May 8th, 2005
|jimbojones||10:29 pm - 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.
Current Mood: cynical
Current Music: Mos Def - Close Edge
| ||From: clme|
Date: May 8th, 2005 - 07:13 pm
What do you claim in the name of Jimbo, God, and the King?
Also, depending on the culture, weren't at least two of those items supposedly close to the same thing? :-)
I catch myself in groups like that periodically. I wont notice when I get drawn into one, but after a minute or two (or the first 'excuse me') I tend to start saying things like "Why dont we step over there guys" or "We're in people's way here aren't we?"
The thing is... when I do that the people I'm with looks SO annoyed at me, and sometimes just say "We're fine" rather than have to move away from their precious doorway.
Happens to me most often at bars, at the narrowest part of the room behind a bar will be where everyone I want to talk to will want to stand... and its invariably a thouroughfare besides. There can be an entire seating area, or a much wider area on the other side of the bar, but they'll insist on standing in the way right at the busiest junction.
Never really thought of it as being more than people being annoying before. Now that you mention it it almost does seem like something that should be studied by a sociologist or anthropologist.