Friday, January 7, 2011

Commuter Illiterate: See you later, escalator.

Many times have I stood on an escalator and wanted to shout out loud, "What is this, an amusement ride?" Some people seem to think so.  Well, I'm sorry but that is not how we view this device around these parts.

New Yorkers are busy people.  "When in Rome," as they say, "you do as the Romans do."  In New York and its surrounding areas, you do not stand on the escalator.  Not when there is a swarm of commuters behind you.  Not if you are an able-bodied person.  Not if I just saw you run towards the escalator and shove yourself in front of everybody.  Generally, we'll tolerate it if you're obviously elderly or physically challenged, but we would like to remind you that they do have elevators at the station.

It seems silly, I know.  The escalator is already moving.  Why expend energy when the machine already does the work for you?  How much time can you really save by walking on an escalator?  Well, basically, the faster we get through there, the farther away we can be from people like you who need to ask those kinds of questions.

Now if you happen to come upon a moving stairway wide enough to accommodate two lines of people, notice that those who chose to stand, do so on the right side.  They wisely keep the left side clear for those who prefer to keep moving.  If you happen to be one of these people standing on the left side, remember the old saying, "Lead, follow or get out of the way".

When you finally get to the top or bottom of the escalator, please do not stop.  You may not know where you're going, or you may simply want to take a breath since the narrow confines of the moving stairway can be claustrophobic, whatever the reason may be, please move along.  You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.  There happens to be a mass of commuters being herded towards you by the conveyor from which you have just alighted.  They have no choice but to head towards the space you are currently occupying.  Please choose to wisely step aside if you feel disoriented.

If you can't follow these simple suggestions, you may have to stay home during rush hour or move to a different city.  Otherwise, you'll have to endure loud sighs and eye rolls as you block our path to or from work.  Even worse, we may even blog about you.  So there.

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