Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Back To Bitching

Okay enough with the mushy stuff; that is not what you come to this blog for so lets get back to the bitching.  Today’s flood victim is the guy who was walking across the mall parking lot this morning.

Now I wasn’t in a particular hurry so I wasn’t already aggravated or anything, but as I was trying to pull around from one row to the next a gentleman was crossing the parking lot.  His chosen path intersected mine, or it could have anyway, were he to cross purposefully.  But instead he sauntered diagonally from his starting point to what I can only assume eventually brought him to his designation.  I say only assume because I could not have possibly stuck around long enough for him to make this great crossing.  I think Moses crossed the desert in less time than it took this man to cross the parking lot.
Personally, when I noticed a car coming, I would have stuck close to the building and walked the two sidewalks to get to where it appeared he was going.  He chose to walk literally right in front of me. Another option would have been for him to just stop for a moment and let me by, after all, a car moves much faster than a person on foot, but apparently he couldn’t wait.  No as I made my way down the end of one row, he walked right in front of me so that I had to follow him at walking speed to the end of the row and there where I could have turned left and he could have moved a little to the right, he chose not to and remained right in front of me.
Now maybe it is too much to ask that other pedestrians show the courtesy I do by actually speeding up their gait when they are in the pathway of a moving car. I’m not asking for a jog (although I have been known to do that to be polite) but is it really to much to ask that you don’t saunter as if you are out on a leisurely walk admiring the flora as you go?
Mind you, this was not an older man, or a disabled man, or even an obese man, this was a middle-aged man who maybe had a little extra weight around the middle, someone quite capable of walking quickly or even normally, but who chose to saunter.  I know I have repeated that word a few times already, but really there is no other word quite as accurate.  Walking is too quick a description for what he did, stroll as well, even mosey implies more speed than he exhibited.  Perhaps amble, maybe he meandered, but saunter is the right word because it describes not only his lack of speed, but also, I think, his lack of consideration.  He was sauntering, taking his time, ignoring that he was not alone on the “road”.  This man was going to take the most direct path to his destination and if it meant that a car had to crawl at a speed that doesn’t even register on the speedometer for a full three minutes (and I am not exaggerating), then too bad.
I know, three minutes out of my life and I wasn’t even in a particular hurry, but that isn’t the point.  The point is that this man was knowingly inconsiderate and I just don’t get it.  Would it really have been too much for him to step aside, or wait a few seconds (because yes, if I had been able to drive at the normal parking lot speed limit I would have rounded the corner in les than 30 seconds. Time yourself sometime and then just for fun make it take three minutes and see how excruciating it is) or God forbid, move a little more quickly and possibly burn a few extra calories. It’s not as if by inconveniencing me he got there faster, I think it actually took him longer than it would have if I weren’t there.
In my pregnant days when I was relegated to the couch more often than I liked, I would watch a lot of Dr. Phil, and one thing I always remember him asking people exhibiting negative behavior was “What is the payoff? What do you GET out of that behavior?” (see Dr, Phil's ten life laws) And really that is where my confusion comes from.  What do these rude, and entitled people get out of it?  I mean in these little instances like crossing slowly in front of my car instead of walking normally.  What possible payoff was in it for this guy? If you think you know, please tell me.
In the end, I waited until his path gave me enough space to pull around him into the next row, then I sped up as much as I safely could to let him know he was in my way.  Surprisingly, with a one-ton vehicle almost grazing him going relatively quickly for the venue, the man didn’t so much as flinch, or look over his shoulder. Maybe he was texting someone, but that is a rant for another day.


  1. I know what he got out of his behavior - power. The power to control when and if you'd be able to move forward. Some people are so powerless over their own fate, or so they feel, that they feel the need to exhibit passive-agressive control over other people like this.

  2. Either it was a power trip for him, or he really just *was* that oblivious. But maybe I'm giving him too much benefit of a doubt. :o)

  3. I agree with Fiorella and Katie - power. And I agree with you - it's sad.

  4. People like that drive me crazy!