…and don’t let the door hit you on your way out!

June 25th, 2015 · 103 comments

Writes out submitter, Erica: “I work in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, in a building comprised of a variety of offices and studios (fashion brands, art galleries, recording studios, artists, etc.) I find this note exceptionally funny, because in the three years I’ve worked in this building I’ve experienced the exact same rude, pompous behavior.”

...and don't let the door hit you on your way out!

related: Were you raised by wolves?


FILED UNDER: etiquette · New York · office

103 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Lita bang

    I have a hard time believing an adult wrote that, because who survives to adulthood getting that cheesed off about a common courtesy no one offers?

    Jun 25, 2015 at 4:49 pm   rating: 92  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Roto13

      No one offers? Maybe it’s because I live in Canada, but I’ve rarely encountered a situation where I’ve held the door open for someone and wasn’t even acknowledged for it. And I’ve certainly never ignored someone who was holding the door for me. I would actually find it really awkward not to.

      Jun 25, 2015 at 5:16 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   RedDelicious

      Yeah, living in Canada is exactly why.

      Jun 25, 2015 at 10:07 pm   rating: 92  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   L

      Same, Roto13. Today, in fact, a girl held open the door at the post office as I was walking out and then (probably misspeaking, but adorably nontheless) thanked ME.

      And then the lady at the post office told me I should put on sunblock because I was going to burn, and when I went to the grocery store, my mom told me to go stand in the frozen food aisle because I looked hot.

      Small towns XD

      Jun 26, 2015 at 2:44 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   MissyObvious

      I used to live in Germany for 30 years, plus 10 years in the UK, and I do not think I’ve come across more than a handful of people who were that rude. A simple ‘thanks’ or even a smile was almost always there, so no, it’s not just Canada at all.

      Jun 26, 2015 at 3:28 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   idrow

      So you’re the type of person this note is directed toward. A little common courtesy goes a long way. I’ve never not said thank you or been thanked when I held the door or it was held for me and I’ve lived my whole life in the NY/NJ area. I’ve seen people be rude here, or course, but not you rude. Let me guess, you’re part of the entitlement generation.

      Jun 26, 2015 at 6:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.6   The Elf

      Oh, I dunno. I live in the DC ‘burbs and work downtown and I’m always holding doors for people and seeing them hold doors for me.

      I especially like it when I’ve got my hands full of lunch or if I’m holding hot coffee. And I go out of my way to hold it for the parents who are stroller wrangling. I know I wouldn’t want that job!

      A thank you is both expected and given. But I’m not going to get my panties in a wad if they don’t thank me! It’s just not worth it. Notewriter needs to take a chill pill and not to let the rude people get him down.

      Jun 26, 2015 at 7:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.7   janellionaire

      I work in Seattle, and I hold doors for both genders, and have doors held for me, every day. There is always a thank you.

      Jun 26, 2015 at 9:30 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.8   Kristen

      I’d say my “thank you” rate for holding a door open is about 90% here in DC. The beauty is, most office lobby doors are double, so anyone who doesn’t say thanks has to open door #2 themselves.

      One thing I notice riding Metro, however, is people sitting in the window seat REFUSE to say “excuse me” to the person on the aisle when they’re getting off the train. They do the passive-aggressive stand up and hover method.

      Jun 26, 2015 at 2:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.9   Lita bang

      I, personally, always hold the door. I have been thanked perhaps three times I can remember in the five years I’ve been living here.

      I always thank someone who deigns to hold it for me, though, in the hopes they’ll remember that and hold it for someone else too.

      Jun 26, 2015 at 4:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.10   DaveS

      Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever held the door for someone and not had it acknowledged. And I’ve always said thanks to anyone who holds the door for me.

      I live in upstate New York, but even when I’ve been down in the city people always seem to acknowledge when I hold a door for them. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I’ve never experienced the kind of rudeness that NYC seems to be famous for.

      Jun 26, 2015 at 7:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.11   Bethany

      I happen to live in New York State myself. (admittedly not the city, about three hours out, and three hours away from Canada too.) Where I live people absolutely say thank you when someone holds the door for them, and everyone holds the door. We smile and say “have a nice day” and “please” and while I wouldn’t go so far as to write a note like this I agree with the author’s sentiment. Be polite, always. We’re all in this together.

      Jun 27, 2015 at 1:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.12   Poltergeist

      I live in NJ (so obviously I’ve been to NY too) and I always hold the door open for people, men and women of any age, and thank them if they do the same for me. It’s never crossed my mind not to. I do agree that it is common courtesy.

      Although I will say that I wouldn’t dwell on it and leave a PA note if somebody was rude about it. I’d shake my head and might even sarcastically say “you’re welcome” under my breath if they snubbed me, but that’s it. Notewriter sounds like a grudge holder, like the person who would remember that one time their neighbor gave them a “dirty look” 20 years after the fact.

