Thursday, February 02, 2006

I couldn't describe it succinctly enough for The List

Okay, I don't know if I've blogged about this before, but I just want to say something about people displaying well-intentioned, but unnecessary, courtesy. I am speaking specifically of people who stop their cars where there is no stop sign in order to let me walk across the street in front of them.

Look, I can understand the reason why you are stopping. You feel "sympathetic" for me, because you think that I am in a huge hurry to get somewhere and you are keeping that from happening by causing me to wait. Well, let me tell you something: By slowing down to stop, you are actually making me wait longer. Look in your mirror—there's nobody behind you! All I need you to do is to drive past me at normal speed, and my path will be clear to cross!

But no. You are taking the extra time to slow down to a dead stop, forcing me to hesitantly gauge whether you are letting me cross or are slowing for another reason. I don't trust you yet, not until I meet your eye. It's just like when I'm in my car, at a stop sign, and waiting for cross traffic to pass or turn before I accelerate: sure, I see his right-turn signal, but I still won't move until I see that he is committed to the turn—then I will know it's safe to go.

A similar situation is when I am driving on a two-lane street, signaling to turn left, but stopped until the opposing traffic passes. Inevitably, the last car in that line is the one to unnecessarily stop for me. Hey, driver! You are not being my hero. You are not coming to my rescue. Just pass by, and my way will be clear.

2 Talked Back:

At February 2, 2006 at 10:13:00 AM CST, Blogger Meagan said...

Oh I so know what you mean. I usually find myself glaring at such misplace courtesy and then getting annoyed at myself for being annoyed at them.


At February 2, 2006 at 1:06:00 PM CST, Blogger Mourningdove's Serendipity said...

Right! I feel the same way about people who are going through the same door as me...I will be 10 or 15 feet behind them, and they feel they have to stop and open the door for me... this makes me have to "run" to the door because I feel like I am holding them up. They don't realize it is more of an inconvenience for me! Their intent is to be polite, but it's a pain.


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