Move, or get out of the way.

Situational awareness is one of those things that’s universally recognized as a good quality, but it still seems to be at a premium. This is most apparent when you come across those who stay in the way when you’re coming, without realizing that you’re trying to get somewhere.

This happens in a variety of situations, and it’s very likely to have happened to you recently, so you probably know what I’m getting at. What I want to know is, what is it about pinch points and high-traffic areas that make stupid people want to gather together in them, talking about things they couldn’t put off discussing until having migrated to a less inconvenient spot?

At an office building I worked at, there were actually signs posted telling people not to gather at certain high-traffic areas, so I’m not the only one who sees that there’s a problem with this. But there’s not as big an outcry over it as I like, because Impulsive Socialization Attacks (ISA) are a huge risk to public productivity, and I want to see this problem addressed, preferably with proposed solutions.

Then there are those who walk or drive really slow. If you’re stuck behind someone who slowly plods along and you can’t somehow walk around them, you know how annoying this can be.

Oh yeah, there’s also the people who arbitrarily stop in inconvenient places such as the end of aisles in grocery stores because they think that’s a great place to check their phones, or those who stop right as they get off escalators so they can look around, as though they didn’t already plot out their course or had no idea that people could be right behind them, wanting to get off the escalator, too.

If you frequently blank out to stare into space or feel an impulse to socialize (an ISA), you have a responsibility to make sure you stay out of the way, so you’re not inconveniencing the rest of us when you get into an ISA. Be responsible with your ISAs.

As far as solutions to this problem, I suppose you could just ask someone to move, because you’re trying to get somewhere. However, such trivial social inconveniences can, over time, have a cumulative effect on one’s patience which can result in outbursts, sad attempts to reenact pro wrestling maneuvers, and even pusillanimous passive-aggression, all of which would be preferable to avoid.

So play your part. Move, or get out of the way.

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