      Jun 27, 2015 at 6:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.13   labdude

      I travel through North Station in Boston every work day. Lots of doors, lots of choices.
      I’ll hold the door for anyone immediately behind me, likewise I kind of expect it to be held (in some manner) for me, iff I’m immediately behind them. I’ll make an extra effort to hold the door for someone who obviously needs it.
      I don’t expect to be thanked for it,but then, to be fair, I don’t always thank someone unless it was an obvious effort on their part. In my experience, most of my fellow commuters act the same. In 5 years, I have yet to hear anyone get upset, either by the consideration or the the thanks (or lack of same). We’re all just too busy, I think.
      Outside the station, politeness wins – doors always held, thanks always given (but not expected).
      I make an exception for the oblivious, cell-phone reading , shuffling e-zombies, because they rarely even look up, so I don’t bother anymore. If they can’t be bothered to put down the damn phone for the few minutes it takes to get clear of the station’s pedestrian traffic – well, fuck ‘em. I even ran one down in my haste to catch an outbound train; I’m not proud of it, but that’s another story for another PA note…

      Jun 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

  • #2   thrall

    I’d love the delicious ambiguity of “Manners, my fellow human being(s), even in their most minimal form(s)…” Where’s a note writer running around grammatically half-cocked when you need one?

    Jun 25, 2015 at 4:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   The Beast Among Us

    Welcome to New York City. The entire universe revolves around it.

    At least people don’t yell at you for holding the door open like the do where I live. “Do you think I’m weak? I can do it myself.” Okay, can you go fuck yourself, too?

    Jun 25, 2015 at 4:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   DaveS

      Sorry, but that hasn’t been my experience. It’s certainly how they’re portrayed in all of the media – even by people who live there. But I’ve visited the city quite a bit and can honestly say I’ve never run into anything like that.

      And where I grew up (and still live) people have always bad-mouthed people from NYC. “They think we’re all farmers up here!” “They think we’re all bumpkins!” Yet whenever I tell people in the city where I’m from I never get a negative comment. I mean it wouldn’t surprise me at all if some of them joke among themselves about upstaters. But I’ve never met anyone rude enough to say anything to my face.

      And it seems every time I’ve talked to tourists from other parts of the country down there, they always seem surprised about how people really are. Like this one time I gave directions to a couple on the subway. They asked if we were locals and we said no. They said it was there first time in NYC and were shocked at how friendly everyone was. They said, “We’re from South Carolina. We’ve been here all week and nobody’s been rude to us yet!”

      They actually sounded equal parts amazed and disappointed. Like they weren’t getting the full experience!

      Jun 26, 2015 at 8:30 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   The Beast Among Us

      I’m not in New York City. I’m talking about the city in which I live. Holding doors is seen as rude here. Not quite sure why, and I want to get out of this place.

      Jun 30, 2015 at 1:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Brian H

    I had a online conversation with some girls that had posted how much they hate having doors opened for them or being let on the bus ahead of someone else. So much self-involvement.

    I took them to task and said that I as a man at times get the door held for me when I don’t need it. Even still I always say “Thank You” and that having the grace to thank someone for a small kindness is a small thing but the right thing.

    I was accused of being patronizing and other things. I think we lose something when politeness is scorned.

    Jun 25, 2015 at 5:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Poltergeist

      Ugh, I can’t stand it when I hear people say things like that. What a bunch of spoiled little bitches with first world problems. Polite and patronizing are not synonyms, but you know what ladies? Next time you’re carrying something heavy in through a door, I hope the person in front of you slams it in your face. Then you’ll complain about chivalry being dead.

      Jun 27, 2015 at 6:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   L

      Maybe you were being patronizing.

      Jun 28, 2015 at 6:36 am   rating: 92  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   Kimberly

      I used to go to a gas station down the road from my house quite a bit and I don’t think I held the door for myself one time the entire time I went there. There was always someone, a man or a woman, going in or out that would hold it for the next person. I thought it was really nice and courteous and I always do the same for others and make sure to say thank you.

      Jun 29, 2015 at 9:18 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.4   Raichu

      You “took them to task”? Wow, you probably were being patronizing (even if I disagree with them).

      Jun 29, 2015 at 10:59 am   rating: 92  small thumbs up

    • #4.5   Poltergeist

      They were saying something really stupid, Raichu and L. They deserved to be called out on it.

      Jun 29, 2015 at 2:36 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.6   Lisa S.

