Friday, January 18, 2008

Queuing Efficiency

On my way through the office door this morning I had an experience that I realized needs to be recorded so that I don't go on and rant about it in the future. This post will allow me instead to reference it, thus saving a vicious cycle of rehashing.

In addition to my career in systems engineering, and my small photography business I take martial arts classes. A few days ago I managed to pull a hamstring and sprain a toe on the opposite leg. Don't get me wrong - it's worth it. But these injuries are relevant to the story because they allow you to appreciate my inability to move quickly. I'm not limping, I'm just moving cautiously.

The weather was cold, and the sidewalks covered in treacherous ice. A bitter wind cut through me as I approached the building. Moving at a determined but non-rapid pace, I noticed someone about a mile (or three) front of me, presumably intending to enter the same doors. And then it happened.

They decided to take it upon themselves to hold the door open. At this point they almost need a telescope or radar to even know I'm planning to go through the same door, but yet they stood there holding it open while the arctic air flooded the entry to our building.

Here's the deal people... If someone behind you stands a chance of having the door slam in their face, then you hold it open. If they are carrying a heavy load and don't have arms free, you can wait until they get close to open the door for them. If it's more than five steps, you move along. Let's stop the self-gratifying good deed of holding a door open just to see if the recipient of your good will will start to jog because they feel guilty you are letting all that cold air into the building. If they have enough room to jog they probably don't need you to hold the door.

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