Ever had that vague sense of irritation, like that buzzing fly near your head you keep swatting at, which you can’t really place but get when you step on an escalator? Apart from the fact that that lady’s bag in front of you keeps smacking you in the face periodically.
That’s because there are some people who step on an escalator and just stop dead; contented and lazy while the escalator deposits them to the end where they step off and start ambling again. It’s maddening to be stuck behind a horde of impassive faced commuters who just step on and stand still while you resist the urge to run up the escalator screaming and shoving people out of the way cause you’re in a mad rush and late for that meeting.
Wait what? You’re not supposed to stand on escalators?
Yes and no. The escalator when originally invented was built to cut down on human labour, yes but not completely. It was built to aid people in climbing the stairs (which explains the escalator moving at a speed facilitating climbing), so as to cut down on amount of time and effort required to reach the destination. That’s why there are escalators in subways, to ease the flow of human traffic in congestion-prone areas.
But as with all lazybutt humans, we excel at doing the bare minimum.
It is rumoured that the guy who invented the escalator committed suicide after he saw people using it the way it wasn’t meant to be used; no actual reports though.
Most countries now follow escalator etiquette and encourage commuters to follow the same, by putting up posters demonstrating the correct use of the escalator. They encourage people to walk on the left side and ask those who prefer standing to stick to the right so as not to block those climbing the stairs.
But as many don’t know the rules, the problem persists and we are stuck with that vague feeling of irritation which nobody voices. As Hamilton Nolan puts its,
It’s not open war, it’s a war waged in the privacy of the enraged minds of walkers who are forced to stand impatiently behind as the escalator slowly descends.
So next time folks, leave the middle portion of the escalator free and climb on the left side to avoid escalator rage and prod others to do the same.