      The problem I have though is when people make it more trouble than it’s worth to do the courteous or chivalrous thing. Men who insist on shuffling places with me to let me on or off the elevator first… men whose families have to wait for them because he got stuck holding the door for five women and can’t see it fit to hand it off to one of us. Having to do that awkward dance when a man is coming out of a store and you’re going in and he wants to let you go first, even though he’s got his arms full and you’re unencumbered. That’s when it gets annoying. Courtesy is awesome but don’t make things more complicated than they need to be.

      Jul 8, 2015 at 4:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   Roxy Random

    You know what I hate? When I hold the door for someone . . . and they go in through a different door.
    Obviously, a long-overdue lesson in Door Etiquette is needed everywhere.

    Jun 25, 2015 at 6:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Mariquita

      “Door Etiquette 101″

      Jun 25, 2015 at 7:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.2   The Elf

      I’ve done that. Not because I’m trying to be rude, but because my mind is busy with all sorts of other things and I literally didn’t notice until I was through the other door. Oops.

      Jun 26, 2015 at 7:29 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.3   kermit

      Come on Elf, you know you were just trying to get away from Biden copping a feel.

      Jun 26, 2015 at 10:11 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.4   The Elf

      Oh, he doesn’t do that anymore. Not since I stabbed him with his pen.

      Jun 26, 2015 at 11:42 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.5   Raichu

      Sometimes I’ll do that if the person holding the door creeps me out. Or sometimes if I’m just not paying attention :P

      Jun 29, 2015 at 11:00 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #5.6   JoDa

      Oh yes, the creep factor. Many years ago, I had a stalker at work. I don’t know how he always seemed to know where I was, but he’d randomly show up in the cafeteria when I was there, out in the courtyard if I went out for a break, etc. I was 25, he was easily 50…it was creepy. I *totally* opened the other door when he tried to open a door for me. A small PA to try to send a message that I was a bit (A LOT!) creeped out.

      Jul 8, 2015 at 6:09 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #5.7   kermit

      Raichu, stop that. You should not be stabbing anybody with a pen, least of all Biden. Only Elf has the Santa clearance to do it.

      Jul 8, 2015 at 7:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Wendy Jane

    Then stop holding the doors for people!

    Jun 25, 2015 at 8:40 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   TRT

      Slam them shut in people’s faces and see how quick they go off the handle about it.

      Jun 30, 2015 at 6:28 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   sunshynegrll

    I don’t mind when anyone of any gender opens a door for me. As long as they don’t call me babe or honey, I take no offense. I will hold open the door for people regardless of gender, because it’s the polite thing to do.

    It is pretty creepy when a guy RUNS PAST ME to open a door, though.

    But seriously, expecting people to be polite and say thank you in NYC – LOL.

    Jun 26, 2015 at 3:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   The Elf

      That’s exactly it. You happen to arrive at the door first, no matter what the respective genders are, either hold the door or keep it open as you go through so the person behind you can grab it. But when I see a man really go out of his way just to open the door for me, and I’m not obviously struggling with something, then I think he’s looking to hit on me. Creepy.

      Jun 26, 2015 at 7:30 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   Rachel

      My absolute favorite is that kind of guy. I look for opportunities to hold the door for that type. They tend to find it very hard to politely walk through a door when a woman holds if or them. *evil grin*

      Jun 26, 2015 at 9:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   Raichu

      Yep, basically.

      Jun 29, 2015 at 11:04 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.4   The Beast Among Us

      At the supermarket, I used to run past, say, “Here, let me get the door for you,” and then jump on the automated door opener or wave in front of the motion sensor to make the door open automatically. And then I would stand there with a big smile and my arm pointing to the door. I did it for the laughs, because it was funny.

      Jun 30, 2015 at 1:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.5   Charlotte

      I dislike when people are obviously making more of an effort opening the door for me than is needed as well (Unless I’m obviously stuggling with something, then they get all my thanks ). My main pet peeve is if I’m walking with someone and instead of just keeping the door open as they go through it they open the door and stand to the side to let me through, like they’re my butler or something.

      I don’t usually say anything about it though, I just walk past them and start opening any other doors in our way by myself and keep them open for them, so they don’t get a chance to do it again. (This usually happens at work, and I work in a building with lots of doors)

      Jul 8, 2015 at 10:41 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.6   The Beast Among Us

      ^ You work at Monsters, Inc.?

      Jul 8, 2015 at 11:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.7   JoDa

      I’m going to give you a slight “eh,” Charlotte. If I’m walking with someone and they hold the door while I go through it, I just open the next door and hold it for them. 95% of doors I go through are double. No one has ever been offended by the “turn about,” they just walk through the next, open door.

      OTOH, I have a friend who is slightly socially tone-deaf. He’s dropped several doors on me (doesn’t really even hold it open for me to grab it, even if I’m right on his heels). I cringe a little, thinking what other people who don’t know him (and, hence, don’t know that he’s a nice person, just a little off-key socially) think about having doors dropped in their face.

