Escalator Etiquette

Forgive me but I need to have a bit of a grumble.   I know it’s not a fair grumble and I should rightly be castigated for even thinking of it but it needs to be said, I feel quite strongly about this.   My complaint is about “other people”.

Other people as in people who are not me and don’t understand the specific rules that make my life run smoothly.

I had cause to visit a different city recently.   I’ve been living in London or thereabouts for close on a decade now and I like to think that I’ve trained the people of London to behave as they should.    In this other city (my home town of Birmingham) they should still remember the rules that I left them with but it seems that things have gone to pot since the end of the ’80’s.

Escalators, you know, those things that you stand on and then move you up (or down) from one floor to another.   Some people prefer to stand still and be transported purely mechanically and some take a more advanced approach and walk down (or up) the moving stairs whilst also being moved.   Speeds things up you see.

I have a foot in both camps.   Sometimes I stand and sometimes I walk – it rather depends on how much of a hurry I am to get to my destination.   A visit to the dentist may involve slow backwards steps whilst the promise of a cream cake will see me move like Mo Farrah.

It may be that London has a lot more escalators than Birmingham (there are 426 on the underground alone) but I don’t think that is any excuse.   If you are not going to be self-propelled on the escalator then you stand on the right, leaving a clear passage (no rucksacks etc) for those in need of speed to whiz past cleanly.   People of Birmingham take note.   You definitely do not…

  • Snog on the elevator (unless you are on different steps and even then, not in front of me).
  • Gossip with fellow shoppers (again, unless you are on different steps).
  • Stand on the left and shuffle to the right and then shuffle to the left to get a good view of the shops you are about to visit.

There are a couple of other points that do need to be raised, just so that you understand how to make getting around faster and easier for everybody (but mostly for me).

If you are fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to not be in gainful employment.    How about doing your shopping whilst everybody else is at work.   That way the shops will have full utilisation both during the week and on weekends.   Shop assistants will have somebody to assist on a Tuesday afternoon and I won’t have to wait in a long queue on a Friday evening to buy my bottle of gin.   I understand that you may miss out on some of those bargains that are available when goods are nearing their best before date, but it is a small price to pay for the good of humanity.

Finally, and this is the most immensely frustrating thing of all.   This offence should be punished by being placed in the stocks and pelted with rotting fruit. When it is time to queue in the supermarket to pay for your purchases, why, why, WHY, must you wait for the checkout person to say “That will be £14.53 please” before you open your handbag, root around amongst the forgotten debris of a thousand days out for your purse, open it, get the correct change out, close the purse, put it back into your bag, give the assistant your money, remember that you have a voucher, open your bag, root around through the miriad different (often out of date) vouchers for a dozen different shops, produce the voucher, close your bag, open your bag, remove your purse, put in the receipt, close the purse, put it back in your bag, close your bag and then start putting your shopping away.

Coincidentally, this rant chimes almost perfectly with today’s Daily Prompt of “Intense!”.    Others will have far more reasoned and far less selfish opinions than I.



Filed under rants, Shopping

14 responses to “Escalator Etiquette

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  11. Damn, you, i was in the middle of writing the same rant and you come along and spoil it for me. In my native Australia there is no escalator etiquitte at all…in fact, if you dare even try to ask someone to step aside you will probably get thrown off. I have tried to introduce the genteel and gentlemanly rules of London underground, but, alas, it has all been for nought. Well done, sir 🙂

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