Most Lazy-Assed Person in Ottawa

door opener

You know those automatic door openers next to mall doors and the doors of some shops? Sometimes they’re just red buttons, sometimes they’re big metal buttons with a stick figure in a wheelchair in the middle of them, like the one pictured above.

It’s always been my impression, wrongly or rightly,  that these automatic door devices are for people in wheelchairs or maybe people with baby buggies or shopping carts, right? And maybe little kids because they like to push the button and watch the door magically open.

But able-bodied people just strolling by? Put it down to my teutonic sense of following rules, but I don’t think these able-bodied, unencumbered people ought to be pushing the automatic door button. If for no other reason than the more the button is pushed, the more likely it is to become inoperable, causing great inconvenience to people who really need it.

So yesterday I’m at the library ready to leave when the woman ahead of me (perfectly mobile — I saw her walk and use her limbs — one book in hand – no cart, no stroller) pushes the automatic door button.

And then she stands in the doorway and waits for the door to slowly open all the way. Just stands there.

Yes, indeedy. Doesn’t help by pushing the door a bit like most people would. No. just stands there, big ass quivering expectantly.

I’m hungry and kind in a hurry to get home, and the door opens really slowly,  so now my inner rude person comes out and I involuntarily, but quite audibly say, “You’ve got to be kidding me, lady! The door has hinges and so do your arms!!!”

She bristles and stiffens, but pretends not to hear and makes a point of planting her feet even more firmly in the doorway.

People behind me giggle.

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42 responses to “Most Lazy-Assed Person in Ottawa

  1. I’m glad you didn’t castigate the kiddies for wanting to see the door open magically. Rae likes to do that now and then at the library. Other than that, I agree with you, if you have working arms and legs, you should use them. (Strollers excepted, of course.)

  2. I’m so glad you said something! You’re a sassy lady :). This is one of my pet peeves too…it’s in the same category as people who take the elevator at the mall even though there is a big sign on it that says it’s for the elderly, handicapped, and strollers. I’m afraid I have been quite rude to people who are too lazy to walk the 100 feet farther to take the escalator. GACK.

  3. Pet peeve here too. How hard is it to push the damn door? What does she do at home? stand in front of her door waiting for it to open?

    Big ass quivering expectantly… phrases like that are just one more reason why I love you.

  4. i always use these buttons (i’m able bodied)…i push them my knucke or elbow. i can’t help but think of all the germs on the door handles.
    i’m not lazy, just paranoid. i’m training my kids to be the same way.

  5. “…big ass quivering expectantly.” Aaah, you’re a poet, XUP.

    I let my inner rude girl come out to play often, much to my long-suffering patient and kind husband’s dismay.

  6. I have wondered about this. I decided that able-bodied people who use these buttons aren’t being lazy but rather trying to avoid germs since I’ve noticed they don’t tend to slap the button with their whole hand (like kids enjoy doing) but with the knuckle like meanie does or with an elbow. Regardless, I did enjoy the “big ass quivering expectantly”!

    I admit I find it a bit odd (since I don’t have any germ fears), but it doesn’t really bother me. What really bothers me — like Lynn — is having to wait for an elevator with my stroller while able-bodied folks take up the limited space.

  7. I know what you mean on the one hand. I saw a 17 year old girl practically skipping back to her car, parked in the handicapped spot. Since my husband has been disabled for 20 years and now my mother has a tag, I wanted to smack the girl. i have a car with handicapped plates and a tag at times and I do not use them, even sometimes when they are with (no, I don’t make them walk, I drop them off and then go park).

    Anyway, on the other hand, my husband has COPD and is very obviously now looking handicapped. He is 57 going on 90 and looks 90. The first many years of the disease though, he looked just fine but could not walk 20 feet without gasping. He took to using a cane, with his buggy, so that people would know he had a problem. good side affect was that he found out the cane helped.

    And, a year before my heart surgery, I looked just fine but literally could not walk five feet to the door to let the dog out.

    my moral is, you just never know!

    AND, finally, “…big ass quivering expectantly.” I didn’t know you wrote steamy romance novels, XUP.

  8. LOL!

    Here’s another one: people who zoom around in those motorized scooters who clearly do not need one. I saw a fairly fit looking lady at the local plaza on the weekend (where there seem to be hundreds of these things zipping around) who stood up on the seat of her scooter, on tip-toes, to get a bottle of vodka off a high shelf. I kid you not.

    And this is not an isolated incident… once saw a guy who was “walking” his dog on his scooter… Fido got free somehow and buddy hops of the contraption and chases the mutt down…

    Damned menaces to society, they are!

