A peek into the life of one of Douglas College’s human doorstops
By Rebecca Peterson, Staff Writer
This week, the Other Press spoke with Stanley Plat, 19, a Douglas student who has been confirmed to have been holding open the door between the main commerce and the third floor hallway for the past four days. A Communications major, Plat was surprisingly cavalier when discussing his current predicament.
“The first hour was the hardest,” Plat said, leaning back against the door to allow room for late students to go bolting through the doorway. “I mean, when you hold open a door for people, you expect there to be a lull in the crowds at some point. I should have known.”
It all started when Plat was intercepted on his way to class by a door swinging shut in his face. Without thinking of the consequences, Plat pulled the door open only to realize there was a large group of students behind him, needing to go through.
“I’ve been here ever since,” Plat said with a shrug.
Often called “Canadian Traps,” the doors off the commerce are notorious hazards for people with ingrained politeness. It is not unusual to see people such as Plat acting as a human doorstop, allowing classmates to escape through the doorways while they are left to languish.
“It wasn’t so bad,” said Plat. “I mean, like I said, maybe at first. But everyone’s been pretty grateful. I’ve even had people start handing off money, like tips? So I’ve made more in the past few days than I’ve made in the past month working weekends at Safeway. I’m actually starting to think about opening a savings account, maybe invest a little. You can do that on your phone these days, and the Wi-Fi here is decent.”
Despite the optimism, the threat of being dropped from classes due to absenteeism looms large, given Plat’s inability to attend his courses because of his new position. Plat remains unconcerned.
“I mean, think of it this way,” said Plat. “I came to Douglas to learn, right? So I could go off and have a career? Sure, there’s not gonna be a piece of paper showing that I got a degree in ‘door-holding,’ or whatever, but it’s practical, hands-on experience. I was gonna be a PR rep for some tech company, but now? I’m thinking doorman.”
In fact, given the frequency of students being left in such positions, there have been whispers among faculty members of opening a trade school of sorts offering an associate’s degree in doorstop management. According to one professor who preferred his identity to remain anonymous: “We’re not entirely ruling it out.”
So there may be an academic future for the human doorstops of Douglas College after all. Either way, Plat seems content to stay where he is.
“You really see the broad spectrum of human kindness, here,” Plat said. “People bring me food, water, copies of the Other Press. Personally I’m more of a Metro guy, but, you know, beggars can’t be choosers and all that.”
Finally, we asked Plat how he was able to relieve himself while stuck at his station. He declined to comment further.