So I'm the jerk for desiring timely egress?!

Yet another incident in my neverending struggle to understand my fellow species.

Wife and I attend a lecture this p.m. (Brian Green on String theory - I’m still as confused as ever! :confused:) We are seated in the 1st row of the balcony. The row is maybe 60 seats long, no center aisle. We are maybe 20 seats in from the left side.

The lecture ends. We wait for the couple on my immediate left to stand, and we stand and face the side aisle. This is what we see.
-At the very end of the aisle, 3 or so old people are standing and pleasantly talking, apparently oblivious to the fact that other people might wish to exit the row.
-Next in appear to be 3-4 people still seated.
-Then there are 10 or so folk standing, facing the aisle. These 10 are made up of small groups of 2-4 who came independently.
-Then me and the missus.
-Behind us, another 10 or so folk making up our half of the row wishing to exit the left side.

And NO ONE MOVES! For probably a minute. WTF?

No way can I communicate with the folks way at the end w/o shouting, but I sorta lean out and loudly say, “Excuse me.” Not in a pissy or angry tone - but just hoping to get some reaction/information as to what all the standers are waiting for. By this time, all the other rows are empty. We haven’t budged. One guy standing maybe 5 in front of me says something I don’t catch. When I repeat “excuse me,” directed at him, he says, “You can go past.” I say something like, “You want me to go past you?” and he says, “I don’t mind.”

So the missus and I sidle past the 10 people standing, the 3-4 people sitting, and the 3 conversationalists. As we pass, my wife overhears some of the standers say things like, “Apparently he is in a hurry.”

I repeat, WTF?

Of the various groups:
-I can understand the sitters. They are comfortable, so they are staying put, and anyone who wants can sidle past.
-But how can anyone (especially someone passing up a lovely weekend afternoon to attend a lecture on physics!) be so stupid as the 3 on the end, to be oblivious that all those folk might wish to exit the row?
-And the other standers in front of me. How long were they going to wait? And why was my wanting to exit viewed as rude?

I try to understand other people, so as to avoid falling back on my general dislike for my own species. But my wife and I pretty much consider ourselves unfit for general public…

You weren’t wrong. Some people can be such douche bags.
I would’ve turned to the person commenting and said " yea man I am an obgyn and I have to hurry to deliver twins"!

Several years ago, I was at our large farmer’s market, and when I went to leave, several elderly women with dogs on leashes were standing in the exit area. When I realized that they weren’t going to move on their own (and I should add that they gave off a demeanor of being snooty rich bitches), I opened my car door and yelled at them that they were blocking the road and needed to move. One of them said, as she moved aside, “You COULD take another way out, you know” and I replied, “You’re lucky it’s me here. Somebody else might have run you over.”

More recently, I was volunteering at the library bookstore, and I’ll admit that our storage room is small and crowded. I mentioned to the other volunteers that we had plenty of empty shelf space that I wanted to fill with a certain genre of books, and the woman who was standing in front of those shelves just stood there and stared at me. :confused: After about 10 seconds, I said, “Could you move out of the way so I can get those books?” :rolleyes:

Back when I worked in restaurants, I worked with more than one person who had difficulty comprehending that “Excuse me” means “Get out of my way; don’t just stand there.” And those people weren’t just that way with me, either.

The people causing the blockage were guilty only of being oblivious to their surroundings, but that can happen if somebody strikes up an animated conversation. The douchebags were the ones badmouthing you as you (as politely as possible) tried to get out. You could have offered to urinate on them, and then take your seat again for half an hour.

“We’ve all got places to go! We’ve all got places to go!”

People like to socialize after such events. One of the reasons I don’t go to them. Last time I went to a concert (classical), I had the same sort of irritation. I enjoyed the performance, of course, but now it is over, and I have no further use being here. In this case, people were leaving the auditorium, and then just stopping in the doorway to have their conversation, not caring that they were blocking anyone else from leaving.

I assume that these events are where people who do not get together often get together, so they now take it as a time to catch up. I understand, but it would still be nice if they gave enough courtesy to do their catching up after they have left traffic.

Occasionally I encounter clueless dawdlers blocking my path (typically but not always it is a group of elderly folks walking several abreast and taking up the entire width of a sidewalk or corridor).

