Trivial Rant #001: People Standing Still In the Middle of Escalators

I consider myself to be a calm, reasonable person. So if I develop scarily high blood pressure and die an untimely death before my mid-30’s, there will be only one explanation.

People standing still on escalators. Right in the middle. Blocking my only chance of getting past them without looking like an escaped mental patient who will probably die an untimely death before their mid-30’s thanks to high blood pressure.

She looks like she'd move.

Once again I’m going to go for a cheap blogging trick, this time by choosing to explain myself with a list.

1. Brief History of Escalators (for the three or four people out there who are interested)

Escalators were initially created as a novelty ride combining the heart-pounding thrills of moving at an achingly slow pace and staring at the back of people’s heads. Eventually someone (follow the link above if you really care) figured out that they could be used as a functional part of a mobile society. Mobile. Okay, this list item isn’t really a reason why I’m annoyed, more just general background and an opportunity for me to make fun of the daredevil thrill-seekers of yore.

2. General Human Laziness

Unless you are on one of those monumentally tall escalators they have in places like airports or the London Underground, it will take the average person 4-8 steps to reach the top of an escalator. This will burn approximately 1/2 calorie if that sort of thing motivates you. If you’ve skipped breakfast or are suffering a mid-afternoon energy slump, I suggesting popping 1/4 of a Tic Tac to supply you with the energy needed for the excursion. 1/8 if you’re going down.

Just think how far these could get you.

3. People’s General Lack of Purpose

Escalators are located in a variety of places – public transportation hubs, museums and large shops are just three examples. When I’m in a place with escalators, I’m generally there for a reason – I have somewhere to go, art to browse (or pretend to browse in some cases, no judgement there), things to buy. Not to stand around mindlessly bopping my head to Lady Gaga (more of an issue in shops). I can do that at home. I have chosen not to. Please respect my decision and let me pass.

Sometimes it’s not my decision either. And if I haven’t chosen to be where I am, there is probably somewhere I am required to be – work, a meeting, an appointment. Please don’t make me late. If I’m late I’d rather it was on my terms, not yours.

4. Escalators are Boring

Escalators are not fun. They are not pleasant. Unless the escalator in question is surrounded by fields of blooming floral decadence accompanied by the singing of angels and/or a mind-blowing live thrash guitar performance, I’m really not having a good time. I just want to get off the thing.

5. Exceptions

If you are rendered immobile by issues you really can’t help (old age, carrying heavy baggage, the company of children who have yet to understand basic social conventions, extreme tiredness, or a physical handicap) – you are excused for standing still, but still please try to keep to one side.

6. Stairs

Some places do have the option of stairs, which I will gladly use if they are available. Many places hide these stairs in incredibly obscure areas of the building, further stretching out the time I have to endure the dulcet tones of Ms Gaga. It’s still better.

Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 10:53 am  Comments (130)  
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  1. Here Here! The only thing worse is when they stop right at the end of the escalator and start searching their purse.

    • It’s Hear! Hear! NOT Here! Here!

  2. The only thing worse are able-bodied people who push the button to have doors open for those with disabilities, but they’re just too lazy to actually open a door on their own. It’s extremely frustrating when it’s in a busy area, and everyone has to stop suddenly because a girl at the front couldn’t be bothered to open a door, and she’s going to wait until the door opens all the way.

    Now I’m ranting.

    • I worked in a mall for 6 months (which was about all I could handle) And I have seen my fair share of these things..
      I like when there’s the ignorant teenagers who think its “fun” to run up the down escalator and just push everyone out of their way to do it.

      And I have seen more than enough people who will hit the handicapped button to open the door,but, in SOME of their defense..I actually do that at the mall because I really don’t want the fifty million germs from the door handle that other people have picked their nose and touched, or hacked up a lung in their hands and then touch the door. Now I dont wait until it is completely open, I slide through as soon as the door is open enough, and if its extremely busy I would only do it if I wasn’t going to hold up a crowd, but I have a 4 year old son who gets sick very easily. So I really try to avoid sickness at all cost.

      Anyways now IM ranting. I definitely enjoyed the post. =]

  3. I love when people stagger which side of the escalator they’re standing on in such a way that you can’t get past because there are so damned many stationary bodies between you and the top.

