Now that I’m retired and no longer motoring around the hallowed halls of The Company, it isn’t the annoyance it once was, but this post has been sitting in my Drafts folder for well over three years. And since it was something that annoyed me considerably for 30-some years, it’s worth recording (to me, I mean).
I find that it still does sometimes occur on the highway, and when it does, it reminds me and keeps the rant alive. In any event, I’ve been wanting to use the next paragraph for years! (It just needed the right post.)
You know what bugs me? Well, lots of things, but in this case it’s…
The way situation challenged people plant themselves in obvious traffic patterns and chat, oblivious to the fact that they are obstructing traffic!
I’m talking about pedestrian traffic, which is to say humans walking, not traffic of some random kind that is ordinary and boring. (It would be a bit confusing to refer to an ordinary and dull automobile drive as “pedestrian.” But then sometimes walking fast is called “motoring along.”)
I can’t decide whether it’s a matter of being oblivious, ignorant, arrogant, or stupid. (I’m pretty sure the first and last options are different.)
Maybe it’s a combination of those or some other view of reality I don’t fathom.
But honestly, I lean towards the first (with, perhaps, a dash of the last). Mostly I think people are just oblivious.
The hallway chatters don’t strike me as arrogant, but it is interesting how entitled some feel about parking it mid traffic-flow and therefore likely to push back if challenged.
An ethic I’ve encountered (dare I mutter a complaint): “What’s your problem, I’ll be out of your way in a jiff.”
Ah, but you see, by then you’ve already brought me to a screeching halt.
While I do appreciate you getting out of the way, my vote would be for you not to block obvious throughways in the first place.
Is it that hard to take a moment to move to a nearby area intended for interacting? The Company is actually pretty good about providing them. Seems like it would be more comfortable than standing in the flow!
So keep the flow moving; don’t be an obstruction.
Don’t be those people!
It happens on the road, too, and I can tell there are the deliberate obstructionalists and the clueless ones. (It ought to be legal to run the first group off the road and into a muddy ditch.)
Now, it’s a fact that some people are just slower than others; that’s not their fault (unless it’s deliberate and they can keep up but choose not to).
I heard a guy once say he was afraid to look in his rear view mirror in case the situation in front of him changed too rapidly while he glanced away.
That tells me that some people process information more slowly than others.
You can see it sometimes in how rapidly (or not) people get a joke.
A friend once described how she’d look for oncoming traffic, see none, begin to pull out into the street, and then realize cars were suddenly on her tail. Clearly a case of slow data processing.
[I’ve long believed that “high IQ” really is just the ability to process data quickly and remember a lot of it in a useful way. For the record, on paper, I have an extremely high IQ, yet my life is more an exhibit in just how smart I’m not. So IQ definitely ain’t all that.]
It says something (although I’m not sure what) that we casually allow people who literally aren’t fully in control to pilot large mobile killing machines around town.
We do it even knowing that traffic accidents are one of the major causes of accidental injury and death in our society. Very possibly advances in transportation, either “self-driving” cars or effective public transportation (or ride-sharing networks), will change that equation in the future.
On the other hand, we also allow everyone to vote (and raise children!) pretty much regardless of their qualifications for those jobs (oh, if only there was a pass-fail test, but that would interfere with the whole freedom thing we used as the basis of the national identity, so we’re stuck with it).
So, basically, it means that: cars, kids, or country, it’s all too often steered by lots of oblivious people.
Comforting thought, eh?
Keep the traffic moving, my friends!