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Faux Outrage

Literally the most important blog in the universe since 2010.

Semi-Relevant Poem Section:

Nowadays,
it is not uncommon
to see a sign that reads:

If You See Something,
Say Something
.

This is one of the
crazier suggestions
of all time

I see
so much
so maybe
I should be
saying more?

Non-poem Section:

This is the first part of the possibly-one-part series, That Should Be A Thing!  What follows is a list of awkward social situations that I believe are common enough (and awkward enough) to warrant some kind of culture-wide understanding.

The reason I’ve used heading “That should be a thing!” is because these are the words I invariably barf out whenever I’ve decided that there is a simple, universalizable behavior that could be associated with a particular set of facts that would benefit society as a whole.

If you are moved by these suggestions, and if you are inspired like I am to make your day-to-day interactions with humanity even a fraction more palpable (palpabler?), please consider modifying your behavior in these ultra-specific ways.  In addition, if you are ever the passive party in the yet-to-be-mentioned circumstances, recognize and be heartened by any party who successfully follows through with these suggestions.

Unfortunately, unless everyone that you will ever encounter reads — and agrees with! — this entry, I may fall a little short in my quest to completely alter the course of human history.

That Should Be A Thing!

Part I: Open Door Policies

Doors are crazy.

They have many purposes (purpii?), but the two most crucial are polar opposites.

  1. Doors allow people to get IN
  2. Doors allow people to get OUT

Most of the time, this isn’t a problem.

Other times, it is.

And then there are those situations that are secretly not problems at all, but I nevertheless view as serious quandaries and determine with gusto that something ought to be done.

So here I am, seeing something and saying something.

Are You Going First or Number 2?

Problem: Determining bathroom doorway priority between simultaneously arriving entering and exiting parties.

Rule: When two people — one attempting to leave and one arriving to do their, uh, duty —  find themselves face-to-face in a bathroom doorway, regardless of who has opened the door, priority should always be given to the person entering the bathroom.

Explanation: It is important that this scenario is discussed because I believe the determinative, most crucial characteristic of either party garners very little attention during this interaction: one of these hypothetical people has to go to the bathroom.  One person is seeking relief and the other has just finished relieving themselves.

Priority is typically based on a long string of social rules and unspoken hierarchies, but in this scenario, as two parties mirror each other, strafing froward-and-back-and-left-and-then-right-and-then-right-and-then-left, only one thing matters.  Sure, one party needs to leave, but the other needs to go.

It doesn’t matter who gets to the door first or which way the door swings.

Let the pee-ple go!

Exceptions:

  1. Creepy, single-serve bathroom
  2. Priority defaults to any person allowed to pre-board an airplane
  3. Exiting person has power to fire you

The “No-Hold” Unbarred

Problem: Determining situations where the kindness of holding a door open is outweighed by inconvenience to trailing party targeted by good deed.

Rule: If the trailing party is so far back that they will feel compelled to placate you by quickening their pace in order to enter the doorway, it is proper to not hold the door, even if the the trailing party will arrive before the door has fully re-shut.

Explanation: Before I begin, let me get this initial point out of the way: Holding the door is a nice gesture.  I am not against holding the door for people.  It is worthy of a “thank you” and a “you’re welcome” and an occasional, knowing smile.

By default, you should hold the door all the time, for anyone and everyone.

Period.

Exclamation point.

That said, this would-be favor actually becomes an inconvenience if the person behind you feels the need to quicken their pace in order to do you a favor (that is, keep you from waiting in the doorway).

When the trailing member of the duo is forced to giddy up, the result is that two people have earnestly tried — and failed! — to do the other a favor.  Each intends to perform a kind act, but neither actually benefits emotionally from the transaction.

The door-opener (openor?) fails because they have unnecessarily compelled the door-openee to alter their comfortable walking pace, while the door-openee fails because they have communicated their anxiety to the door-opener.

Nobody wins.

I recognize the tendency to feel slighted when a stranger fails to use “common courtesy” as well as the pressure to “do the right thing” in every social situation, but I think we can agree that there are times when holding the door is neither courtesy (common or otherwise) nor the right thing.

Exceptions:

  1. You have already made eye-contact with the person
  2. Priority defaults to any person allowed to pre-board an airplane
  3. Trailing person has the power to fire you

So there you have it.

Spread the word!

Make the world a more tolerable place!

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