of Smiles. Here, good road manners etc. are much better now than they were two decades ago.
  #46  
Old 01-21-2020, 12:36 PM
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I'm on a bus that stops at the bus stop. The person gets on the bus and proceeds to stand on the stairs and continue texting, holding up the bus, the driver and all the passengers I was tempted to call 911 and report her for mass kidnapping!

If that ain't rude (and illegal) I don't know what is.
  #47  
Old 01-21-2020, 02:22 PM
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I have to stand there doing nothing until you are gone and even if there is no one on line behind you, I still have things to do.
At the very minimum you should say one of your oh-so-clever comments that the entire store breaks out in applause.
  #48  
Old 01-21-2020, 03:17 PM
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Ugh, I started a thread about this kind of thing a while back. I'm becoming convinced there are people put on this Earth whose only purpose is to get in my way in public places. They apparently live for the chance to stand still in a traffic area, as the OP describes. Or get in front of me and then drive or walk as slowly as possible. Or walk several people abreast such that nobody can pass. But my favorite has to be people who walk diagonally - you get ready to pass them, then they lazily change direction and you have to go around the other way.

I'm frequently struck by the feeling that we are really bad at designing public spaces in which people need to move. Part of this seems to be that malls, airports and such seem to be purposely obstructing walking paths with advertising signs. Is it me, or is that relatively recent? I don't remember it years ago when malls were more of a thing. At airports the goddam TSA takes over huge swaths of walking space for their lines and create bottlenecks, to say nothing of gate areas that can't remotely hold the number of people getting on the plane (Boston Logan, I'm looking at you...).

In any case, I make an effort to be aware of the traffic around me when I'm walking, and especially when I'm STOPPING. I wish we had more firm social conventions about this.
There should be a word for this phenomenon, where a group of people cluster right in the middle of a thoroughfare, oblivious to or unconcerned about the fact they are causing an obstruction. I've encountered this often on shared use bike/pedestrian trails. The last time a family group was stopped in the middle of a trail and ignored my bell I simply squeezed by and said to the dad, "You have a good day.....Douche!" I had to chuckle thinking that at least one of his children would ask him, "Daddy, what's a douche?"
  #49  
Old 01-21-2020, 09:15 PM
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Are you saying American social behavior is different now, in the 21st century?
IME the cell-phone/headphones phenomenon has resulted in a net increase of obliviousness in public places. But I'd say it has also produced a net decrease in irritation/confrontation levels, as people encountering an irritating situation are more likely to just go on their phone/music/whatever while waiting for it to resolve. There are always some easily angered types, but I'd say that overall people are less quarrelsome with strangers.
  #50  
Old 01-21-2020, 09:43 PM
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There should be a word for this phenomenon, where a group of people cluster right in the middle of a thoroughfare, oblivious to or unconcerned about the fact they are causing an obstruction. I've encountered this often on shared use bike/pedestrian trails. The last time a family group was stopped in the middle of a trail and ignored my bell I simply squeezed by and said to the dad, "You have a good day.....Douche!" I had to chuckle thinking that at least one of his children would ask him, "Daddy, what's a douche?"

^


Similar to a murder of crows, etc., we could call them...


An aggravation of obliviots.
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