There are some things about people I swear I will never understand…
I think by now it’s crystal clear that one of my pet peeves is people who have no sense of spatial awareness. I have absolutely zero time for people who inconvenience others and show no consideration for them by hogging room; invading their space and blocking access to entrances and exits thus wasting everyone’s time. It’s something so basic that it annoys the hell out of me when I see it because it indicates a sense of entitlement and arrogance.
I absolutely love my job as an English teacher and consider myself very fortunate to get up every morning to go to a job I enjoy; I get to work alongside great colleagues and meet some fabulous people from all over the world. But one thing that really p***es me off is when groups of students congregate in some of the most inappropriate places making it difficult for the rest of us to get by. I mean did they really think they had the whole school to themselves?
Take yesterday for example. I had just finished one class and was on my way back to the staff room when I realised that I was caught up in very slow moving traffic on the stairs. That’s nothing unusual during the summer months when we have a massive influx of students and you will not be going anywhere in a hurry. However, we were not exactly heaving with students so I left my place in the orderly single file that people had formed to go down the stairs to see what was causing the hold-up.
Would you believe it? Some wally had decided to stop right there on the staircase… to read and reply to a text! Well that’s all right then. Never mind all the students who have to make it on time to their next class. Or the teachers who only have ten minutes to sort out paperwork; re-check schedules; handover files to colleagues; have a smoke; grab a coffee or use the bathroom and make it to class on time with no excuses. But I can see how checking your messages is an emergency that warrants causing movement on the stairs to come to a standstill though I’m willing to bet that even President Obama responds to messages concerning global catastrophe with less urgency.
And talking of using the bathroom, you wouldn’t believe how many students don’t see anything wrong with standing right behind the closed door of the ladies toilets. It’s so stupid not to mention dangerous as they risk being walloped in the head – which is exactly what I have done a few times before apologizing profusely (once I’ve gotten over the shock of almost taking someone’s head off) while thinking, “just how dumb are you?” I understand that the queue for the ladies is sometimes so long that it goes halfway down the hallway but the smart thing to do would be to pull the door open and stand in front of it, enabling users to have a clear view of where everyone is and eliminating the risk of accidents.
A colleague even told me about a student he saw getting hit by a door as she stood right behind it. Instead of moving, she remained there – and got hit again!
“Honestly,” he exclaimed, “I couldn’t believe her stupidity. And why do students feel the need to congregate in doorways when there are so many other places where they stand and chat?”
Why indeed. but it seems that staircases, narrow hallways, doorways, in fact any where that can create an obstruction for people who need to pass seem to be favourite places for students to hang out and gossip. I have no idea why this seems to be a prime location for them – it just is.
There have even been complaints from the general public about students who crowd the main entrance of the school and spill out onto the streets making it difficult for people to get through. In fact there were so many complaints that the school had to put up a sign asking students not to gather in front of the school en masse. Surely that’s just common sense? But sadly as most people know, common sense is steadily in decline.
So next time Teacher hits you on the head when she opens the door, remember it was your own stupid fault!
Even though I’m known for being quite mild mannered, there are certain things in life that make my blood boil. One of them are the selfish passengers on buses and trains who feel that their bags – and in some cases coats, scarves, and feet – need a well deserved sit down at the expense of other commuters.
It’s even worse on buses where I find people tend to sit on the outer seats, which already indicates that they do not want anyone sitting beside them. If they have personal belongings, this will then be put on the seat next to the window. I understand that sometimes people prefer to sit on the outer seats because it’s easier to get up and leave when they arrive at their stop. But the fact that they’ve seen all these people standing and are still not indicating that there is a free seat beside them only tells me that they wish to have two seats all to themselves, which is just plain mean and selfish. I’ve even seen elderly people standing while someone with absolutely no manners occupies two seats.
How many times have I seen people place a dinky little handbag or gift bag on a seat as though the bag is so heavy that they cannot possibly sit with it on their lap or that it’s so huge that they cannot rest it on the floor? Worse are the ones with scrambled eggs for brains who on a packed bus or train will spot an available seat and then put their bag on it while they stand! Don’t they realise they’d be saving a little more space if they just sat down – or allowed someone else to sit down? I sometimes feel like asking if their bag has it’s own Oyster card.
It’s just another indication of just how far society has regressed. We live in what is very much a ‘me, me, me’ society. People only seem to think about themselves and what is convenient or suitable for them. Consideration, courtesy and concern for other people went out of the window a long time ago. It’s sad but true. Confronting such people about their selfish behaviour isn’t an option either as this just leads to a very public and very heated exchange which often ends up on YouTube as no one likes to admit that they’re at fault – even if everyone else can see that they are.
I’ll be getting on the bus today… and no doubt there’ll be at least one person who will make me see red. And I don’t mean the bus!