  4. Indeed. I think the worst is airports- for some reason plane loads of people all cram into the escalator and ignore the wider stairs just to the side. Fine for me, I blaze by all of them.

    OR have you seen those moving sidewalks in airports? Why do people just stand on them. Sure, they are moving, but slowly. They are suppose to give walkers a boost while journeying across long deserts of terminal to their destantion, not to do the walking for you.

    • Perhaps you should blaze

      by blogs and back to second grade where you can relearn grammar and syntax.

      I stand on escalators counting the times I see “suppose to” where it should be “supposed to” every day.

      • Probably just a minor typo. Calm down. Breathe.

    • Who says that the walking sidewalk is not meant to walk for you?????? And who says that you are not to enjoy the ride of the escalator? This is part of society’s ills: Being in too big a hurry to get anywhere…to big a hurry to take a breath and enjoy a few seconds (which is all it really is on an escalator)of stillness….too busy to teach your (generally speaking, that is)children that it is ok to go with the flow of the escalator and thus be a bit or to stop running for a minute and enjoy the moments that a machine is taking you to another floor while you get to watch (personally I love glass elevators! lol)….America, sloooowwwww down and enjoy life more.

  5. They don’t in Germany because they would get run over. It’s like driving in the fast lane going slow. Happens on moving walkways as well. People, people, people…stay to the right unless passing. Unwritten rule of life as far as I’m concerned.

    • >stay to the right unless passing.

      In Tokyo, the rule is the other way around…”standing on the left, passing on the right“.

      • Yep, Here in Tokyo, that’s the rule, and the Japanese are incredibly awesome at obeying rules. The only time you see someone blocking the entire elevator is if they are a foreigner and don’t know better.

        First time I went to Korea (which is pass left, stand right) and was blocked it took me as a shock, as I’m so used to the very proper rule-abiding Japanese. I’m a big guy (6’5″, 220lb) so passing people can be a challenge as is, let alone if they’re staggered. This has been a pet peeve of mine, but luckily, not so much a problem lately.

      • Here in Hong Kong, it’s a weird mix. Like Japan and UK, cars use the left lane. Unlike Japan and UK, escalator riders stand on the right. It works well everywhere so I don’t get the rant about the US malls? Can’t american malls afford the little “Stand on the left/right” signages? (which by the way disappeared from Hong Kong a few years back, yet the expected behavior is still there)

      • I think it depends what side of the road is driven on in a country. That seems to dictate what side to stand on the esculator.

  6. I know what you mean…It’s really annoying 🙂

  7. Wow, that is a frustrating one.

  8. Lol. Love the Tic Tac for energy thing. 🙂

  9. Some people get dizzy on escalators, I myself am one of them so I choose to stand still…So, go around me if your in that big of a hurry!!

    • Sounds totally reasonable.

    • hey! as long as you’re to the side its completely legit! =]

  10. hahha- I’m usually the jerk running the wrong way on the escalator- so those people standing in the middle also have complaints (against contrarians like me!).

    Very good post! Thank you for sharing the rant! 🙂

  11. Hey! Just found your blog and your writing-style is awesome! (Creds!)

    I totally agree! People stopping in the middle of escalators (especially when you’re late) is SO annoying!

    Luckily most Norwegian know that they should stand to the right and walk to the left, so it’s usually no problem. (Though sometimes they stand next to each other and it’s impossible to get past!)

    Sorry – long comment!
    Just wanted to say you write really good, and you have a good point=)

  12. Good one. Another irritant–people who take the elevator one floor down.

    • Why? Apparently you have great working knees, legs and hips…some of us don’t…a little tolerance and understanding can go a long way.

  13. I’m kinda with ya on most of it but … exactly what do you consider “old?”

    All the best – Maxi

    • Fair question Maxi. I suppose by old I meant those with generally age-related qualms or ailments would give them a decent excuse to stop and take a breather. Of course these are in no way exclusive to those over a certain age nor are they in anyway universal. Should’ve been more careful with the wording there. Thanks for the comment!


