Wednesday, November 26, 2008

30 - Pulling a push-door or pushing a pull-door

Let me paint the picture for you: You're walking with your friend at the mall. A shop has a door with a sign that says PUSH. You're walking, you're walking at a semi-quick pace, your friend goes ahead of you and reaches for the door. You expect to swiftly follow him/her into the store, but your friend seizes the handle and pulls it. The door cannot quite 'bend' that way, so he/she only manages to create a gap that's about an inch wide, before the hinges of the door hit their maximum elasticity, causing the door to rebound toward your friend. Your friend suddenly realizes his/her silly mistake and looks at you with a lot of humility, smiling or laughing, expecting you to find it funny too.

Oh, man. It is funny, I have to say. I would laugh if it were me. I mean, when people push a door that says PULL, that's freakin' hilarious, isn't it? They apply the force and the door remains immobile! LOL.

NO. No, no, no. It's not funny. It's incredibly careless and unforgivable. If there's a sign that says PUSH or PULL, you should know better. If there is no sign, well, you should use your intuition. Use your sixth sense. Find the psychic in you and attack(!) that door preemptively. It really is a mistake that occurs too often. If you truly want to observe pure stupidity, keep an eye out for this.


Why being an A- or B-grade student is alright to me.


Robot Nine said...

How about I admit to some stupidity. Shoney's restaurant has a little foyer before the bathrooms, so I went in, glanced up, went in the men's and used the bathroom. Exiting a woman was going in to the Men's, squeezing past me, looking at me as if I were in HER WAY! Damn housecleaning woman I supposed, glancing back, I noticed that because of the foyer I had glimpsed just the 'men' part of the word "Women". I had used the Woman's restroom inadverdently. Oops! I didn't even notice the lack of urinals, lol.

J.J. in L.A. said...

What irritates me is when the person pushes the door and it doesn't open, then pushes it again, as if it'll magically open. I'll be waiting, saying, "Pull it" and they act surprised.

Madame DeFarge said...

Kind of assumes that the pusher/puller can understand the language used to advertise the direction of the door. I merely point this out because us international jetsetters have to remember the French for push and pull or isk the double ridicule of being a foreigner and a confused push/pull person.

bethany_boo said...

I have an embarrassing story that is something like your blog. I was leaving math class one day with a friend and we got to a huge set of doors. I couldn't figure out how to open them and there was a classroom full of people right next to me. So, instead of trying to figure it out I just turned around and walked away not realizing that I was going to have to turn back around and go out those doors eventually. I always seem to make an ass out of myself in front of large groups. But your post made me go back to that day and it made me laugh pretty hard too.

Michael said...


That's okay. I've done that once or twice (or around twenty times) in my lifetime. In my previous school, I would muddle up the locations of the male and female toilets and I've been given detention for being that absent-minded.


Michael said...


Sort of makes you feel good, though, doesn't it? I mean, in their eyes, you're sharp and you solve tricky situational problems.


Michael said...

Madame DeFarge,

Good point. That's not stupid, then. You're exempt.


Michael said...


Don't feel too bad/embarrassed. At least you're the 'entertaining one'. Glad I made you laugh at something that probably wasn't so laughable for you at the time.


Jessica said...

I always like to think of it this way: if there is a sign telling you to do or not do something, then that means there was someone who made a stupid mistake to begin with. for example, since there are "push" and "pull" signs on doors, that means that there were a lot of people who didn't have enough common sense to figure out how to open the door and so they were forced to put a sign there to tell us how to do it.
also, there is a "pull" sign on a door at the gas station I usually go to, but due to the fact that too many people pushed the door instead, you actually have to push it now in order to get it opened. it makes me laugh every time.

Michael said...


Good point. There are many signs that actually serve no/little/stupid purpose. And that door at the gas station's making me laugh too.