  9. Possible, ma’am, that she may have had one of those too-common keyboard traumas like repetitive strain, or carpal tunnel injury.

    Many people so disabled can present as normal, but use every trick they can, to keep chronic pain bearable and to preserve whatever they’ve got left of ruined muscles.

    They’re kinda like people with, say, heart conditions, severe asthma, or back trauma, who park in the disabled spots at the mall, but look perky enough to collect disapproving stares on the short jaunt to the door.

    Street corner diagnosticians don’t always misjudge incidents like these – selfish jerks abound – but so do stealth disabilities.

    I’m just sayin’….

  10. This also reminds me of the people who stop in the parking lot up front close to the building, waiting for someone to go out to their car so they can get a spot close to the building so they don’t have to walk very far.

    We generally park further out than we have to so that we’ll get a little more exercise.

  11. Thank you for the reminder I need to revisit that lesson with my children that it is not o.k. to push the buttons and watch the door magically open. My youngest is so quick on the draw with that we need to discuss this at home, where the lure of the red button doesn’t mess with the important reasons for NOT using it. No wonder many of these devices are broken – too much use from lazy people or mothers that can’t control their children. lol 🙂

  12. Errrr, a building I used to work in had those buttons and we were instructed to always use them (gimpy or not) b/c opening the door manually would break the automatic door mechanism.

  13. Good for you, speaking up! I see that a lot at the malls around here (which i avoid like the plague unless the kids need new shoes). At least 2 other regular ‘push/pull it open yourself’ doors are usually available alongside the automatic door. With my 10-feet-in-length monster stroller, I have to use the automatic door. But, always, always, always, there will be as you say some big ass quivering expectantly (awesome) in my way. I shake my head and mumble to myself, “Seriously?” Next time, I’ll think of you and mumble a bit louder.

  14. And how exactly does it harm you if other people use it too? In the sense that how does it make a straight couple’s marriage less valuable if gay people are allowed to marry, too.

    Most people who use escalators don’t *need* to–they can take the stairs–but don’t.

    Tang was developed for astronauts. Does it bother you when non-astronauts drink it, too?

    I use them when it’s convenient to do so, and if they’re broken, I report it. If anything, more people using them is helpful to people who depend on them.

    By using the automatic door opener, it’s still open for the person behind me, so I don’t have to stand in the doorway to hold it for them.

    Stupid people will find a way to get in your way and slow you down, no matter what you do.

    – RG>

  15. Alison – I know, mine used to too

    Violetsky – it wasn’t even really that big, but it was quivering.

    Lynn – I probably shouldn’t have said anything. As a lot of people have pointed out, there could have been a good reason for her using it. I was already exasperated with her because she had kept us in line forever while she asked a lot of really bizarre questions to the library guy

    Jazz – I would have been happy to open the door for her if she couldn’t, instead of us all standing there while the door slowly creaks ajar.

    Loth – And standing on escalators instead of walking

    Meanie – can you be a germaphobe AND use the library? Can you imagine where all those books have been?

    Susan – I do my best to sqealsh it most of the time.

    Julie – Again, there are a lot more germs in that library book than on the door handle

    Sheryl – yes, you’re right – and others have pointed this out too. I did think later that perhaps she might have had some hidden issue

    Trashee – jobthingy has regular rants about people using motorized wheelchairs who shouldn’t be. I guess some of her neighbours just kept the chair after the grandma died and they just use it to get around now.

    Coyote – You are quite right, of course.I was going by what I saw of her level of activity in and around the library and didn’t think beyond that.

    Mike – I do always figure the people that park way up front have a good reason. It’s so much safer and easier to get out of the lot when you’re back a bit

    Elaine – Really? I’ve always been told the opposite. Hmmm

    OTC – maybe not so good for me. I suppose she could have had a good reason for using that button. Nice to see you out and about again,

    Grouchy – Yes, dammit, I object to non-astronauts drinking Tang!! My only problem aside from impatience here is that I was always told that the things are fragile enough without every tom dick and harry banging away at them

    Hallie = mea culpa

    Friar – Lighten up? Me? Pot. Kettle.

  16. I was just going to say “You go girl!” And then I read the comments and thought of the times I had a really sore knee or a broken toe and took the mall elevator or the time I had bursitis in my shoulder (the hinge of my arm) and would have loved a button push door. While it’s true we can have unseen injuries or maladies, it’s also true that some people are just lazy buttholes. So maybe she just had a boob job (or mastectomy) and her chest and arm muscles were too sore or maybe she was just a boob. I guess there’s really no way to know.

