What Makes People Get to the End of an Escalator and STOP?!

Automologist MAC thinks escalator etiquette is sorely lacking in Kuala Lumpur and around the world. 

Before any of you get on your high horses and berate me for pushing the envelope a little far this week for writing about escalators, I would like to point out that this is a blog about transportation. And of course, escalators are specifically designed to get those who are too lazy to move from point A to point B under their own steam, and thus are transportation. Of course, the point of an escalator is once you get to your destination, ie. the next floor, then the basic idea is to get off and move away, and it is the people who seem to be incapable of achieving this that are annoying the heck out of me.

I have read various reports and found that about a third of people get to the start or end of an escalator and play a game of statues, refusing to move regardless of the number of people that come to an abrupt end behind them. My beef is really with the people who seem to inhabit shopping centres around our nation’s capital of Kuala Lumpur, who seem to have no concept of how to use an escalator nor that there are other people in the vicinity. Whilst I am specifically writing about my recent experiences in Kuala Lumpur, this behaviour seems to be endemic across the entire globe, and I have experienced the same sort of behaviour in just about every country I go to.

You have all fallen victim to the ditherer who seems to be far too timid to get onto the escalator. You know, the type who stands there and hovers a foot over the moving stairs, awaiting the exact right time to get on.  Just recently I barrelled into three rather portly ladies, as all of them seem to be incapable of remembering why they had opted to get onto the escalator in the first place — was it to get the milk from the fridge or was it to go to the next floor? — as they play the game of statues and completely piss off anyone who actually knows how to use an escalator properly.

via Gfycat

Worse is at the other end, particularly when you are going down a busy escalator, when those undiagnosed psychopaths who are freely allowed to use an escalator come to an abrupt stop, as if they have completely forgotten that they need to go back to self-power and move their legs, else everyone else coming down behind them will slam into their derrieres. And when we do act in a hurt and affronted manner, they act as if they have done nothing wrong, as happened to me just yesterday when two young men stopped in front of me and about 30 other ‘travellers’ at KL airport. The carnage was a sight to see, with luggage flying everywhere and bodies littering the floor.

The worst thing about this incident is that the two men behaved as if they had done nothing wrong and actually got quite feisty about it all. Really!

In the past, I often wonder if there is some sort of governmental slapstick department that trains people to look at their watch whilst holding a drink or to turn abruptly whilst carrying a large plank over their shoulder. But I have come to the conclusion that there is a group of people who get, shall we say, confused or disorientated when they are required to alight a set of moving stairs. I understand this, but the escalator — remember those moving stairs that you were just on —  is also carrying everyone behind you into the space that you are now claiming as your own. We cannot stop on a moving staircase. We cannot suddenly moonwalk to avoid you. There are other people behind us. Of course, there may also be a class of people who stop just to piss you off!

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