You’re strolling around the mall. You want to get to the second floor. You see stairs and prepare to walk up them. But wait! The stairs are moving. Is it magic? You stop and stare at the steps; prepare to grip the moving handrail; get ready…. and then…. gingerly, carefully, place one foot in the middle of one of the steps; stumble…. get the other foot in place just in the nick of time. And… WheeeEEeee…up you go.
Slowly, gently you glide higher and higher and higher. You stand perfectly still so you don’t fall off and look around in awe and wonder. “Look at me!” you think to yourself, bubbling up with unexpressed joy. “I’m up high!!” Wheeeeee!! What fun. So much fun. So very, very much fun. And for free. You could stand here all day!
Except that there are normal people behind you who are not as enthralled with a stairway as you are and might have places to go. Go ahead and enjoy your happy little thrill ride, but please, for god’s sake, stand over on the right so that people who use the escalator as it was originally intended to be used, can get by. (e.g.: “escalate” — to increase; as in speed of getting somewhere).
It’ll enhance your escalator-riding adventure, too, because you’ll see me swoop by like Wonder Woman, faster than any human could possibly travel. Because I’m using my legs as well as the mechanical wonder of the escalator to get from point A to point B in a more efficient manner.
Citizens of any city with a subway system learn escalator etiquette very quickly because commuters will shove you out of the way if you’re blocking the left side of the escalator. People have been injured and even killed for violating the unwritten “stand on the right” law.
Same deal with those moving sidewalks at airports. They’re designed to move people around more quickly, not more slowly. And yet, people hop on and stare at the scenery pass by around them; and even glance impatiently at their watches as the moving sidewalk creeps ever so leisurely toward their destination.
And yes, I’ve probably mentioned this topic before, but it’s still making me crazy so I needed to vent. Thank you.