Wednesday, April 30, 2014

People Need to Pay a Little More Attention

The other day I was walking down the escalator at a Metro stop. There was a man ahead of me looking at his phone. When he got to the bottom of the escalator, he took a step off of it and stopped. He continued to look at his phone. I assumed he would move out of the way. I was wrong. I had to make a very nimble move around him. If I hadn’t done that, there was the possibility of running into him. I brushed up against him and he finally looked up from his phone with an annoyed look at me. I came very close to saying how about moving out of the way.

This emphasizes once again the inability of people realize exactly where they are and that their actions or lack of actions have consequences. I could have easily run into this guy and my momentum from walking off the escalator could have caused one or both of us to perhaps fall and get hurt.

It also shows the lack of common sense this guy had. It’s all fine and well to be looking at your phone but you need to be cognizant about where you are. In this case the guy should have know once he was off the escalator he needed to get out of the way of the other people coming down.

Another example of not being aware of where you are happened when I was down at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade a few weeks back. There were a group of people (I’m pretty sure a family) were walking down the sidewalk. There spaced in just such a way that they took up just about the entire width of the sidewalk. They took up so much space that people coming in the opposite direction had to form a single file line to get by. This lasted a good block before they found a spot to watch the parade from. I’m going to give them a small benefit of the doubt and say they looked like tourist. But again they seemed completely unaware of the consequences of their action on other people trying to around that day.

Then on the way home from work last night another person looking a their phone and not paying attention to what they were doing. She was walking down the stairs to the platform level of the Metro. A train was just pulling in. She was almost in the exact middle of the stair case slowly walking down the stairs while looking at her phone. I was behind her. The train pulling in was the train I was going to take to get home. Again I had to manuever around her. I almost bumped into someone coming up the stairs. During all of this the woman was completely oblivious as to what was going around her.


Anonymous said...

Sounds typical for downtown. A lack of situational awareness and old-fashioned manners seems to be commonplace. Another example is when people are walking around a corner and cut the corner, almost always running into someone walking in the opposite direction on the other side of the corner. There's not much you can do though, and expressing anger or frustration rarely if ever helps.

Daniel Buchholz said...

Situational awareness seems to be dead. I was leaving the station in Ballston the other day and marveling at how few people were looking at their mobile idiot boxes (love smartphones but everything has a place, maneuvering around urban locations without your head on a swivel is naive to say the least). And don't even get me started on the human herd people, whose groups block off the entire sidewalk and are always blithely unaware of the human log jam they are creating (because they are often slower than the normal people-flow).Sometimes even walking two abreast is serious impediment to the sidewalk (depends on the width of the sidewalk). It all comes back to people not being situationally aware....

Jason in DC said...

Yes, getting angry doesn't help. I usually do a mental sigh and remind myself to make sure I never do that to other people. Sometimes I'm just as clueless as everyone else. But if I am I always try to say sorry to that person.

The thing with smartphones that has me even more puzzled because people do it while crossing the street and not paying attention to traffic. Talk about a great way to end up as a hood ornament.

Thanks guys for commenting.