  17. I always use the elevator at work, instead of the stairs.

    But out of principle.

    I refuse to that *$% place any more of my effort and energy, than I absolutely have to.

    I’ll do my exercise when I get home.

  18. You go XUP… this made me laugh.

    At work, we have locked doors everywhere and you need to use your pass. To get out you have to hit the wheelchair button for the door to unlock. I had a conversation with a coworker about how it just feels wrong to do this…

  19. I did think of one reason why she might not have opened the doors (I try way too hard sometimes). After I had a double masectomy, I could not open heavy office doors for months.

    I also try hard not to channel my mother. I was a law clerk for some time and, for some long forgotten reason, took my mother into court with me, where a man was being sentenced for like mugging a little old lady and stealing her pension check, or something equally henious.

    Mom spent the rest of the afternoon defending him and saying how he probably had a bad childhood or they only convicted him because he had acne really bad.

    You may all roll your eyes now.

  20. Geewits – I know. I spoke in haste. But I did see her wandering around the library reaching for stuff, and carrying things and she didn’t look a bit awkward about it. But I have learned a lesson here anyway. I will never assume laziness again in situations like this.

    RR – I think after this blog post, and the comments, I’m just going to stop thinking about all of this altogether. Mostly it’s none of my business and if I have to wait a bit when someone wants to use the automatic door, then I’ll wait.

    Woodsy – Seriously, I’ve learned something valuable here from all the comments and for the most part I never really cared much whether people wanted to push the button or take the elevator or whatever. It was really more about this one particular woman who’d been kind of annoying anyway and who’d been trotting around using her arms perfectly well until then. And because we all had to stand there and wait while the door opened, ever so slowly. All the way. I’ve never seen anyone do that before.

    Friar – Wow! That’ll teach ‘em.

    Aggie – Ya, but it’s only because everyone now thinks I’m a heartless, unfeeling, self-centered cow.

    Nat – That’s an odd system. These government type offices have the strangest and most diverse systems and rules for getting in and out of their buildings.

    Sheryl – You and everyone else here have already come up with tons of good reasons why this woman didn’t want to open the door the regular way. Your mom sounds like she just likes being contrary. Have you ever tried reverse psychology on her to get her to do what you want her to do? Because it sounds like if you said “black”, she’d say “white” just out of principle.

  21. Don’t be too hard on yourself, you “heartless, self-centred cow”. While it is true there may hve been countless reasons for her not wanting, or being able, to push the door open (I’ve been there myself, with back pain and tendinitis where certain movements are fine but others excruciating). But if it were me, and there were other people around, I’d probably step aside, rummage around in my bag for keys or something until they had opened the door then sneak through before it closed, or step aside and let THEM push the door, or anything but stand smack in the middle blocking everybody’s way. But that’s not lazy, it is simply rude.

  22. Darling, you rack up the comments because you get us thinking… and sharing our thoughts and experiences. NOT because everyone thinks you’re a heartless, unfeeling, self-centered cow. WE LOVE YOU!

    And the reality of it is, some people do miss-use services meant for those with disabilities.

  23. Even if she did have some issue about opening the door herself, she should have stepped to the side in case anyone wanted to walk through faster. It seems to me that someone who really had a problem would welcome someone else going ahead and getting the door open for them more quickly.

  24. Xup, to duplicate half the comments, while she could have been disabled, she probably, with her quivering fat back side, was just being lazy. And, we’ve all been there. I will probably be arrested some day for chasing after a car that was parked in the handicapped lane and demanding to see their medical records.

    The nice thing about your blog, is it stirs people to think. Mine, however, only draws in people who have a crush on Viggo Mortensen, like photography, or are looking for David VanVleck.

    Oh, and you, thank you Xup for being my faithful reader. I shall have to have a line in my book dedicated to you for making me think and smile.

  25. Violesky – Thanks darlin’. And thanks for pointing out that YES, it would have been so much more sensible for her to stand aside so that one of us could open the door for her so we all wouldn’t have had to stand there and wait interminably while the stupid automatic door ever-so-slowly creaked open.

    Woodsy – Thank YOU, too. I do like it when there is some discussion and disagreement in the comments. It’s just boring when everyone agrees with everyone all the time, right?

    LesterBee – YES! I didn’t even think of that until Violetsky mentioned it above. There was just something very rude and annoying about that woman and the entire situation and I think you’ve nailed it. Thanks.

