Get out of the way
By Anne Marie Abraham, Contributor
What is the hullaballoo about doorways? Besides being a means of entering and exiting a space, why do doorways seem to attract people like light does a moth? I cannot comprehend what the excitement is about.
Many of my problems begin at a doorway. For example, I’ll try to exit a classroom at school, but find my path blocked by a pack of human beings gossiping about their too-low grades or their opinions of a teacher. All of this can be done away from the entrance, such as in an out-of-the-way corner. By the time I’m finally able to squeeze through, I end up being late for my next class.
Recall those wise words your mother used to—and continues to—call out to you when you run out the door to catch the bus: “Look both ways before you cross the road. Mind your manners. Take your time. Be careful and don’t push.” For many of us, a long time has passed since we last took our mothers’ words of wisdom to heart.
On the SkyTrain, there’s always that short, pushy lady desperate to get her favourite seat—which is any one that’s available. There’s also that tall, looming man who takes advantage of his intimidating height, expecting people to move around him. With his first step inside, he stops. That tall man just stands there for the whole ride as an obstacle, preventing other passengers from freely moving in and out through the doorway. The problem with these two types of people who are pushing to enter before the other passengers have had a chance to exit is that they create a sort of wall; the Berlin Wall at the SkyTrain station. No one can get on or off safely.
The only thing that evolves from this lack of doorway etiquette is anger and frustration that is mostly directed at the source. There you are, waiting patiently at the side to allow the passengers inside to exit, when some impatient soul tries to push through. The passengers wanting to get off are the white pieces of a chessboard; they get to make the first move to create additional space for passengers who are waiting to get on.
Taking your mother’s advice could be the start of a courteous and considerate lifestyle with a classy touch of “mother knows best” that adds the right amount of cool. “Be patient and don’t push” are the most important rules to follow when it comes to doorways.