      Jul 8, 2015 at 6:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   George P

    While it’s true that it’s a bit rude not to thank someone for holding a door, if it bothers you not to be thanked for it, you are doing it wrong.

    Nobody owes you anything for an unsolicited favor. Either do it because you think it’s the right thing to do, or STFU.

    Jun 26, 2015 at 5:09 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Haterade

      It’s like with the guys who Sunshynegrill, The Elf, and Rachel mention: Who are you doing it for?

      If you’re doing for them, out of good will or respect, I could see feeling a bit hurt by the perception of ill will or disrespect. But if you’re doing it for yourself, to show what a good person you are or to “earn” gratitude… how are you different from the guy who squirts nameless fluid on your windshield and waves a squeegee at it, then expects to be paid? And when you add gender dynamics, I can understand why it’s creepy if it’s obvious this is your motive.

      Jun 26, 2015 at 4:05 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   DS

      But it’s not unsolicited. It’s solicited by the social contract, which dictates that you HAVE to hold the door open for someone if they are a short distance behind you.

      In any case, it is nowhere written in the laws of politeness that unsolicited favours do not require thanks. They do.

      Jun 27, 2015 at 8:02 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.3   Raichu

      lol, the “social contract”


      Jun 29, 2015 at 11:05 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

  • #9   lejupp

    “… You’re certainly not a mensch, that’ s clear” – Does anyone know what this sentence means? I’m German and in my language “mensch” means “human being”, so a sentence like that would be highly offensive. But what does it mean in English?

    Jun 26, 2015 at 6:18 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   phoenix

      Believe it’s yiddish for “a person of integrity and honor”

      Jun 26, 2015 at 6:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   Lita bang

      Pretty much. It’s usually just used to mean a good, upstanding person.

      Jun 26, 2015 at 4:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   Kasaba

    I think people in London are generally pretty courteous as far as holding doors open and thanking people for doing so. I do both.

    That said, if you are holding open the door of a tube train, preventing it to depart, I want you to suffer a broken arm. An exception here would be holding the door for a mom whose little kid ran ahead and jumped on the train right as the doors are closing.

    Jun 26, 2015 at 7:30 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Charlotte

      There was one time my Dad held open a tube door for a few seconds so my sister and I could run on (We were probably around 10 at the time?). I remember this because another guy who had nothing to do with it got yelled at for holding the door open. I always thought it was polite of him not to point fingers at my Dad.

      Jul 8, 2015 at 10:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   The Elf

      Yeah, breaking the doors and causing delays on the subway is really polite. It’s not like there won’t be another train in another 5 minutes or anything.

      Jul 8, 2015 at 1:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.3   JoDa

      HAHA Elf…I got called several kindergarten-level names by a middle-aged woman today because I wouldn’t let her elbow past me and take the last spot on the train that had just pulled in. She really tried hard, bless her heart (in the Southerner sense), even landing a decent jab in my ribs as my foot crossed the train threshold. Unluckily for her, she didn’t know her audience, and went pretty white when I turned around and gave her a piece of my mind as the train doors were closing.

      The guy squeezed in next to me said “I heard her call you ‘Ms. Piggy,’ but she had to have done something else to deserve *that*!” I said “yeah, she tried to shove me aside with her shoulder, then called me a brat, a selfish child, muttered about ‘not respecting my elders,’ and finally called me Ms. Piggy after landing a pretty solid elbow in my ribs that *still* didn’t move me aside.” A half-dozen people around me laughed pretty heartily and I got a couple “serves her right” comments.

      On another note…she got me good with that elbow. That’s going to bruise…

      Jul 8, 2015 at 6:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   Liz

    “mensch” is a term used to describe a good guy.

    I live in Detroit and everyone thanks you for holding a door open. Maybe we are just too close to Canada and it rubs off?

    Jun 26, 2015 at 8:51 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Dane Zeller

    Oh, the rules are so complex. You’ve got to acknowledge the door opener, but not if he rushes by you to do so. “Thanks, babe” is not allowed. And what to do when there are two sets of doors and someone opens the first set, you go in and are in a position to open the second set for them…what to do? And what about that no man’s land where the door opener is close to the door, but is in an awkward position to open it?

    I have the solution. We develop a universal signal for the occasion: We smile at the polite person and say “f*ck you”. That will cover all possibilities.

    Jun 26, 2015 at 9:34 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   Raichu

      It’s actually pretty easy.

      1. Open the door if you’re right by the person. If you’re not, don’t, unless they have their hands full.

      2. Don’t make it gendered.

      If that’s too hard then just don’t bother, I guess?

