Whatever happened to common courtesy in this part of the world? Does it just not exist? Or do people loose their good manners when they move here? Case in point:
My building has a long hallway leading up to the elevators. This morning, I was heading towards the elevator and I see a man already waiting for one. So I double up my pace in order not to make the man wait too long. He sees me of course. I was about three quarters of the way through the hallway when the elevator doors open. The man enters. By the time I get to the elevator, I am surprised and disappointed to see that the elevator doors had already closed, and that the man went downstairs without me.
Just a few weeks ago, the same thing happened to me (this time, it was a lady was waiting for the elevator).
It happens in our building in A-D as well, where there are just a few meters separating the building entrance from the elevators. On numerous occasions, I have entered the building just as someone is about to enter the elevator. The person sees me, and yet he/she does not have the patience to keep the door open for 2 seconds until I get to the elevator.
Now I'd like to believe that this has nothing to do with me scaring people off to the point where they have to run away from me as soon as they see me. So why don't people wait? Will the 15 extra seconds they wait by keeping the door open really make a difference in their lives? Will it make them extra late for an appointment? Are they worried that the couch that's waiting for them in their apartments when they get home will run away, so they have to make sure they rush home to check if it's still there?
In yesterday's "Seven" magazine (6Days's Friday supplement), journalist Ali Khaled discusses a similar experience with driving:
To get to my building, you have to go past a traffic light, drive to the end of the road and do a u-turn before you can get back to the car park. This, obviously for some, unacceptable process takes no more than a couple of minutes. But no, what some of my good neighbours have decided they would do is, take a slight detour, go AGAINST the oncoming traffic and straight to the building. As these delusional, self-important people are actually returning home, what could possibly be so urgent that it can't wait an extra two minutes? [...] I, being the fine upstanding citizen that I am, of course have never felt the need to do this, particularly since I once called one of these rebels an unrepeatable name when I almost crashed head on into his car in the morning. Not once has the u-turn made me late for anything at home. And the shocker is that, like I said before, everyone is doing it: Arabs and expats alike, and I even saw a mother with her children. Shame on you woman.
So what is it with this lack of courtesy? What makes people so inconsiderate? Why are people so impatient? Be nice people! It doesn't take much, it's free, it doesn't take long, and who knows? You just might make someone's day without knowing it.