Friday, December 5, 2008

Please Use Revolving Door

It makes me crazy when people disregard clearly posted signs. Heck, I don't even like it when the signs aren't so clearly posted and they disregard them. I expect people to have a basic understanding of the rules. Most people (most people) don't need a sign saying "Please Don't Stab the Person Standing Next to You" to refrain from doing so. So when there's a sign that gets ignored, my Annoyance Meter goes all kooky.

My least favorite, of course, is the ever-popular "No Smoking" sign. This is by far the worst because smoking is disgusting and, as is the case at the Staten Island Ferry terminal (on the bad side) where scofflaws continually light up on the path to the buses, unavoidable. Right. Under. The. God. Damn. Sign. Argh! Once I even saw an MTA EMPLOYEE offer a light to someone not 5 feet from a "No Smoking" sign. There is no hope for common courtesy. Or my lungs.

But, as obnoxious and gross as the smoking creeps are, there's a part of me that understands it. Particularly at the ferry, where folks have just spent at least 30 minutes on a boat and are about to get on a bus for another who-knows-how-long. They've only got a few precious seconds to get some of that mm-mm-good tarcotine in there before the next leg of their soul-crushing journey from a crappy corporate job in Manhattan to a miserable family on Staten Island. And it is an addiction. So there ya go. Smoking.

What really baffles me, though, is the revolving door. Not the door itself, but people's aversion to it. Now, big office buildings in NYC always have revolving doors alongside normal swing-open doors. (I use the technical terms for things here. Sorry if you have to look up terms like "swing-open doors". Erudition reigns here at the Den.) Naturally, the buildings prefer that you use the revolving doors because their use saves each building thousands of dollars a year (my guess) in heating and cooling costs. And helps to keep the smoke from the phalanx of tobacco addicts in its rightful place. But the swing doors remain usable for emergencies or for people in wheelchairs or with pizzas or whatever.

But there is almost always a sign saying something along the lines of "Please Use Revolving Door". And yet, I see people ignoring these signs every goddamn day of my life. What is it with people? What is so fucking awful about using a revolving door? You have to push it the same way you have to push the revolver. It takes about the same amount of strength. It takes about the same amount of time. Why would you ignore a clearly posted request for something that gives little or no benefit? It says "Please", for crying out loud!

The only possible explanation I can think of is claustrophobia. But you know what, I'm the most claustrophobic person I know. I refuse to get on a subway train if there are too many people on it. And I freak out if I get on and it doesn't move between stations. I see the same people who just ignored the door sign cramming onto the sardine train with no issues whatsoever.

Just this week in the building I work in, I saw the ever-present "Please..." sign placed directly in front of the door. With no gap. There was no way to avoid seeing it. There was no way to get out the door without acknowledging the sign physically. And yet...some dude actually squeezed himself around the sign to use the regular door.

Now, it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket that these people do this. But seriously, what the hell is wrong with people?


Mrs. Chili said...

Oh. MY. GOD! This pisses me off, too.

ALL the buildings at Local U have signs on them saying "Smoking is prohibited within 20 feet of any University building." I actually shoo kids off the fucking stairs. They think I'm a Nazi. I do not care.

The thing that REALLY burned my cookies was when we were in DC a few summers ago. The WWII Memorial has signs ALL OVER THE PLACE that say "Please respect the memorial. No wading, no coins." There's a picture here ( showing how much Americans respect their memorials (or read their fucking signs).


Kizz said...

I'm a rule follower, too. However, I will cop to a weird combination revolving door/escalator phobia that's creeping up on me as I get older. It's not about the doors or the moving stairs per se it's about the stupidity of the people in there with me. They stop at the bottom of escalators so I can't get by and what if they stop right outside the revolving door and I'm smashed between the wall and the door? It makes me nervous. Doesn't stop me from using the doors or the escalators, though. If someone else is already going through the regular door sometimes I'll follow them and get a little "I'm a bad girl!" thrill.