      Jun 29, 2015 at 11:07 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

  • #13   Kwyjor

    Can we pretty please just all agree to never hold doors for each other ever again? I would be fine with that, honestly. Far too often holding the door requires perfect coordination and otherwise just gets clumsy and awkward.

    There are few interactions quite so horrible as some smarmy bloke saying “YOU’RE WELCOME” when one walks through a door and neglects to say “thank you”. Maybe I was out of breath, or my mouth was full, or I was otherwise distracted! If it is such a grievous injury to you for your door-holding efforts to go unacknowledged, then please do not grace us sinners with your door-holding efforts; we are all clearly undeserving and you are too good for this world.

    Jun 26, 2015 at 9:53 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   The Beast Among Us

      Fine. I won’t hold doors open for you. Instead, I’ll hold them closed.

      Jul 2, 2015 at 3:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   Furubafan74

      You don’t know how to smile, or nod? Wow.

      Oct 3, 2015 at 2:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Jami

    I wonder at the age of the people this note is directed at.

    When I was younger and going to the local jr. college, if a guy held a door open even for a girl who’s arms were full of stuff he’d get called a male chauvinist pig and other choice names for being “unenlightened” and a “neanderthal.”

    But I’ve seen some of those same girls, now that they’re older, saying “Thank you.”

    I hold doors open for both genders. I say thank you when a door is held open for me.

    Now I will admit when pushing my mom’s wheelchair people have a huge tendency to be much ruder. They’re less inclined to hold open a door. They’ll dart into a door before us and make sure it closes. They’ll walk as slowly as they can and ignore the constant “excuse mes.” Especially at Disneyland. It’s like people think that those who are handicapped are less than human.

    Jun 26, 2015 at 10:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Lita bang

      I’m pretty sure they do think that, Jami. Having spent more time in a wheelchair than I want to admit, I’ve had people deliberately walk into me, shove their asses in my face because they can’t be arsed to move over six inches, decide they want to move me from in front of whatever I’m looking at because THEY want to look at it more, and when I had ankle surgery and had to use a knee walker, I had a hellspawn RUN UP TO ME AND KICK ME IN THE CAST. Laughing his fool head off. The mother did at least apologize, and I was healed enough that it didn’t set me back, but for fuck’s sake

      Jun 26, 2015 at 4:45 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   Jami

      My mom’s had people throw things at her legs to see if she could move them.


      Humans suck.

      Jun 26, 2015 at 9:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.3   Haterade

      IRL, it takes a pretty serious effort to get any reaction from me other than more quiet and unnaturally calm… but if I ever saw someone treating a person in a wheelchair the way you guys describe, I think I would kinda lose it. On behalf of the human species, I’m sorry that you or anyone you love has ever been treated this way. (;_;)

      (And it’s reason #279 for my secret plan to let hamsters rule the earth. But that’s another story. (^_^))

      People like this kinda bring out my evil side… would it be too mean to suggest carrying around a water pistol to stealthily generate a dark wet spot on the backside of anyone who shoves it in someone’s face?

      Jun 26, 2015 at 10:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.4   Lita bang

      I like your evil side, Haterade. :D

      Jun 27, 2015 at 12:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.5   Haterade

      Thank you, hearing that made my day a lot better. (^_^)

      (After posting, I was fretting that I was being much too weird and evil again… it’s just that humans like that really steam my buns.)

      Jun 27, 2015 at 11:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.6   Lita bang

      You are very welcome! I think they steam the buns of anyone with any sense of empathy and decency. :P

      Jun 28, 2015 at 1:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.7   Haterade

      True, but… *reads news*

      “Banks Responsible for Trillions in Subprime Debt Demand More Bailouts”
      “Prison Rape Up, But They Probably Deserve It”
      “New Welfare Reform Reduces Benefits to Bread and Water”
      “Insurance Company Profits Up, New Policies Declare Breathing ‘Medically Unnecessary’”

      YMMV, but from a sad old cynic’s view, empathy and decency don’t seem quite as common any more.

      Jun 29, 2015 at 7:11 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.8   Lita bang

      We’re a rare breed anymore, aren’t we? :|

      Jun 29, 2015 at 5:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   assiveProgressive

    I was just watching Orange Is the New Black. In Season3, ep. 11, Caputo’s wife screams at him that he is the type of person who gets mad when people don’t thank him for holding the door open, and that nobody asked him to hold the door, so just stop doing it. Haaaaa, it just underlines what an evil she-devil she is.