  14. Brilliant rant! 🙂 I totally know what you mean. The worst thing is when they glare at you for having the nerve to try to squeeze past them, as if it is an insult to them. You just want to shout at them to get a move on. 🙂

  15. hah! I get this. However, it is all too familiar for me. I live in Chile and am constantly…CONSTANTLY behind some slow moving person. Or the best is when they are moving at a normal pace and then they stop abruptly to check a text, dig something out of their purse, or make out without even moving to the side. Some days it gets to me. Other days I’m able to brush it off as cultural.

  16. I’m totally convinced that if a handbook exists for visitors to London, that tells you what to do when you’re on an escalator, it’s wilfully ignored.

    As a Londoner, the blood pressure is cranked up on a regular basis as I try yet again to walk up the escalator to be confronted by someone who’s placed themselves right in the middle, or to the left – in the rush hour. As Elise said, those escalators are long and it’s frustrating waiting for someone to realise that the people stacked up behind them need to get somewhere. The same thing happens every time: I tap them on the shoulder – the eyes widen in genuine shock and I can see the cogs in the head whirring, trying to work out what had just happened. It takes a while, but they usually move across, if they can find a step to move to.

    I have some sympathy to your condition, Ramonakent. I suffered from a particular type of vertigo not so long ago and it can be disconcerting and terrifying. No one is expecting you to walk up the stairs, but one step to the right can be achieved even with vertigo. You’d also feel more secure knowing you have a rail to hold on to.

    • I’m always amazed by the sheer confusion on the faces of some Londoners when faced with unexpected human contact. Good rant for another day.

      • ‘sheer confusion on the faces of some Londoners…’ 😀 really? ‘What is this strange creature touching me! Human?’

  17. I happen to stand still on elevators because I am fairly deathly afraid of them (a heights/falling thing.) I do stand to one side, though. Just note that some people have issues might not be able to see.

  18. So, congrats on being ‘Freshly Pressed.’ =]
    I also get impatient on escalators, but I’m also one of those people who get ridiculously dizzy, so regardless of time constraints, I generally seek out the stairs. I get bored with dancing around people just to keep things moving. =P

  19. True, it’s really annoying 🙂
    Nice blog dear, i love it!

    marinela x

  20. Good blog and good point.

    I always take stairs instead of escalator or lift if there is a choice. I have always felt that escalators and lifts are unfit people. I dont mind climbing even 20 floors. If I have to use an escalator, I usually walk or run on it and yes, I do get looks.

    One of Indi’s great actors “Dev Anand” was asked about secret to his fitness. He said he never uses lifts or escalators. He is over 80 and he still looks like a boy.

    check this link about fun using stairs.!/video/video.php?v=155317546709&ref=share

  21. Escalators are gross, too. You know that rubber rotating handlebar? Don’t touch it. And the sides of the thing are either made of smudged glass (children just loved to run their hands on them) or some greasy feeling sheet metal. In short, they suck.

    • So true. I considered talking about how the handlebars flair up my OCD but figured it was a bit off topic. Plus I didn’t want to let on just how true the whole escaped mental patient thing could really be. I give it a few more years of being trapped on snot-ridden slow-moving objects and I’ll be there. (I hope it’s snot anyway)

      • Totally with you on these points! I’m normally very reserved too- but for some reason these situations make me flip out. I’ve considered making a t-shirt that says ‘Keep To The Left’, or simply announcing this in a reasonable volume if on an escalator full of offending numbskulls. I believe the ‘Keep To The Left’ signage is better in some cities than others, which could account for the ignorance.

  22. Ha! Making everyday annoyances funny! That’s a gift, my friend. Thank you for this.

  23. nice

  24. Whoa, you all need a chill pill! Maybe once you get past your “quarter” life, and have some real living behind you, you will adopt and kinder and gentler persona.

    • I genuinely hope so.

    • no kidding!

  25. Haha! I agree entirely. Particularly annoying on the tubes in London at rush hour. There are “stand on the right” signs everywhere for a reason, folks!


  26. Awesome post! I’m one of the lazy one’s who just stand there, but I start walking when I see people coming up behind me.

  27. intresting blog ill be sure to read more.

  28. Here in our rural county with its one stoplight and 3,000 people, we don’t have escalators. Amazingly, we do have a grocery store, and my rant concerns people who stop in the middle of the aisle, dazed, wondering what they will be having for dinner. When they do get moving, they lean, heavily, on the hand bars and slowly amble forward five feet, then stop again.

