Want To Keep Your Job? WALK FASTER

  1. There is little that causes me more frustration on a more regular basis than finding myself trapped behind a person, or group of people, who are walking at a significantly slower pace than I am. It’s something I experience nearly every day – I take public transit with at least one major transfer daily (that’s a whole other can of worms), and I work in a university – maybe the one environment outside of geriatric care facilities most densely populated by slow walkers (albeit for an entirely different reason).

    I was feeling particularly nasty towards slow walkers yesterday after my morning commute to work (that transfer from the Canada Line to the Expo Line at Waterfront Station is a real treat). I knew I wasn’t the only person who felt this way about our slower-moving brethren, so I thought I would see what a few others thought about the issue.
  2. lindenforest
    What bothers you most about slow walkers? Will write about in blog post tomorrow, looking for opinions!
    Thu, May 10 2012 12:47:02
  3. Thankfully, my war cry was heard, and brisk-walking allies began emerging from the darkness to make their opinions heard.
  4. SFU_OLC
    @lindenforest I hate when they randomly stop in the middle of a hallway and create a traffic jam! ^em
    Thu, May 10 2012 13:22:50
  5. SophieTsai
    @lindenforest When they don’t walk on the right side. Slow walkers are supposed to stay on the right. The left side is the passing lane!
    Thu, May 10 2012 13:26:32
  6. CareerCommons
    @lindenforest It’s not the slowness per se, it’s that they tend to weave all over the place making it hard to get past!
    Thu, May 10 2012 12:57:52
  7. darrenmjones
    @lindenforest Guess you only notice slow walkers when there’s no room to pass, but they always seem to take up all the available space
    Fri, May 11 2012 06:04:47
  8. davidawinter
    @lindenforest people who don’t realise that if there’s a big space in front of you & lots of people behind you YOU’RE IN THE WAY
    Fri, May 11 2012 02:34:58
  9. Ah… validation feels so good, doesn’t it?

    In any case, I was thinking about the whole slow-walking thing, and wondering what the root issue really was. After all, there’s so many out there! Why is that?
  10. davidawinter
    @lindenforest Slow or fast, not speed but lack of awareness of those around them is what bothers me
    Fri, May 11 2012 02:19:39
  11. Bingo. Lack of awareness of what other people are doing. Self-absorption, obliviousness, inattentiveness, and in many cases, plain old ignorance.

    Of course, this quality manifests itself in a lot of different kinds of pedestrian behaviour – stopping suddenly, text-walking, a group of people having a conversation in the middle of a busy sidewalk, and the like. It would be reasonable to say that the guilty parties in the above scenarios all either lack a basic sense of situational awareness, or they’re simply jerks who don’t care if their actions negatively affect others.

    Looking at it from this angle, the relationship between slow walking and career success becomes immediately clear. Situational awareness is a crucial interpersonal skill, and if you’re constantly doing things at work that annoy the hell out of your coworkers, you’re probably not going to last very long.

    You might be thinking, “well that’s silly! I can walk as slow as I want in my free time, but that doesn’t have any relationship to how I behave around others at work!”

    Are you so sure? There’s a funny thing about insight, and it’s that we don’t know what we don’t know. Couldn’t it be possible that that same quality that’s responsible for you inducing silent rage in dozens of anonymous pedestrians is having some other effect on your behaviour in other parts of your life?

    When it comes to insight, there’s four possible states for a person to be in. There are things that you know about yourself, and other people also know (like your fashion sense/lack thereof). There are things that you know and other people don’t know (such as your undying love of classic Michael Bolton songs). There are things that neither you nor anyone else knows about you (the unconscious… scary). Finally, there are things that you don’t know about yourself, but others can see them as plain as day. Slow walking, or any other behaviour inspired by a lack of situational awareness, falls into this latter quality.

    So please, before you get yourself into trouble at work: walk faster!