    Jun 26, 2015 at 11:15 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   _NL

    I live in a brownstone converted into 8 apartments. I took it on myself to vacuum and steam the beautiful parquet floors in the first floor hallway after a frosty winter and sloshy spring left the floors gray and salty. While sweating and working hard for free to beautify the common areas, I said hello to a couple women I didn’t recognize but who seemed to live in the building. I moved aside so they could get by, but they didn’t acknowledge me.

    Actually, they did acknowledge me, but only to stare at me in a mix of disgust and fear. No words, no smile. I knew that nobody would thank me for the work and that everybody else would dirty it up again, but it didn’t occur to me that my neighbors might find it offensive to be spoken to by “the help.” They pretty clearly thought I was a hired worker who broke protocol by addressing them. Apparently in addition to living in a late Victorian building, my neighbors also inhabit a late Victorian mindspace about social classes.

    Jun 26, 2015 at 12:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   Chinchillazilla

    I once had a guy LOSE HIS MIND and scream profanities at me because I didn’t say thank you when he held the door for me… except I did, but I was hoarse, and before I could clear my throat and say it more loudly he was already swearing at me.

    Jun 26, 2015 at 9:50 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   Joanne

      Yes, I think sometimes it’s just a case of not being heard. I’m quite softly spoken and often come away worrying if I said thankyou loud enough.

      Jun 28, 2015 at 11:46 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.2   JoDa

      Oh, man, this sometimes happens to me, too (not usually on door holding, because I usually make eye contact and smile, too, but other times like if someone says hi and doesn’t hear me return it). People who were always being shushed and now speak quietly, unite!

      Jul 3, 2015 at 5:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   Joanne

    I only just noticed the red heart at the bottom. Was that put there by the notewriter, or someone else, do you think?

    Jun 28, 2015 at 11:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   The Elf

      That was put there by the Deep South transplant. It means “Notewriter tries, bless his heart.”

      Jun 30, 2015 at 2:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   Rolo

    I like to sip water. One trick I often use while walking around is to fill my mouth up with water – not to the point where my cheeks puff out, but still pretty full. I can then take 5-8 little gulps from this store over the next few minutes. (Some people might find this gross – those people should mind their own business.) It also makes me unable to speak.

    If someone holds the door open, my options are to swallow, loudly and awkwardly, all my water, then say “Thank You”, possibly choking a little in the process as the socially acceptable time window to say anything is quite short and I’m rushing my esophagus, or simply make do with a silent nod. Call me selfish, but I normally take the latter option.

    If you hold the door open for me, then mutter a passive-aggressive “You’re welcome” in response to my silence, you’re pretty much ASKING for me to spit up all my water at you, smile, then offer you the polite thanks you so desperately crave.

    Jun 29, 2015 at 10:04 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   The Elf

      Why not do the “thanks wave”? Or just smile? Or nod in acknowledgement?

      Jun 29, 2015 at 3:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #19.2   assiveProgressive

      rolo, it’s not gross. It’s weird. Doesn’t the water get tainted with your spit and warmed up while you are walking around? Get a water bottle or a canteen like Boy Scouts used to have. Speaking of Boy Scouts, do they still help old ladies cross the street, or was that only in cartoons? Didn’t the old ladies always beat them with a cane for their unsolicited help? I suggest carrying a cane and whacking people with it if you are in a wheelchair and fear brats kicking you or blocking you.

      Jun 30, 2015 at 12:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #19.3   The Elf

      I have an idea, Rolo. Learn the ASL sign for “Thank you”. You put the tips of your fingers (palm to you, fingers close together and extended) near your chin and draw your hand out and down slightly. A real user of ASL could probably describe it better – I just know a couple of signs. Anyway, that gets the point across without having to use your voice.

      Jun 30, 2015 at 2:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   Raichu

    Note-writer seems like so much more of an asshole than the people who don’t thank them the way they want for an unsolicited favor (especially considering all the legit reasons they may have for not doing so).

    Jun 29, 2015 at 11:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   Madrias

    I don’t mind holding a door open once in a while if someone looks like they’d appreciate it. Usually elderly people, those in wheelchairs, on crutches, or walking with ‘the boot’ over a broken limb, and parents pushing strollers.

    Anyone else, it realistically comes down to whether you’re close enough behind that it makes sense to hold the door open. It is, after all, awkward to hold a door open for someone who happens to be a fair distance away from the doors. It’s also horridly rude to hold a door open unnecessarily long, letting the heat/cold in as well as all the bugs, even into that space between doors.

    Jun 29, 2015 at 1:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   lorf

    I don’t hold the door open so people will thank me for it.

    Jun 29, 2015 at 2:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #23   Dana

    I once held the door for a family of little people, and got dirty looks. The door was one of those really heavy automated ones, and the button to press to open it was juuuuuust out of their reach. I was coming out of the building, calculated all this in my head, and simply held the door for them. You’d think I was scum from the looks they gave me! I didn’t even say anything or do anything patronizing. I’ve held that door for countless others over the past few years. I don’t get it. What did they want me to do, stand there and watch while they tried in vain to get that stupid door open?

