Ever feel like the world is deploying "blockers" against you?

I’m a fast walker, always have been. Very goal directed, I want to get where I’m going. And I’ve always just accepted that I am a fast fish in a world of fishes that prefer to school slowly. But oddly, as I get older, particularly in the last few years it seems like if it’s possible for someone to get in my way, they invariably do. Almost as if they’re trying.

Logically, I know this is 100% confirmation bias. For some reason, I’m just noticing it more. But damn if it doesn’t seem like the world is throwing obstacles in my path. If I’m going down a deserted street in the middle of the night, someone will appear and their path will merge with mine. If there’s no line at the store and nobody else around, just as I approach somebody will step in front of me and then take forever to conduct their transaction. It’s like that scene in “The Sting” where they purposely congregate in front of the mark to slow him up. This seems to happen to me constantly.

Today I’m walking down a wide hallway in a big hotel trying to leave, and a family is spread out walking slowly such that nobody can pass and I’m muttering to myself, “Always. Always!”

So again, I know it’s all in my head. I know it’s just me being impatient and this happens to everyone and I’m just allowing it to bother me. I know all of that…

But does anyone else feel this way too? I’d think this should be the opposite as I get older, that I’d want to slow down. But it’s getting worse and I’m becoming more and more impatient with the slow fish around me.

I think this is the money phrase. As I get older my ability to roll with the punches of daily life is becoming more and more difficult.

It never fails. If I want on a certain aisle in the store as soon as I turn down it 15 people come down the other end. I have taken to standing my ground and stopping in my tracks, letting them manuever around me. Occasionally I get a sigh or a rude remark, I don’t care. Water off a ducks back.:slight_smile:

Yes. But I’ve also become more willing to push between two people blocking a staircase or hallway with their conversation (with the least-convincing “excuse me” that I can muster); push shopping carts out of the way; play “chicken” with a wall of people moving my way; yell “on your left” to make my way past some group moving stochastically in roughly the same direction as me; take the initiative by stepping past some indecisive people at the soda fountain or coffee maker; etc. So it hasn’t been so bad.

Not when I’m walking, but when I’m in my car. When I’m ready to leave the parking lot there’s not a vehicle to be seen on the road. But when I get to the exit to turn onto the street there’s suddenly a two mile long parade that starts just as I get there.

One thing that has made a quantifiable difference in how often pedestrians are blocked while walking is the rise of smartphones. I read an article in the New York Times a few years ago. They did a study and found that smartphone users disrupt the rhythm of the sidewalk. Prior to smartphones, most people were at least minimally aware of the people around them. They sped up, slowed down, or moved to the side in response to the way others were walking. This allowed sidewalk traffic to move smoothly and largely unimpeded. Now a major percentage of the people on the sidewalk are focusing on their phones, and completely oblivious to those around them. This means that they act completely independently, and inevitably end up blocking other people by walking too fast, too slowly, or in the wrong “lane”. The sidewalk has become more of a bumper car track than a freeway.

I have been walking from the train station to my office for 30 years, and I see a clear difference in how the crowded city sidewalk functions, and how often I feel blocked by pedestrian traffic. I know that people enjoy their smartphones, but they have greatly reduced the quality of my life as a pedestrian.

I’m mostly aware of this in the car as well. Most days it’s fine, people see me coming and pull over to let me pass. Other days it’s like there are a hundred agents all in radio contact with one another who are determined to keep me at or below the speed limit. Bastidos.

Try being a fast walker who works in a hospital. I’m constantly navigating an obstacle course populated by employees strolling along engrossed in their cellphones, staff on ladders doing mystery repairs above the ceiling, construction workers tearing stuff out (their t-shirt motto: “We have a passion for making messes”), confused visitors moving at snails’ paces - and of course, those ungrateful patients staggering or being wheeled along, always in the way.

Don’t they know I’ve got places to go and things to do?

At the very least, they should obey the Prime Directive of corridors - walk on the right, pass on the left.

