What Do You Think?


Hold the door!

So I'm walking into Barnes & Noble the other day.  I know what you're thinking, Rob reads?  Be nice.  Of course I do.  Granted, mainly fantasy football magazines but that still counts, right?  Whatever, that's not the point.  I'm walking into Barnes & Noble.  I am about 15 feet away from the door.  Another guy is walking out.  He sees me and holds the door open.  There's no one in between the door and me so he is clearly holding it for me.  But there's no reason for him to hold the door for me when I am that far away.  I am not some beautiful woman he's trying to impress.  I'm not some old person in need of help or someone in a wheel chair.  It’s not raining out and the store's not about to close so there's no obvious reason that I would be in hurry.  But I can't just walk at my normal pace while he holds the door for me because then I’ll look like an asshole.  So I have to jog/run to the door.  I get there and I instinctively say thank you.

But I don't feel thankful.  There's no reason for me to thank him.  He forced me to run when I was in a non-run situation.  I only run in must-run situations and even that's not a definite.  I don't believe in a runner's high.  I believe in a drinker's high.  The only time I ever got a runner’s high was when I took up running and after two straight days of running I made the decision to never run again.  I was euphoric.  So it really pisses me off that this punk kid manipulated me into running.  And yes I think he was a punk.  He wasn't just trying to be nice.  He had a skateboard with him and skateboarders are always punk kids.  I realize that’s a mass generalization and that I sound very old and curmudgeonly by saying it but I’m standing by it.  I believe it was his sole intention to make me run and then get a thank you from me.  What we need is some sort of agreed upon door holding distance etiquette so that we can put an end to this madness.  I am glad you asked.

0-5 Feet Away – Common Courtesy

5-8 Feet Away – Friendly Gesture

8-12 Feet Away – Clearly Trying Too Hard To Impress

12+ Feet Away – Complete and Total Asshole


Everyone got that?  Good.  Now pay it forward.

This brings us to the “don’t hold the door at all” people.  Are they worse than the “hold it when you’re too far away” people?  Tough question.

Sometimes you have a decent excuse not to hold the door.  We’ve all been in that situation where you hold the door for someone but suddenly there’s a rush of people and next thing you know you’re playing doorman for what seems like forever.  You’re desperately trying to find a break in the stampede to end your door holding shift but it never seems to come so you end up slamming the door on some poor old lady.  By the time you get inside the restaurant and find your date that you were trying hard to impress by holding the door she’s forgotten about you and is now at that bar talking to some guy much better looking than you.  Perhaps this was a way too personal and specific answer but you get my point.  You’re coming off a bad door holding experience so you’re a little gun shy.  Completely understandable.  But that’s the exception not the rule.  When someone doesn’t hold the door they are almost always a selfish jerk.  They’re the same guy who cuts you off in traffic and doesn’t give the hand wave or the guy who steals your parking spot.  They are the worst.

It would bring me great joy if “don’t hold the door at all” guy and “hold it when you’re too far away” guy find themselves in a revolving door malfunction disaster that ends with both guys losing an arm.  I’d run to see that. Hold the door for that!

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