Sunday, February 25, 2007

Right of Passage

I'm one of those people that's constantly running into others.

And I mean that literally: I really run into others.

I'm notorious for it at work, especially. I round a corner just as someone else is. We come within an inch or two of bumping heads, utter "Oh, excuse me!" and continue on.

For this reason, among others, I've taken to making regular use of hallway mirrors (which exist here to house security cameras), where they exist. So when I come to an "intersection," I check to see if someone is rounding the corner before I continue.

This has helped avoid countless collisions, as I patiently step aside and wait for the path to clear.

But it never ceases to amaze me how these encounters persist in those hallways without mirrors. Time and time again, I have people running out in front of me; walking in the opposite direction with their head down; etc.

In which case, I wonder if I simply don't understand walkway etiquette.

You see, I figure since we drive on the right side of the road, we should similarly walk on the right side of a walkway (hallway, sidewalk, etc.). I'm even prepared to switch to the left, should I ever journey across the ocean to see the Queen!

I also believe that anyone proceeding straight-on in a walkway has the right-of-way over anyone entering the walkway from the side.

And yet, I often wonder if I'm the only one who obeys these unspoken rules.

Cause I'm really tired of running into people, and I'd like to know if there's a handbook out there I should be following.


XOXO said...

What about when they run into you without an apology? You know, like it's your fault.

Anonymous said...

just start carrying something sharp. word will catch on.


Academic Advisor said...

When I started 6th grade and had to change classes with the "big kids," my biology teacher recommended your method of using traffic laws as a guideline and walking on the right side to navigate the hallways. It worked... sorta.

But now, like you, I have to be careful not to run into people. I don't think my system differs from the one other people use because I don't think other people use a system; they just walk around preoccupied with their thoughts, destination, cell conversations, and iPod sounds, completely oblivious to their environment. As a result, that environment crashes into them sometimes. For awhile I thought my cautiousness was causing the collisions, or at least my frustration, so if I adapted the same attitude that others have and boldly marched forward without paying attention, other people would have to move out of my way instead of me moving out of their's. That didn't work either. There were still crashes. It's not your fault, or mine. At least we TRY to stay on our side of the hallway and keep an eye out for others. I just wish God would let someone else be the environment now and again.

However, if there is a handbook, and you discover it, will you please let me know too?

XOXO said...

Oh yeah! Right you are ds! I think people at my office already do that, but that's a whole other story.

Matt said...

"I also believe that anyone proceeding straight-on in a walkway has the right-of-way over anyone entering the walkway from the side."

You are correct, sir! The natural rules of the road apply to hallways as well. I'm always amazed to see people cutting corners on the wrong (left) side and then acting surprised as hell to see another human being on a campus w/ more than 8,400 homo sapiens.

James Burnett said...

I'm the same way with that walking thing. Out of habit, from driving, I always walk on the right side...and I get annoyed when others don't do the same.

Anonymous said...

xoxo - I'm always right.


thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

If nothing else, this just goes to show that we actually need traffic laws. Can you imagine what sort of chaos would break loose on America's highways if we didn't have clear divides between lanes?

I mean, it's already bad enough with the laws.