    Jun 30, 2015 at 3:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #23.1   TRT

      It’s probably the way you let them walk under your arm as you held it, humming “London Bridge is falling down”, not a good move.

      Jun 30, 2015 at 6:29 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #23.2   Dana

      LMAO! Nah, I cleared out of the way and everything. I also once, at that same building, had a lady in a wheelchair get mad at me for holding the elevator door open so that it wouldn’t close on her. My crime? Pushing the “open door” button. Some people just look for ways to be pissed off.

      Jun 30, 2015 at 8:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #23.3   The Beast Among Us

      That’s what everyone is like where I live. If you hold a door open for someone, they’re quick to tell you why they don’t need your help. In elevators, if you hold the door, they stand there and look at you and wait for you to let go so they don’t have to ride the elevator with you. Or they’ll take the stairs. I gave up a few years ago, but it’s funny to see tourists waiting, and scratching their heads.

      Jun 30, 2015 at 1:32 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #23.4   L

      The button was 5 feet high? The average little person is around 4 feet tall. I’m five two. Why are the buttons at face height on me? Who does that benefit?

      Jun 30, 2015 at 3:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #23.5   Kwyjor

      Presumably, this was not the first time they were confronted with a situation and they resented the implication that they had made it that far in their lives while being incapable of dealing with it.

      Jul 2, 2015 at 10:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #23.6   Dana

      They were under 4 feet, and the button was about level with my shoulder. I’m 5’2″. It was, indeed, a weirdly high button. Also placed slightly over the edge of a cement drop-off.

      Jul 21, 2015 at 3:32 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #24   Lil'

    Take out the spaces.

    https: //www.youtube. com/ watch?v=hrn0px_anZs

    Jun 30, 2015 at 10:06 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #24.1   labdude


      Jul 1, 2015 at 12:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #25   JoDa

    So many things in this post and the comments.

    First, I follow the “7 step rule.” If someone is 7 steps or fewer behind me, I should hold the door for them. I’m a woman, doesn’t matter if the person behind me is male or female. For most people, 7 steps is about 15 feet.

    If someone holds the door for you and you are of sound body, you should take the door from them when you arrive at the door and thank them. Don’t just walk through it and expect them to hold it the whole time (hands full is an exception), don’t blow past too occupied with your phone to notice. A quick nod and smile will do for “thanks.”

    For anyone struggling (hands full or disabled) the length behind you lengthens, and you hold the door while they go through it. That said, if it’s more than 20-30′, holding the door becomes optional. Every door I use on a daily basis has an “automatic open” button…there is an option beyond someone standing around FOREVER and holding the door.

    And, for the love of cthulhu, if you have some reason that you should use the “accommodations,” USE THEM. Last week, I was trying to get into the Metro behind a group of disabled older (high school) school children. While they were all walking, one was pushing a wheelchair (I assume for someone else, as he was moving quickly and did not appear to need a wheelchair himself). As we approached the escalators, I said “there’s an elevator right there you can take that down.” He balked, but, thankfully, one of the chaperones said “no, it would be a good idea to take that down the elevator instead of the escalator. You’ll take up the whole escalator with that and it will be unstable. Go use the elevator, we’ll wait for you at the next level down.” Doesn’t have to be a wheelchair to use the elevator…could be a bike, stroller, or even just a large piece of luggage (I used the elevator today with my grocery cart because the escalator was crammed and it would hold people up). My mom walks fine but has trouble with escalators (artificial hip, she says the movement yanking on her forward foot hurts)…we take the elevator when she’s with me, so she doesn’t hold up the crowd doing her little “jump” onto the escalator. If there’s a line, I leave her in line for the elevator, go take the escalator/stairs, and wait for her at the top/bottom, so as not to take up space someone else really needs.

    Not hard, just requires common sense and courtesy. Always ask “how would I feel if I were in the other person’s position?”

    Jul 1, 2015 at 9:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.1   The Elf

      “Not hard, just requires common sense and courtesy. ”

      I suspect that’s the problem, JoDa. One or the other isn’t working here.

      Jul 2, 2015 at 8:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.2   JoDa

      Yeah, I suppose I know that. The number of times I’ve tried to stop someone yelling at me with “I’m sorry you got off track, I’m trying to give you directions to where you’re going…” is truly astounding. No joke, people regularly yell at me because they are very lost and far away from where they want to be/the *best* route to where they want to be requires a little bit of walking.