    I am convinced that if these people ever make it to the big city, then they stop in the middle of escalators.

    • LOL

  29. Usually for people who refuse to move to the side to let me pass on the escalator, I stand real close and try to breathe down their neck. Works 50% of the time.

    Irritate the irritating, I say.

  30. Funnily enough, the people who run up the escalators as though they think it will shave a significant amount of time off of their journey are the ones who annoy me. It’s like how in driver’s ed they explain that going 5-10 miles over the speed limit will only really shave off about 2 minutes overall most of the time. The amount of time you save walking/running up the escalator isn’t going to really impact whether or not you’re late. All it does is make you look rushed and uptight.

  31. Hey, if somebody is in a hurry, they’d prob say “excuse me”.

    So this isn’t any biggie to me


  32. If you want to rush up and down stairs, take the stairs. Escalators avoid the effort of stairs and the waiting for elevators. I stand still on escalators, especially if carrying packages or wrangling small children. I’ll try to move out of your way if you want to get by, but what’s your hurry? You’re only going to save a few seconds.

  33. I enjoyed reading this!

  34. Perfect! I walk up the stairs and push past middle-standers like a mental patient, too. “P

  35. Escalators aren’t fun at all. Moving sidewalks, though, are oddly enthralling. When I went to Hong Kong for the first time many years ago, I was told that if one intended on standing and not taking the escalator as though it were a flight of stairs, one would have to stand on one side (I don’t remember if it was the right or left).

  36. Don’t you think the purpose of the escalator would be useless if people didn’t stop? You wouldn’t really notice it’s moving if you move. In a way, the people take in the whole escalator experience. Lol.

  37. Yes!!! Exactly!!! If you’ve ever been on the tube (London) at rush hour, all sorts of tourists and just otherwise idiots drive me absolutely crazy. The rule is: You stand on the left and pass from the right people!!!! :o)

  38. Hate it, hate it, hate it.
    Actually, because I work in an office sitting down most of the day, I always use stairs where I can. My pet hate is those ‘people-movers’ at the airports. They are a great idea for old people and people in a huge hurry (you can sprint on one of those things and really get somewhere!) but why on earth anyone would just stand on one to save putting one foot in front of the other is totally beyond me.

  39. There’s a more plausible explanation for why you may develop scarily high blood pressure and die an untimely death before your mid-30’s—because you’re always in too much of a hurry!

  40. I just say “Excuse me” really loudly and tapped on their shoulder if they pretend they can’t hear me. :p

  41. Could not agree more. The escalators are really scary.Besides, one feels alive while clibing the stairs.

  42. Well,
    I’m one of those people who don’t walk on escalators. I I’m rather frustrated when I see people walk on them. But that might be because where I live, Belgium, nearly noone walks on them.

    I thought they were made to replace stairs, to save yourself from trying to climb huge stairs.. .

    But then again, the main reason I don’t walk on them is because I’m terrified of these things haha.

    I’m sorry, but I kinda don’t agree with your frustration lol. You should relax more, enjoy the time you have on an escalator to think about the things you still have to do (I can’t believe I just said that..) It’s not like people are obliged to walk on them. Perhaps they will be in like 50 years or so. But not in this era.

  43. I discovered it in London on the Underground in 1973.
    And I am still sticking to it – stand on the right. But…..!

  44. This is very true. I’ve always hated escalators (I lean waaay forward because I am paranoid that I will fall off) and it’s even worse when you’re headed somewhere important and there is that one person blocking the whole thing.

  45. …and able bodied people who use lifts…don’t get me started on that one

  46. Hilarious post. The same could be said for moving walkways (the 21st century escalator) in airports. I’m forever dragging my kids up, down or across the RIGHT side of these mechanisms (because rules of traffic should apply, right?), only to be stopped dead in my tracks by someone idly assessing whether or not the ceiling needs to be refinished. Argh.

  47. This is so true! Why are people such bums that they can not walk down an escalator?

  48. i assume you’re facetious. in case not, take a deep breath, enjoy the ride. it’s good advice for life. the only thing at the top of the escalator is death. if you’re in a hurry to get there, there is a solution. “excuse me” works most of the time.

