THERE SHOULD BE A WALKING ETIQUETTE CLASS
You’ve seen them and you’ve felt their presence: the slow strides, unbothered demeanor, and sloth-like movements. They inconveniently place themselves in the middle of the busiest sidewalks, forcing you to look for another walking path. If they haven’t made you late for class, then they’ve definitely forced you to walk on the street to pass them.
I’m talking about slow walkers, of course.
“Excuse me” and “sorry” are the words I, and many others, say as we squeeze our way through multiple people to pass them. Are they ignorant of the crowds of people trying to get around them? Don’t they have places to be, things to see, or people to meet? And if not, why out of all places did they choose the U of O campus for their leisurely stroll? There are so many prettier places in Ottawa where they can take their slow, scenic walks.
As I’ve made my way around campus, I’ve found that the biggest culprits are my own kind — students! Slow-walking students! And I’ve found that figuring out how to pass one of these slow walkers is something of a mental exercise.
When I’m stuck behind one, I’m constantly trying to figure out how can I get around them in the least amount of time. Maybe I’ll quickly cross over to the left, and then slide through a large group in order to finally walk at my own pace. It’s exhausting having to strategize and walk complex routes just to get to my class.
It’s true, maybe if I was more prepared for my day, I wouldn’t be facing this problem. Maybe if I planned my schedule better, I wouldn’t be having to rush from place to place. But realistically, who anticipates adding ten minutes to their walk just to account for slow walkers?
Maybe you’re the slow walker I’m talking about. Maybe you just need a wake-up call in order to start picking up your pace. If you are, then I have one question for you: why disrupt everyone’s path when you can simply move aside? The problem isn’t necessarily walking slowly, but walking slowly in front of everybody.
If you want to be a slow walker, that’s fine, just be extra aware of your surroundings.
Campus is especially busy this year with the return to in-person, and slow walkers shuffling around campus haven’t made it any easier to navigate.
Alas, maybe I’m just a delusional fast walker who pretentiously expects everyone to walk at my pace. Even if this is the case, I’m not expecting people to march at superhero speed — I just think we would all be less stressed if everyone was aware that they aren’t the only ones on the sidewalk.