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Do you find less people are holding doors open or waiting their turn?

Do you hold doors for other people, for example when others are getting on an elevator, coming in or out of a store/bank or restaurant?

I do.

Do you race people to a public door only to push through it without holding it open for the person/people behind you?

I do not.

Do you ever rush through a door, squeezing past people who are already in the doorway??

I do not.

Yet these behaviors seem to be growing trends.  The squeezing in and out of, and not holding door business I mean, not the actual holding of doors for one another.  At least in my experience the holding doors open, or waiting your turn are not on the rise.

Just last night we were being brought into a restaurant for our reservation.  We were five people, the hostess had one of us right with her, while the other four were ever so slightly behind when this man, a grown man, came out of nowhere and was attempting to shoe horn his way in between all of us in order to get inside the restaurant first.

At first I kept quiet because I was sure that he would quickly become aware of the fact that six people, staggered two by two entering the building would make his squeezing past all of us IMPOSSIBLE.  But continue to try he did.  That’s when I spoke up and asked him if he would mind if our party could stay together.

He responded with a twisted, pained expression on his face, to which I responded; “we’re a group of five being taken to our table, would you mind waiting and letting us stay with the hostess?”

To which he replied; “well I’m trying to get into the restaurant too.”  Loudly, and very much like a petulant man baby, rather than a gentleman.

Rather than engage, since this is my year of wellness, and what I’m currently focusing on is this:  Let go of what you cannot change.  He was grown, I wasn’t in a relationship with him, therefore it was obvious I would have no ability to get him to check himself.  So I chose to ignore him and his shitty attitude by allowing him to push past.   What I ended up with was so much greater than any altercation with him could have been.  Which was witnessing him reach the hostess station where he was met with; “I’m sorry sir but your table won’t be ready for another fifteen minutes, if you wouldn’t mind waiting outside, we’ll come find you when your table is available.”

My friends, that was so much sweeter than it would have been to get all twisted up inside, and engaging in an attempt to teach this man any manners at all about a) how to be a gentleman out in the world and b) how not to be a dick.  I instead had the smug satisfaction of walking past him into the restaurant to my seat where I enjoyed a lovely dinner at, quite possibly my favourite restaurant, on the planet.  He on the other hand got turned right around and sent back where he came from, along with his two dinner companions, who for the record were already standing at the hostess stand checking on the status of their table.

Once I saw this, it had me “hmmm’n” even harder about his behaviour.  I don’t know how you travel in a pack into a restaurant, but we when we’re a group going to dinner, only one person makes their way to the hostess stand to check on the reservation, the entire gang doesn’t need to crowd the stand.  Like why bother?  It’s not going to change whether or not your table is ready for you.  Especially when dealing with such a teeny tiny place like Girgio Baldi, which for the record used to be a small bungalow house.  It only has seats for 81 people, so trust me that there is not room at the hostess stand, but people do continue to try and wait there until their tables are ready.

Now, what about the people who rush to a door in front of you only to throw it open and quickly run through it even though you were almost at the door when they charged past?  These are my favourite people.  I usually give them the benefit of the doubt with my go to thought being one of sheer joy and gratitude at the idea that this human is going to hold the door for me.  8 times out of 10 I’m met with the exact opposite act, and then, try as hard as I might to not think it out loud I can’t help but think; “what a dick.”

What can we do about these trends?  How do we get impatient rushing through doorways people to see the error of their ways?  Or how can we get more people opening and holding doors for one another???  I’m thinking, why don’t those of us who are door holder openers, be sure to spread and encourage the habit by making a huge fuss over others when they do the same.  Maybe, just maybe if we make others feel so awesome about it when they do it it will become habit.  Like smiling, everybody who gets a smile naturally starts to give them once they remember how nice it feels to receive it.  Maybe we can start a door holding opening pay it forward trend, who’s with me???  Because after all, we’re not animals here, so let’s be better at coming and going through doors than dogs are.

7 Comments

  1. Selfishness abounds. I’m always happy to see (in your illustrated case, Shantelle) that it is not always rewarded. Let’s just continue to be the kind of people we are, smiling and opening doors, and hope we can get a new trend started.