  49. Use Your Brain, Take The Stairs.

  50. Agreed. It bugs me when people are standing in my way on the elevator at work when I’m about to go on break, so I put my badge back on and hide my wallet behind my back to when I say “excuse me.”
    They move.
    There is power in the plastic.

  51. Another comment… you are really regimented at such a young age… not enough creative thinking going on there… just want to be told what to do and when, and have meltdowns when there is a “complication” with the routine? Ever think of saying to the person in front of you… nicely and with a smile… excuse me, I’m in a hurry…. That simple social skill recognizes that others may have things on their mind other than clearing your way on an escalator. Life sometimes distracts our thinking from an automatic mode. Be nicer, or go find out why you are having such anger with strangers on escalators before you hurt your health for stupid reasons.

  52. Tourists stand in the middle of subway escalators in Washington, DC. The people of DC have rules for dealing with this.


  53. The only reason to stand still on an escalator is so that you can make out with your sweetheart. Eyes closed, mouth open, you are standing right next to the railing. This disgusts other people on the escalator, but still allows them to slog right past you quickly.

  54. I live in a Midwestern city in the U.S. so the only places I usually see escalators would be in department stores or at a big mall. Not places where I think anyone is in a huge rush, or should be. Escalators make me nervous so I just try to hold on and stand still. I also think of them as a place to take a deep breath and try to relax. So the idea of someone being in a hurry on them seems strange to me. But you must be talking about subway ones, I’m guessing.

  55. I agree, and I’m one of those who sometimes stands there, and sometimes walks. I also confess to the crime of standing in the middle, sometimes. After all, what’s your rush?

  56. LOOOOOOL thank you for putting a smile on my face 🙂

  57. I’m not sure I agree with your reasoning. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen people walking up/down the steps on escalators.

    You say that it is a resonable expectation because it’s only 4-8ish steps considering the escalator is obviously already moving. But really, where can you possibly be going in such a hurry? Perhaps you ride on very slow escalators? Because every one I’ve ever been on has only taken, at max, 30 seconds.

    I find it an unnecessary waste of energy to push past families and couples (or get really mad if they’re standing still) on a narrow, moving stairway.

    They are electronic devices and accidents do happen. If you’re rushing past people, it’s all the more likely that some small child is going to trip or painc at the top. I’ve seen shoelaces get caught in escalators, dragging most of a shoe through a half inch opening before the emergency stop button was hit.

    Really, I think you need to calm down, and think about it. You’re reacting oddly strongly about the “issue.”

  58. So totally agree with you! Even If I am not in a crazy hurry, I’d rather move – unless I’m extremely tired or I’m with somebody I can just stand and talk to:) I’d really love if people do actually abide the stand-right pass-left rule because it saves a lot of energy and nerves (on my behalf and as I can see on yours too) 🙂
    Congrats for the great post, really refreshing and cheering:)

  59. The rules of the escalator are clear: Standers to the right, walkers to the left. It drives me crazy when people don’t follow this, because some people are in a real hurry and it’s obnoxious to take up all of the space. Similarly, in elevators, the perimeter of the elevator must fill up before people stand in the center of the elevator. Groups standing right in the middle of the elevator annoy me, too.

  60. After I laughed my hiney off I have to explain that Yes, I am that person you so despise and here is why I am doing this to you:

    I am terrified of heights and my palms are so sweaty from being afraid that all I can think about is losing my grip and bounding down the escalator where I will be sucked into the machinery and die. After I die, I will fall down into hell, and burn forever because God hates people who hold up the escalator. Perfect love casts out fear and all he asked me to do was to love the escalator but I couldn’t do that. (Neither could you, but that’s your problem. As long as you repent before you fall down the escalator, you won’t go to hell.)
    So, that’s my story. I’m writing to you from hell. Are you happy?

  61. fortunately, there is no even a single escalator in my island (i think thats the reason why we have strong legs. hehehehe)

  62. I completely agree! I love me some escalators(i’m a lazy person, i cant lie)but when people don’t move when you’re in a hury, it can be so annoying. But when i get those people that wont stop trying to “pass” me, i bop from one side to another just to piss them off. =]

  63. When I was living in France in the early ’90s there was a t.v. show called Grand Hotel. Think Are You Being Served? in a four star hotel.