A wise man once said: 99% of the people in the world are just basically in the way. Welcome to the world! :slight_smile:

It’s definitely getting worse, and probably a lot of it is because people have their noses buried in their cell phones. It’s really easy to lose your cool when encountering such people. I try my best to not let it get to me, and keep smiling. But it’s really, really hard sometimes!

I have dreams/nightmares about this kind of thing quite often. Usually the old subconscious has handed me a task, often a very difficult one, and also a number of acquaintances who are supposed to help me complete the task. These chill me to the marrow. Well, they frustrate me greatly, at least until I awaken.

Example: I have to remove all the furniture, etc., from a house, but I’m the only one concerned about any part of getting the job finished. There’s the truck outside, and every time I put something in the truck one of my “helpers” unwraps it, unboxes it, whatever, and brings it back into a different part of the house. Even if it’s only one other person I move like I’m held by a “tractor beam” while I’m in a field of quicksand full of gators, spiders, and snakes, so there is no chance of ever completing the task.

Another example, possibly of a different sort: I’m taking a nap (yes, really) with the TV on–it’s always a documentary. The narrator keeps saying things that are wrong in the extreme, and I’m trying to argue with the talker just like I might in a conversation. Of course I can’t actually talk in the middle of a nap, and I’m always ignored since the narrator just keeps on talking.

Every. Single. Day.

Oh yeah! Their boss is Chief Dodo. He organizes the cars to get the timing so you can’t pull onto the road.

Works closely with the great French roadbuilder DeTour.

My husband always drives like he’s about to be late for an appointment, and gets extremely pissed off about the other people who drive on his roads. Some days it does seem like they’re coming from everywhere to obstruct him. At times like that, I lecture him, “See, Jebus is sending them to test your patience! It never happens to me.” :smiley:

Google “gangstalking”: there are many people who think it is a coordinated effort.

I was driving through the Badlands of SD, no other living thing within miles, when I spotted a tiny speck moving ahead, a deer running a couple of miles away. It was headed right for the road up ahead as hard as it could go, like something was chasing it. We both kept coming for a while, closer and closer, and sure enough, I had to brake to keep from hitting the thing.

How do these ‘blockers’ time it out and what do they want?

Airports. This is their headquarters.
They stop in the middle of the concourse to read the flight status monitors or decide where to eat, or change their jackets or whatever.
They have to walk 4 or 5 abreast.
They’ve been without their phones for a couple of hours or more, so they’re all reading their messages, checking FB, or whatever d’fuq and that means walking as slowly as possible.
I admit to having a hard time even saying a perfunctory excuse me when I run into them.

I think about stuff like this a lot. You’re only noticing the people in your way. Each time that happens, your brain perceives that as a separate, notable event. It aggravates you, and you remember it. However, you don’t remember the dozens of people who weren’t impeding you. If you breeze past someone, it’s not much of an event and not memorable.

I think the same thing happens when you’re stuck in traffic and the other lane always seems to be moving faster. When you’re stopped and ten cars pass you, that’s ten separate, infuriating events. When the other lane is stuck and you pass ten cars, that’s only one mundane, unmemorable event.

Whenever I’m driving somewhere and there’s a slowpoke in front of me, I always think that the slowpoke is going the same place I’m going and will take the last available parking spot. Which HAS happened, but it would be surprising if it never happened.

Airports or Las Vegas. There is something about Sin City that just makes people stupider than usual (which is pretty damn stupid to begin with!) The ones I plow through with flying elbows are the rubes who congregate at the top or bottom of an escalator. Those get no politeness at all. Then you get the families of slack-jaws that insist on holding hands as they waddle down the corridor at .5km/fortnight. Those “people” need to be Recycled for the Good of Society.

Clearly this is the apex of clueless public behavior. People getting off of escalators and… STOPPING! Even if people behind them wanted to stop and give the offenders a few extra moments to remember how to move, they can’t because the escalator is not having it. Exit the escalator and ambulate already!

Worse is in Thailand, where groups of young schoolgirls will travel down an escalator right in front of you, then stop and stand right there where you step off!