Serious Question: Is It REALLY Ever Okay To Stop And Stand On A Moving Escalator Full Of People?

December 18, 2012  |  

While going through through my usual routine to get to work today, I got off at my designated train station and mentally prepared myself for the day. To get said day started on the right foot, I always hope for three things: That the train won’t be late, that if lucky, I’ll get to sit down and rest my legs for a little bit on the train, and that when I get off and get on the escalator, the person behind me WON’T stand right up on me, disregarding my personal space. Today I had the luck of having all this occur, and as I rode the escalator up, once again, I took a deep breath and prepared myself for all that would come with my work day–the good, the bad, and the foolery. But while thinking, I noticed on the other side of the narrow escalator I was going up on, the escalator going down had some action going on. Presumably trying to make it to the train on time before it pulled off, a man moved down the stairs only to be stopped by two women who had decided that instead of walking down the escalator, they wanted to stop and enjoy the ride. On most large escalators, people who are feeling like the escalator is the place to chill move to one side while people trying to get to where they need to be move to the other side and proceed on their merry way. But in this particular station (and there are others like it), we were in a pretty confined space, and you can’t move up or down at a faster pace unless those in front of you are willing to do so and lead the way.

Feeling extremely held back, this fella was one of the first I had ever seen open up his mouth and say something about the break these women were taking on the escalator, and I can’t say that it ended well. Face turned up, the man said, “Uh, excuse me, could you move down the stairs?” Irritated by the question and probably the lack of a “please” in that request, the woman in front of him turned around and in a similar tone said “NO!” From there, they started to bicker, and as my upward bound escalator pulled me up and their downward one dragged them away from my view, yelling back and forth at one another, I was only left to ponder how their argument finally ended.

Walking to my job, I wondered how many people really think stopping on crowded escalators at most times of the day is a good idea. I’ve had friends who have done it and left me standing behind them trying to look sorry in front of the crowd of mean-mugging people behind me. And I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to rush down an escalator myself to get to what sounds like a waiting train only to have the people in front of me stand back and kick it on a crowded escalator. “Really? REALLY?” I often think to myself, but I’m not as bold as homeboy was, so I often just suck it up and hope the next train won’t take too long. However, it’s annoying–to me at least. While I’m not down for forcing people to do what they don’t want to, I’m definitely not a fan of folks blocking other people from getting and going where they want and need to be. If it’s late and there are a sparse number of people moving along on the escalator, then I can understand stopping and standing, but when we’re talking about the morning rush or the after-work chaos, nobody has time for that. It’s the same thing as stopping on a flight of crowded stairs, or letting your child walk from step to step up stairs when they can barely keep up with you, all while others are trying to move around you. There’s a time and place for everything, and slow playing during peak times and looking at other people crazy because they’re trying to keep from wasting time isn’t cool. They call it a rat race for a reason folks…

But what do you think? Are you guilty of doing this?

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