    One of the funniest skits I’ve ever seen anywhere was when the hotel had a power failure and everyone got trapped on the escalator. All of the cliched sitcom trapped in an elevator bits were thrown in: “You’re breathing all the air.” “What if no one knows we’re stranded here,” etc. Of course no one thought to just walk down to the ground floor on it.

  64. cool blog! 🙂

  65. After reading most of the comments, it’s just amazing how much people distrust each other and look at themselves first. The best is people not touching the rubber handrail, good one, probably the very same persons not washing their hands because they are already so clean! Let’s watch Monk now.

  66. Really good bog!!! 🙂

  67. I thought that was kind of the point of escalators? I mean, you don’t get angry when people don’t walk on elevators, do you? It’s the same principle. You could just use the stairs. In effect, you’re doing the same thing. There’s no point in using an escalator to rest your feet if you’re just going to keep walking.

  68. The people with the strollers who stop the escalator when it is right next to the stairs… why? Why do they do this?

  69. Terrific analysis…I laughed out loud. And along the same lines, I’d like to add that the only thing worse are when someone stands in the middle of a people-mover (the horizontal escalators in airports).

  70. After working in the city for a couple of years, I realised the escalators are not the problem at all – it’s the damn trolley bags that people tow around behind them…

  71. Haha, this is good. I always thought people knew to stand on the right and walk on the left, but people in the bus tunnels in Seattle apparently don’t know that. I think the Bart in San Francisco has signs and apparently people need signs to get through all parts of life.

  72. I think you are right though…it is one of my pet peeves!!

    Ramona Kent
    Author of “Anomar’s Journey”

  73. 🙂
    have you ever been to germany?
    If you plan to do so, pls send your view on escalators well in advance to all inhabitants there.
    its pretty unknown there to move at all on the escalator. they al stand on any side they like and its impossible to be faster than the rest of the crowd.
    if you really die that easy on a heart attack, you better dont go 😉

  74. Love the sarcasm. And no, I’m not being sarcastic.

  75. Agreed. I run up and down them when I use them. Or if I am feeling childish, as I often do, I hold onto the railings and suspend myself in mid air while the escalator moves me down to the bottom. I enjoy the simple things in life, you know?

  76. Great observations! Now what about people who barge onto elevators or subways, before letting people out? Those inconsiderate people drive me nuts!!!

  77. This makes me crazy too!

  78. Agreed! Ditto for the moving walkways at the airport which even have a sign to stay to the right if you don’t plan to be walking. Nothing worse than trying to get to your next plane while one person takes up just enough room to prevent you from moving another inch, as people on the normal walkway make their way past you and laugh. Or maybe they aren’t laughing, I probably just feel that way since I am stuck in slo mo!

  79. I LOVE number 3.

    My personal disdain comes from people who don’t quite understand the “left is for standing, right is for moving” rule.

    More noticeable in people who don’t normally take public transport during peak periods (7-9am and 4-6pm). NERDS!

    I ranted accordingly here:

  80. I live in southern England and frequently travel to or through London. I am a very impatient traveller, so I know the phrase for ‘stand on the right’ in more than one language. If I see people blocking the escalators in the London Underground, I employ all these phrases, especially if I am having a stressed day.

  81. the only thing worse than someone standing in the middle of an escalator is someone who is in a hurry and rushes up the escalator stairs, pushing over the disabled, knocking down those with heavy burdens, causing the person with poor knees to stumble, bumping into the blind or nearly blind person (are you sure you can tell who is blind?), etc. Take the stairs or calm down.

  82. Speaking as a mall cop, my pet peeve about escalators is kids who run up the down escalator or down the up escalator.

    Oh, and parents who think it is ok to hit the emergency red button to halt the escalator just because their bratty offsprings went up (or down) an escalator without mummy.

  83. If you aren’t supposed to ride the elevator, then take the stairs.

    • oops, I meant escalator…sometimes my escalator (and/or elevator) doesn’t make it all the way up to the top.