      But, there are bright spots. A couple weeks ago, a couple seemed to be asking someone outside of my work building for directions, and he didn’t seem to know where they were going. I had my phone on me, so I said “maybe I can help. Where are you headed?” Turned out I didn’t even need my phone, they wanted to go to a restaurant that I knew exactly where it was, and they were on the right street, but a little over a mile away. THEY apologized to me about their English before telling me where they were going (their English was nearly perfect…as far as I can tell, they were French or from a country/area where French is the predominant language), and then *I* apologized to THEM that my metric is poor, but, by my best guesstimate, their destination was about 1.5 KM right up the street they were on. I suggested they catch the bus right across the street, but they said “1 and a half kilometers? Are you sure it’s not more?” I said “it might be closer to 2, but, as bad as my metric is, I’m sure it’s not more than 2 kilometers. I walk at a fast pace, and I could walk there in 15 minutes or maybe a little less, though you do have to walk up that small hill there.” “Thank you, we’ll walk if it’s only 15 minutes. If we get tired, what is the bus number?” I gave them the bus numbers, and they were off, with thanks. Very different experience than American tourists who whine at me like I am robbing them if I tell them they have to walk a block on level ground to get to public transit (and some whine that they have to ride public transit)…

      Jul 6, 2015 at 11:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #26   Matt Sweeney

    If you’re doing something nice just because you expect to be thanked for it, do everyone a favor and just don’t do it in the first place.


    Jul 3, 2015 at 1:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #27   Orpa

    The more I think about the “rules of politeness” the more I realize it’s about people being “recognized” and being given their “due share”. I did this, so I should get that. I have arrived, so someone should acknowledge my presence. It’s all very self-centered, which makes me realize why I’m not fond of morning greetings and “how are you?” “fine how are you?” talk. And I don’t like thanking people for stuff I’m not actually grateful for. It’s just insipid all around. I want the “rules” rewritten so we can all just get on with our lives without people getting mad over nothing.

    Jul 7, 2015 at 10:27 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #27.1   Haterade

      I felt kinda weird about thumbing this one up, but I promise I’m not just being polite. I often feel the same about other pleasantries, especially the vast majority of greeting cards.

      I have a slightly different perspective on it, though… no doubt some of it comes from entitlement, but I think a lot more is a simple trade-off rooted in our deeply-embedded need to feel validated. You make me feel a grain more worthwhile by smiling as I pass, I make you feel a grain more like a good person by returning the smile. Without those grains adding up, it’s really easy to feel and then become disconnected, as I can tell you all about. (^_~)

      Jul 8, 2015 at 1:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #28   johnnyboy

    Sorry, but when taken to extremes (as I have seen it systematically done when I lived in Connecticut), door-holding is fucking annoying. Sure, if you are 3 feet ahead of someone and open a door, you hold it for them. But what I’ve seen is people like 30 feet ahead opening a door, seeing you and then stopping to hold it. So now you have to rush and practically run to the door, otherwise the compulsive door-holder will get annoyed, plus you have to look grateful for it. Enough already, I can open my own fucking doors !

    Jul 8, 2015 at 9:11 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #28.1   JoDa

      I sort-of agree that people who would get annoyed if the recipient of the door hold didn’t pick up the pace should just not hold the door, but you also have the option of giving them the “go ahead, I’m fine!” if you feel like you’re putting them out. Walking at 3 MPH, it takes about 6 seconds to cover 30 feet. While I noted above that my rule is ~15 feet (3-4 seconds, maybe less since East Coasters tend to be fast walkers), there is literally nothing in my life that being held up for 6 seconds or less would change dramatically, and I can always make up a couple of seconds with a few feet of light jogging, if necessary (after “losing” 4 seconds holding the door, I see/hear the train is about to pull in when I hit the mezzanine, for example).

      Jul 8, 2015 at 6:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #29   LostinEurope

    Lack of manners seems to be the norm among 20-somethings and younger people, so many of whom were (and are being) raised to think that they are indeed God’s gift to Earth and that the world owes them everything.

    Sep 29, 2015 at 10:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #30   Mike

    the NYC/New Jersey area is hands down the worst in the country when it comes to common courtesy…..so many people there are just rude, ill-mannered, pushy, obnoxious, entitled, and have zero class

    Oct 23, 2015 at 11:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #31   Bev

    Here’s a thought you haven’t considered– I don’t want you to hold the door open for me.

    This incessant desire to hold the door open for everyone, anywhere around you is a neurotic disease. It’s narcissistic of you to expect a thank you for doing something that I don’t want you to do and for a simple, easy task that I am perfectly capable of doing myself.

    A “thank you” should be reserved for doing something helpful or important. If it’s “common courtesy”, then there is no need to be thanked.

    Stop holding the door open for me.

    Oct 29, 2015 at 7:42 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up