Monday, September 25, 2006

Monday Rant: Bottlenecks

People. People everywhere. If you've been on a university campus in the past couple of weeks (during the day, not skulking around at midnight), you've probably noticed the massive number of undergrads circulating at certain predictable times of day (eg, class change).

OK, lots of people, not really a rantable subject. But, given the observation "there sure are a lot of people walkin' round here", is the thought "maybe I shouldn't stand still in the narrowest part of the hallway" so difficult?

Seriously, I have seen this behaviour everywhere, not just on university campuses (campi?) - people stop, to chat, to smoke, to avoid the trouble of walking and chewing gum at the same time, in the worst possible positions. Clueless people, holding up traffic, standing on staircase landings, at major corners, in the middle of an intersection, in the path of a large swinging door, adjacent to the only Gould-damned plant in the whole fucking hallway (a leafy ugly green thing in Physics), in doorways, et cetera ad nauseum! FUCKING MOVE! OK, you want to stop to chat with your friend - fine, GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY! Perhaps you could notice the ravening hordes of dead-eyed academiczombies, and step to the side? Perhaps when I push you out of the way, you could move? Stop, yes, right there, no.

This stupidity is not restricted to a particular age class, though coping strategies may be inappropriate in some situates. In junior high school, aged 13-15, I got pretty good at forcing my way through a crowd by just richocheting off of random people on my way down a corridor. While my adult height and weight (and improvements to power:weight ratios acheived via the gym) may make such a strategy more effective today, I doubt I'd be able to get away with it for long. Sadly, I've JUST TODAY encountered choke-point loitering fools ranging in age from ~20 years old up to ~50 years old. You'd think the people - potential venture capitalists, visiting dignitaries, government funding fairies, learned colleagues - standing around with a professor of Chemistry would have noticed this phenomenon, at some point in the past, and would be able to NOT fucking stand around IN FRONT OF THE MEN'S ROOM?!?!?!?

Next time, I'm peeing on their shoes.


Anonymous said...

Yes! Yes! Definitely pee on their shoes.

I could add a brilliant sub-rant I composed during my first year of university entitled "Your Shoes Are Too Big: I Know This Because You Are Slower Than A Tree Sloth And Your Feet Make A Scuff, Scuff, Scuff Sound When You Walk, So Please Get Out Of My Way Before I Knock You Down."

The title is still in production. I also like "Ha Ha, Your Shoes Are Massive And I Am Still 4 Inches Taller, Now Get Out Of My Way Before I Knock You Down, Sucker."

I totally feel your pain. And I know you still walk faster than I. There should be a support group for people like us.

Zeno said...

On my campus, smoking is banned within 30 feet of a doorway. It's a large campus and there's plenty of room, but the challenge of moving away from a classroom building really defeats a lot of our people. Recently I saw a student puffing away, leaning on the wall right at the halfway point between two adjacent doors, ensuring that he was violating two entryways at the same time. That's efficiency!