Monday, October 25, 2010

The Escalator Is Not a Ride

Some people really piss me off. I'm the first to admit that my tolerance for stupidity is teetering near the "0" mark on the best of days, but there's still no denying that stupidity is a rampant problem in our society.

Earlier today I was at Market Mall to kill a few minutes before work (and to see if any of the stores had a pair of maroon size 13 sneakers...sadly no). I love Halloween and so I decided to stop by Zellers and look at the Halloween section in the store. On my way back down, there were a few people on the escalator ahead of me. First was a young punk who was standing on the left. About six or so steps down a man was standing on the right. In front of him was a woman about three steps down. I walked down the escalator steps on the right to avoid the punk, and then moved left to pass the other two. As I passed the man who was standing on the right, he said "excuse works."

He was, of course, sarcastically stating that the escalator was running and thus I did not need to walk down the stairs. I simply threw up a hand without turning back to him and I said "Thanks tips...but I work faster." Not the cleverest of retorts, but it served its purpose. In hindsight, I should have said something along the lines of "Your legs work too...looks like we both overlooked something obvious."

While it could be argued that it is rude to walk down the escalator and pass people who are standing on it, the argument would be pretty weak. They're stairs, for Jebus' sake! I believe it is much ruder to stand there like an asshole on the escalator when you are perfectly able to walk. It has always seemed to me that escalators were there for people who had trouble traversing stairs (either due to illness, physical ailment, or because they are holding a child or a large item or something). If one chooses to stand there and treat the escalator like it's an amusement park ride, then one should not become angry or upset at those who choose to walk up and down instead.

I'm not sure why there is no "escalator etiquette" here in Canada. During a visit to London, I was absolutely flabbergasted at how the people had escalator etiquette. It was brilliant! People who wanted to ride up or down the escalators would stay to the right and people who wanted to walk up or down would stay to the left. Here in Canada (or at least Alberta where I've bothered to pay attention), people plant themselves wherever the fuck they want and then stand there like invalids until reaching the top/bottom. The aforementioned young punk could have easily moved to the right when he got on the escalator today, but didn't. No sense of etiquette. Often couples or groups will stand side-by-side, thus blocking the entire stairwell while they engage in inane conversation, oblivious to the fact there are some people who have places to be. No sense of etiquette.

Well...just no sense.

Yeah, I'm very impatient, and that is why I'm frustrated about this issue. But being impatient isn't nearly as much a problem as being a stupid lazy douchebucket that can't be bothered to think about anyone else. If people proceed to loiter on the escalators, I am going to walk past them to get up or down (carefully, of course). Perhaps I should print out pamphlets explaining how to properly use an escalator (with a small section on how even small amounts of exercise can help combat obesity). It's just a shame exercise can't fight stupidity as well.

Sure, I could always just learn to be more tolerant of the parade of idiots shuffling around on this rock, but it would make for much less interesting blogging. Oh, and if you're reading this while standing on an escalator, please move to the right.

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