Thursday, February 04, 2010

Etiquette...

Ever seen “Fight Club”? Good flick. It hurts me to say that it’s over ten years old now. If you haven’t seen it, it’s pretty twisted. Watch it more then once, and you’ll see all kinds of little quirks that you didn’t see the first time and various scenes take on different meanings. If you have seen it, then you know it’s twisted. There’s a scene early on where Brad Pitt is talking to Edward Norton on a plane, gets up from his window seat and says “Now a question of etiquette; as I pass do I give you the ass or the crotch?” An interesting question there. Which would you rather someone stick in your face as they get up to pass you? Personally, I think I’d just get up to allow them isle access so I don’t have to deal with either one.

I came across this scene on AMC late last night. It was interesting timing because I’ve been thinking about matters of etiquette in the past few days. Granted they’re not as profound as the “Ass/Crotch conundrum”, but curious nonetheless.

Scenario one: You get on an elevator with another person. They press the button for their floor, and just stand there. They don’t bother to ask where you’re going or what floor you need. They might as well be playing defense on the buttons. What do you do? Do you hit them with the “excuse me could you hit the button for…” line? Do you just reach over and do it?

Follow-up question: Assuming you have your hands full and no one asks what floor you need? Ask them to hit the button? Or struggle to do it yourself? (And for the record, my personal favorite is when you have your hands full, hit your floor and step away from the buttons, someone else gets on holding nothing more then a cell phone, and says “floor 6 please”. ARE YOU KIDDING ME YOU LAZY BASTARD?!)

Scenario two: You’re at work, been talking with your co-workers all morning about whatever, and then get up and leave your desk to get your Fresca out of the fridge. Someone else gets up and leaves after you do, and you pass each other in the hall. Clearly you know the person. They know you too. You’ve been talking all morning. But you make eye contact, and then you both feel compelled to say something. “Hi. How are you?” isn’t going to work. Neither will “What’s up?” You know how they are and per your earlier conversation catching up on the weekend’s activities, nothing’s up. But you both feel compelled to say something. What do you say?

Scenario three: You’re talking with someone you know walking down the halls of wherever you are, and it turns out your both going to the restroom. Generally, my rule is that there’s nothing so important in the world that it can’t wait 47 seconds while you empty your bladder. But you’ve been talking this whole time. Stop while you handle your business? Or keep the conversation going?

Scenario four: This is the one that gets me on a semi-regular basis. You’re out to lunch somewhere, and if you’re like me, you get a half hour. Not a problem unless you’re running to Chipotle or somewhere else that tends to be mobbed at lunchtime. You arrive at the door at roughly the same time as someone else, and generally, I feel compelled to open the door and let them go first. If your luck is like mine, it’s either a mom with four kids, or some poor soul who drew the short straw and has to being back lunch for the whole office. Between the line that was already long and then their mega-order, your kindness really took its toll on your timeframe. Should they let you go first since you were kind enough to open the door? Or are you SOL because you were a nice guy?