    Sheryl – Gosh, thanks. A line in a book is almost as good as having written a book…except a lot less work…and no royalties. Ha ha. How could I NOT read your blog? There is always something funny, terrifying, horrifying, amusing, interesting or sad there.

    Charlene – Bad Charlene…get away from that door this instant young lady…do you hear me? Come here. That is NOT a toy.

  26. Oh, boy. Those big doors are expensive to buy & install and are expensive to maintain. I don’t let the kids push them because they aren’t for my kids’ entertainment; they’re there for someone who needs them.

    In my old age (ahem, 30) I’m getting more vocal. We saw a dad running after a 3-year-old and screaming “gotdammit, you get back here, you little….” the rest of his family was streaming by and I said loudly, “wow. Classy.” They looked embarrassed. Good.

    I’m so glad you commented. Maybe she didn’t move right then, out of stubbornness, but I would put money on the table that she will be too embarrassed to do it again.

  27. s’alright. everybody has bad days.

    see what i mean about thoughts now, though? i get that all the time, even when everything is fine, as everything normally is. unnecessary anger (or boredom, or ruminating, or stewing or whatever) creates this haze between what is and what i experience of it. it’s like constantly peering through fog. it feels cluttered and irritating, whereas when i’m really in the moment i’m in, none of that exists.

    something about clarity … i can’t get there often, but it’s so refreshing.

    it puts me in mind of this talk by jill bolte-taylor about her stroke, where her whole experience of the world changed. it’s really profound, the way life changes when you can get the thoughts to dry up. i don’t describe these things well, it’s probably why it doesn’t seem important.

  28. Wendy – Does your electronic door knowledge come from personal experience? If so, it would be great if you could clear up one issue we’ve been discussing here — whether it’s better for the mechanism to have the button used only when absolutely necessary or if you should always use the button so as not to wreck the mechanism by pushing the door (as one commenter claimed).

    Hallie – I know it’s important to very many people. Meditation of some sort/clarity/being in the moment is the cornerstone of many spiritual practices, so I reckon there’s a good reason for it. For me, all the reasons you state for wanting to experience that state of mind make me NOT want to experience that state of mind. I’ve been to meditation workshops and they freak me out. I have this (probably) irrational fear that if I empty my mind of conscious thought all sorts of horrible things will invade my mind. I think this because every time I’ve been to these workshops and/or tried to meditate, instead of peace and clarity I get an overwhelming sense of evil. I know…. bizarre

  29. What bugs me about those unnecessary uses of the door buttons is that for most of those automatic doors, it would be faster for the person to just OPEN THE DAMN DOOR AND WALK THROUGH IT.

    Nothing worse than having to wait for the door mechanism to do its job, while you could have already been halfway down the corridor.

    Lazy idiots in the Met Life building on Queen Street: yeah, I’m talkin’ about you.

  30. I’m one of those people who will walk past the automatic doors at a store (no button required) to open the regular doors by hand on the philosophical basis that the less we use our muscles, the less efficiently they function. I don’t care so much if other people use the electronic door, but I don’t want to make it easier for myself to sink into sloth. Same way I tend to park farther out from an entrance. I get more exercise that way. If I am hauling the stroller, I might strategize a little differently!

    To me the greater sin is being grossly inconsiderate to other people. The presence of small inconsiderations is just life. Then there are the people who mistake small inconsiderations as grave insult… *sigh* Sounds like this woman was in the minor category but wracking up some seriously annoying points.

  31. The above comment reminds me: if you are going into/out of a building with rotating doors, USE THEM.

    To explain why through example, Place Bell on Elgin is a tall building, and the air pressure at the top of the building has to be increased from the natural air pressure at that altitude. As a result, the air pressure on the ground floor inside is higher than what it is outside. If you open the standard doors, it allows lots and lots of air to escape (creating a gust of air conditioning for cyclists passing by on Elgin); the rotating doors limit the amount of air that escapes, and maintains the pressure differential while people enter and leave.

    – RG>

  32. I have to add to the chorus. Often, when I am faced with the only door to enter or exit a business, and it has an automatic door opener, I press the button. I often feel that I am overly stressing myself to open these doors that are set up with the automatic opener. They seem to resist my attempts to open the door too much.

    However, if there is a nearby alternate door without the electric opener, I will definitely choose it, and open the door myself.

  33. I am glad that you are posting for the lazy people who really abused the privileges given to the disabled person. When shall they realized what they’re doing… I guess able people continue doing it are praying that they will become a disabled. Grrrrrhh.