Dear Sydney: Get the fuck out of my way.
If I am walking at a reasonable pace through the city, chances are I have somewhere to be. The fact that I am in the CBD as opposed to, you know, my house, should suggest that I am probably expected somewhere. And if we assume that the presence of shoes and my lack of a cardboard sign illustrate that I’m probably not a hobo, that somewhere isn’t this street.
However perhaps that’s a bit unfair. Maybe you don’t know that what you are doing annoys me. Maybe some of you aren’t even aware that the way you act is a problem at all. I would like to address you individually now.
Business man/woman on mobile phone
The purpose of mobile phones for corporate usage is to connect people who are on the go. The idea is to reach people who are not at their homes or offices, so that deadlines can be met and work can be completed more efficiently. Guess what? By walking slowly as you try to remember the latest stock reports/financial statements/paternity test results, you are TAKING LONGER TO GET TO WORK. How about you put down the phone, pick up the pace and go to work where you can do everything from micromanaging to promoting synergy (it’s not advisable to shit on Deborah’s desk).
Large groups of tourists
We get it – Sydney has a sky. I’m happy that you feel the need to point and look at it, and if I was in your country I would probably look at the sky and take photos of it too. Oh wait, no I wouldn’t, because that’s fucking ridiculous! I’m not sure if you realise, but you are actually in a city and in Australia, people do work in the city.
When you are setting a good pace walking down a main road and you suddenly stop unannounced because you want to take photos of a bus stop, please don’t be angry when you feel my knee in your lower back as I continue walking at the previous speed.
Lazy people on escalators
The idea of an escalator is to move people quickly for several reasons. At train stations it is necessary to clear the platform quickly because:
- The platform is generally hot and dirty
- Train stations are often subterranean so it can take a while to get back to the surface
- Another train might arrive soon and the platform cannot be congested when they exit the train. (You could argue that Sydney’s transport is so shit that this isn’t a problem here, but I would argue that the timetables are so unreliable that there is every chance 2 trains could arrive at once).
Think of an escalator as a Sherpa – you are expected to do some of the work. Sure, having one makes the job easier, but don’t expect it to carry you. As a friend of my colleague blogger “N” once said to a particularly lazy person:
“It’s not a fucking ride!”
There is simply no excuse to be standing on an escalator at any time. If it is morning – wake up! The day just started, you can’t possibly be tired so get moving! If it is evening – go home! You can stand around doing nothing in your own time, but rather than stand here behind you on some crappy moving staircase I would prefer to be at home. So that I can hit the treadmill.
People handing stuff out
On most footpaths there are two distinct flows of foot traffic both going in opposite directions and usually keeping left. This is a simple but effective protocol that ensures maximum efficiency for workers in the know, and as long as everyone keeps to it, everyone is happy. Which is why we are so shitty when you stand in the middle of the god damn footpath to hand out a leaflet!
No, we don’t want to join your gym, we don’t want to explore a “new hair concept” (it’s a pair of scissors, get over yourself). Red Cross guys – I appreciate what you are trying to do, but trust me all you are achieving right now is creating more work for your organisation because you are shooting my blood pressure through the roof.
Who are you to stand in the middle of thousands of people trying to get to where they are going, directly and intentionally disrupting the natural movement so that you can guilt us into joining up for something? Don’t be alarmed if I walk towards you at full pace with no intention of slowing, I simply care about you so little that I am pretending you don’t exist and will continue as though you are not there. Actually you should probably be alarmed by that.
OK so you’re fat, life’s hard, people are cruel etc. But do we really BOTH have to suffer for your lack of discipline in relation to food and alcohol? If you are going to walk slowly (because walking any faster would be dangerous to those around you) could you at least keep to one side of the pathway? I realise that if you keep too far left and a car hits you, the driver will probably die and you will go through a lot of paperwork, but when you waddle in the middle of the footpath I can’t get around you. Just imagine you are going to McDonalds (if you are not, in fact actually going to McDonalds, which at 9am is not inconceivable). That should get your fat little engine started.
So Sydney, if you fit into one of these categories and were previously unaware, I hope this has been illuminating for you. But don’t ever tell me that this has been illuminating for you, because if you are one of these people I don’t ever want to talk to you.
See you all Monday morning folks.