May 8th, 2005

giraffe cop

territory and instinct

The only thing that annoys me more than - well, people - is groups of people.

Have you ever noticed how a group of three to five people in a public setting, if they stand around talking instead of getting a table, invariably do so next to a resource or strategic traffic area of some kind?  Check it out sometime.  In a fast food setting, it's clustered around the trash / tray cabinets.  In a coffee shop, it's around the milk / sugar / etc area.  In areas with limited traffic space, it's in a doorway.  Note that in most cases, none of the people involved are actually using the resource in question - but rather than withdraw to a corner, they cluster around a resource or strategic area.

Think it's coincidence?  Pay a little more attention next time a completely oblivious-to-the-world knot of people is standing around someplace functionally important.  Notice how when you say "excuse me" and the person in the way turns and gives you a startled look, they instinctively move closer to the resource in question.  Once they have time to think about it, they'll move aside - but the instinctive reaction, while they still have that confused "what does this person want and how do I react to it" look on their face, is to edge closer to that disposal area, cream-and-sugar-bar, or doorway - not to step aside.

This annoys me to no end.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I sure as hell can't fault people for being territorial - in fact I tend to be EXTREMELY territorial - but I pick and choose what I define as my territory; I don't just sort of unconsciously claim the condiment bar or the soft drink dispenser or the doorway in the name of Jimbo, God, and the King.
evil-sparks

and in unrelated news

I bought a T-shirt that says "Using Learning for Evil is Fun!"  It arrived in the mail friday.

I decided that tomorrow - the first class of Poli 391M: The US, the UN, Iraq and Terrorism - is the perfect first time to wear it.
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