After I’ve said “excuse me” they will generally (sometimes reluctantly) allow enough space to pass, with accompanying commentary about how people are in such a rush these days.

So far I have avoided the temptation to turn and say “Some of us have things to do before tottering off to the nursing home”. But that day is coming. :slight_smile:

So you had to wait a full minute before you showed these dummies how we do shit downtown?

You were at a talky thinky event. Is it really that hard to understanding that some people may want to be a little talky thinky for maybe a full two minutes before bolting for the exit? It’s not like you were on a plane. “Hey that insane view of the foundation of reality was interesting but I’d like to get the fuck out of here now!”

Is it really so hard to understand that you could do your talky-thinky shit two steps over so other people could get past? Gad. I might be willing to stay talky-ing and thinky-ing, but not in the row with the seats poking me in the leg and people jostling me from behind! MOVE OUT.

So stupid old people were blocking the way and I’m the asshole for getting pissed off over two minute delay?!?!

That’s easy to understand. What’s hard to understand is why those people insist on doing it squarely in the path of folks who may wish to move on, when there are numerous options that don’t inconvenience others. Apparently their ability to think runs dry when it comes to recognizing that not everyone wants to do exactly what they want to do.

It does become easier to understand when one regards the talky thinky path-blockers as self-important inconsiderate assholes who believe they’re the only ones who matter in the world.

That’s not hard to understand. They are old and got distracted for a minute by a conversation. Happens every day, my friend.

I am reminded of the old Carlin joke " Ever notice how everyone who drives faster than you is a maniac and everyone who drives slower than you is an idiot?"

My brother could throw his voice. He hated, hated people blocking his way in a grocery store aisle or leaving a theatre or something.
He would throw his voice and say rather loudly, “clear the aisle people” or " move it along folks"! It was very funny and always worked.

And they stood there with their shopping carts full of yarn? No wonder, they didn’t get it either.

Didn’t time them. Don’t know exactly how long it took. I DO know that the entire rest of the balcony was empty - except for our half of a row. So however long it normally would take to clear an entire balcony, I had moved not an inch.

Not sure what gave you the impression I was in some kind of a hurry. But I also don’t understand why I should be happy to just stand there for no apparent reason. And having stood there for a minute (or 2-3?) for no clear reason, I began to wonder how many MORE minutes it would be.

And I don’t see why it is all that different than in a plane. Or a movie theater. Or sporting event. Or school graduation. Or any other public event these septuagenarians must have attended in their lives, where people orderly exit a public space.

And to make clear, as others have suggested, the options for the chatters were legion. In front of our full row, were a couple of partial rows, with just a couple of seats on the ends. After those emptied immediately, the chatters could have stepped forward 3 feet, and chatted until the place turned out the lights and locked the doors. If they turned and stepped down 2 whole steps, they would be in a wide foyer, where they could stand and talk with plenty of elbow room. Or they could walk down that foyer and out the doors, where there are a number of seating areas where they could be as talky thinky as they liked.

I also don’t think I was (or wrote that I was) pissed. Mainly, I was confused. And not just at the chatters. But the other standers. How long were THEY going to just stand there?

From your multiple posts mischaracterizing what I wrote, I assume you desired to get a rise out of me. If you think you succeeded and that satisfies you, fine.

I just have a hard time understanding why people act in ways I could not comprehend. At times I WISH I could go about completely oblivious to how my actions might impact the persons with whom I am sharing a given space.

“Wetting my pants is NOT my fetish.”

Why didn’t you just go out the other end of your row?


Nah, according to the OP, they were long rows with a lot more people between them that way.

Pretty much old people on the end of the row being jerks, standing around talking rather than allowing anyone to leave; is the way I read it.

You’re the one who said maybe a minute.

You are allowed to talk loudly. “Excuse me could you clear the end? I’ve got a babysitter to drive home” or something. Especially if they’ve blocked the end for more than a minute or two. But I find it hard to sympathise your position that you were forced to angrily demand your way through. Or that a little chat in the wrong spot by some old people is something to get worked up about. You should chillax rather than looking for some reason these obnoxious people entrapped you for a couple minutes.

I hope you didn’t think everyone was disagreeing with you. I was joking around about it along with others, but I completely agree that your bemusement with their oblivious behavior is justified.