  2. OMG, Mary Kate, really? I would say that’s unbelievable, but nowadays, it isn’t! That is really sad. I go out of my way to help anyone who looks like they could use it. If it’s something more than just holding a door, I ask if they need or would want any help. I figure the world is already a hard place, and just a little kindness can go a long way.
    I was about to go down two flights of stairs after the opera, and had reached out to put my hand on the railing, when three 20-somethings squeezed in between me and the railing, brushing me aside. I got so angry, that when we reached the bottom, I rammed into the shoulder of the leader, saying loudly “Excuse me!”. When they expressed displeasure, I said, “that’s what you did to me, at the top of the stairs. We argued, they of course denied doing any such thing. The leader then said, “Hey, Laura, you’re gonna be just like this old lady!”. I replied, “good!” At which point my opera friend came up, and the tallest girl was trying to calm everybody down by apologizing. I probably shouldn’t get so angry, but it feels as if I need to teach courtesy to the whole world. The parents apparently aren’t doing it.

  3. I have to admit i am constantly amazed at the number of people who are more than happy to rush by me and my walker, rarely holding a door to allow my entrance or exit from a location. What ever happened to respect for our elders?
    For those individuals who are courteous enough to hold a door, i make sure i thank them profusely. (Of course i make sure the person behind me has the door before letting go.)

  4. Oh, Lord…..

    When I was still working in the airport (so: last week, until Wednesday afternoon, and the ten years previous), it was more often than not a battle to get off the train. Grown people crowding a door, giving the people getting off no room, just because they’re scared they and their umpteen suitcases won’t make it on. I have been known to square my shoulders, and just wade through, not caring how many people I cross-check in the process. If you insist on blocking my exit, I will walk right through you!
    On the flipside: I will ALWAYS stand to the side of a door where people are exiting, not going in until the exodus is over. And yes: when going through a door to, say, a department store (some are still old-school, and don’t do sliding or revolving doors), I make sure the person behind me has a chance to put a hand on the door before I let go of it.
    As for the people who don’t get theconcept of queing: sorry, I realise you’re in a hurry, but unless you’ve asked everyone in front of you, you are waiting for your turn, just like everyone else. You might be incredibly important in your own mind, but if you can’t use common decency, you don’t amount to much in mine.

  5. Unfortunately that sense of entitlement permeates our society. Men often tend to be worse in these situations because they feel more powerful. But women too can be nasty in these situations as well. However, I am pleasantly surprised and pleased when doors are held for me and whoever may be with me. I always smile and say thank you, how kind/ thoughtful to show my appreciation. I try to reciprocate as often as I can.

  6. Yeah I’m with you. I’m an open the door and look over my shoulder to see if someone is somewhat behind me, kind of person. At my place of employment, we have to swipe our badges once inside the first set of doors, so it’s a 2 door entrance. I can say that almost everyone will hold the door open after they’ve swiped and wait for the next person to fumble with their badge so they too can get into the building, especially this time of year in the frigid temps and wind. I make it a point to thank and smile at anyone that holds the door open for me. I find, we don’t have enough respect between us anymore, but holding a door is the least we can do for our fellow beings. Now getting on an elevator that has just opened, when there are people trying to get off, that’s a whole other subject! That’s where people lose any sense of consideration. The proper way is, when the doors open, you wait for it to empty first, then enter the elevator. You’d be surprised how many people don’t do that!

  7. Agree with your comments. Another trend I’ve noticed is when at a Customer Service counter talking to one and only staff person about whatever it is and someone comes over and interrupts the conversation. It’s as if I’m invisible, i guess. But what I do now is turn around and say something like: “This staff person and I are having a conversation which you have interrupted and when it’s your turn, you’ll be able to speak to the person here I am speaking to right now.” I’ve done this three times so far recently to have each rude person interrupting act like I’m in the wrong to speak up, tell them to wait their turn. They seem to try to turn the situation into a ‘poor me, I’m the victim here’ with their reply. I then ignore them (as you did with the rude man at the restaurant), and continue with my conversation with the staff person. After all the staff cannot be rude to any customer and say what I have just said. When I’m finished with my conversation, I usually turn around and looking the person straight in the eye say, “NOW, it’s your turn” and I walk away. But it can be infuriating as often you can lose the thread of the conversation entirely when interrupted. And I too have had doors let go ahead of me by those pushing past and not holding the door for me and being not very tall or heavy, the door will nearly knock me off my feet backwards. Often now, I will say to a person’s back ahead of me going through a door, “Someone is behind you” to see if they then hold the door. Of course, if they have ear buds in, they don’t hear me anyway. What a world. Isn’t so wonderful with all these rude folks walking around.

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