  84. In South Africa, we drive on the left but seem to stand on the right of an escalator to allow people to pass. Except for those in dreamland, or with nowhere to go – who stand in the middle, or dart left to right, unsure of what to do next.

  85. what is the POINT of an escalator if you walk on it? its sposed to be there to save you the trouble of taking the stairs isnt it? if anyone wants to actually climb up one, use the stairs. no ones EVER in that big a hurry that they cant take out two minutes to enjoy a machine taking some off the hard work out of their lives.

    • >what is the POINT of an escalator if you walk on it?

      I commute to work by train.
      Sometimes when I’m running late and I’m in danger of missing my train, by walking up the escalator as opposed to the staircase I can save myself precious time and possibly catch my train.

    • disagree. i’m in that hurry. i also hate it when ppl block your way. i second the tokyo dude

      also – “enjoy a machine” really? 😀

      • yup i love my machines 🙂 saves me a lot of hard work 🙂 try it sometimes, its fun. if im missing a plane or a train, thats different..but at the mall no way. im never in that big a hurry, if i was wud i REALLY be at the mall.

      • yeah, maybe the people that WORK at the mall might be in a hurry. either way. its just about consideration.

  86. I don’t know if people in Brazil are so much calmer than the rest of the world, but it seems here we let the escalator do all the job. I really don’t care where I stand because I know I don’t have to climb up or down since that’s what the escalator is for…

    But I think that if you are in such a rush, maybe you could get elevators or ask for permission to pass…

  87. People standing overall the place on an escalator is just as bad as the people that take the elevator up one floor when there is a perfectly working staircase two feet from this said elevator. Just walk your lazy ass up the one flight of stairs so you aren’t wasting our time by stopping on your pointless floor!!

  88. I actually had more fun reading the comments from the people who said, “I thought the point of the escalator was to just stand there?”

  89. I’d recommend an “Escuse me”. That usually does it.

  90. Yikes! It’s the worst thing not to have escalator etiquette and living in DC (lots of metros) – you must know the rules!!! It gets quite annoying during touristy times!!! they just stand smack dab in the middle and get an attitude when you say excuse me as if I’m inconveniencing them!!!

  91. It’s better to stand at right side, I think 😀

  92. I always take the stairs given the option! The most annoying escalators are those in the malls as they always seem to attract the most brain dead people who love to take up the full step!

  93. This is one of those social etiquette issues that everyone should know about. If using the stairs is an option I often try to use them. It’s better for me and for my blood pressure 😉

  94. Once I left the U.S. and learned of the general rule in other countries that you stay to the right if you’re standing, I find this so irritating. I think they should post signs on escalators so people know to “Keep to the Right”

  95. There is an amazing amount of comments on your post.Congrats. I believe Jerry Seinfeld once said some people think escalators are part of an adventure ride, a boring adventure ride or maybe their is amazing stuff going on in these people’s heads as they stand in the middle.
    If you want to check out another piece of human madness check out my new blog to help show off people who park in crazy ways in my home town

  96. I bookmarked this link . Thank you for good job !

  97. Finally! Someone shares my sentiment. i sue the escalator to give me an extra push because I would much rather walk. I also hate people that walk in the middle of the sidewalk in Midtown at 8:45 in the morning. HELLO!People are trying to get to work,

  98. Escalators do = Lack of Purpose

  99. Living in New York, escalators and anywhere where there isn’t freedom to move around people who think that moving at the speed of snail is just fine is the bane of my existence. Thank you so much for sharing your rant on this awful circumstance that we all have to deal with! I HATE when you get stuck behind these types of people…it’s even worse when they’re tourists (haha).

  100. I don’t mind people who stand still on escalators…it’s when then they arrive at the end of it and stand still looking around…it’s as if it’s a surprise they are there 😡

  101. Really enjoyed reading your blog. You have a very valid point. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  102. By in large I find the majority of Australians familiar with using escalators stick to the left allowing others to pass – maybe there should be signs before you hope on – don’t stand in the middle.

  103. […] seems to be the modern alternative to the book tucked away in a draw as this blogger’s article on ‘people standing in the middle of escalators’ is tribute to!  I personally like the old fashioned idea of having a physical book which I can […]

  104. excellent writing .

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