Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hall Etiquette

I am starting to think that I work with a bunch of people that were raised by wolves. I expect to see Mogly from the Jungle Book walking down the hall any day. We already discussed bathroom etiquette and now I feel the need to discuss hallway etiquette. Today I was trying to quickly walk to the cafeteria to grab a quick lunch. I was going to get it and eat at my desk while I continued to work. I was walking fast because I needed to be quick and get back to fixing a problem. However, the pace cars were out. The hall is very wide. I think that 5 people can probably walk side by side through the hall. However, it is normally two people wide going each way. Not today. These two ladies were walking, at a leisurely pace, spread out as far as they could. The distance between them and between one of them and a wall was not enough to comfortably pass them. It made me think of how this happens on the freeways and the reputation that Utah drivers have. I walked behind them for awhile. I even coughed to let them know that I was there. No luck. These two were deep in discussion. I think one of their daughters is dating a loser and he is not treating her very good, at least that is what I overheard. Soon, someone started coming from the other direction. I thought this was my chance. However, they didn’t move over. The poor guy had to turn sideways to not bump into them. I wish I had a horn. After he passed I said enough and went past them on one side. I even bumped into one of them a little. I am sure they started talking about how rude my generation is. Anyway, I got my lunch and left the cafeteria. I turned the corner back into this same hall and there they were again. I think they may have done it on purpose because I passed them earlier. Well, this time no coughing and no waiting. I immediately passed them. I may have gotten some of my salad dressing on one of them. It was a total accident, sort of. Anyway, I decided that I must publish my rules of the hallway.

1. Don’t make eye contact until you are 3 paces or less away from the person coming the opposite direction. This helps to avoid any long uncomfortable stares.

2. Respond in kind. If you get a hello, respond with a hello. If you get a wave then return a wave. However, a head bob does not match a spoken word. Head bobs are only acceptable if you get a head bob.

3. Don’t block the hallway! The rules of the highway apply to the hallway. Maybe we should have a hallway patrol to write out tickets for hallway blocking and accidents.

4. The hallway is not an appropriate place to have a private/personal conversation. This includes face to face conversations and cell phone conversations. I am sorry that this lady’s daughter is dating a loser, but man I have enough of my own worries. I don’t need to add yours to my plate.

5. Always carry something (The George Constanza Rule). That way no one knows if you are working or slacking. Personally, I carry a lot of crap out to my car everynight. I leave it in my car overnight and bring it back in first thing the next morning. People think I am a totally dedicated employee.


Bonnie said...

Brandon, I feel a book coming on! Can you do elevators next??

Brandon said...

I don't ride on elevators often, but I may be able to come up with some. I need to go to the mall and ride them for a couple of days.

Zina said...

I seem to recall a post that Laura had about kids on elevators (I remember it because it was so familiar-sounding -- the contest over who gets to push the buttons, the irresistible nature of the red emergency call button, etc.)

Utah drivers in Utah hallways -- who knew? Your story was so vivid, it made me wish you really had had a horn on hand.

Laura said...

I love all your rules! That often happens at church---the uncomfortable hallway approach with the semi-stranger. What to do. Smile and say hi? Look away? Avert the eyes? Depends on the day I guess.

CaJoh said...

I always say: "when embarrassed… greet". I tend to find that if you look at someone that you don't know, they will say something "hey, how's it goin'" or something. Perhaps that's why people stare at their feet when they walk along.

Heatherlyn said...

OK, now I am totally wondering what you do for a job? Funny post.