Greeted With Doors Wide Open

The world is rife with disasters. We’ve got economic turmoil, fuel shortages, poverty, homelessness, and even Adam Lambert. Every time I see a commercial on TV about a poor, struggling child in desperate need of food, I feel obligated to do something—like change the channel.

Just kidding. Unfortunately, there’s not much my broke, lazy butt can do. However, after some research, I was able to come up with one easy solution that promises to make the world a better place. The solution doesn’t make much sense, but hey, it promises to open some doors.

So what is it? Oh, I already told you—opening doors for people. It’s remarkable how such a mundane and effortless act can spark joy in others. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a nice gesture, but in most cases, it hardly warrants a “thank you.” All you have to do is not move your arm as you continue to walk in the same direction.

You don’t even have to wait for the person to fully pass through. Once they’ve made it halfway, you can release the door. Yet, despite this minimal effort, you’ll still be showered with gratitude—even if you inadvertently slam the door in their face.

It’s an awful lot of hype for something inefficient. Someone who holds a door open might waste 5 seconds while the other person only gains two seconds. If we tally up the 3 seconds wasted and multiply it by the times people hold doors open, then divide by the average human lifespan, the result is a million-dollar loss for every person on Earth.

Trust me. I have a math degree.

Unfortunately, at my university, this simple act of courtesy has morphed into an unwritten rule. It’s become an obligation. Instead of appreciating the kindness behind holding a door, people now judge and criticize those who don’t.

Isn’t the essence of a gesture to go above and beyond? Otherwise, it’s not a gesture at all—it’s a sneaky litmus test for manners.

I try my best to do my part, but it doesn’t always go smoothly. There are times when I hold a door open for one person, only to find myself standing there for what feels like an eternity, playing doorman for an entire circus troupe.

The worst part about my dorm is that I have to walk through three different doors—one to get in the building, one after sliding my ID card, and one to enter my hall. Sometimes, the same person will hold all three doors for me. I’m never quite sure how to respond without making things awkward.

Should I thank the person three times in a row? It seems logical to me, but I always get laughed at. I fail to see what’s so humorous about “thank you,” “thank you again,” and “alright, now I owe you a kidney.”

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Jan 01 9:21 pm

Happy New Years! (: & Thank you, but I don't think I would enjoy being short if I was 😛 .

I'm one of those people who say thank you only when necessary. I say thank you when a teacher gives me a pass, when a friend gives me back my phone after I thanked him/her for holding it, or whatever. Sometimes I think I thank a little too much. I can't help it, but it's not so annoying.

I don't really call people who don't hold doors rude, but I would greatly appreciate it because I find it polite.

Jan 01 9:02 pm

I don't hold doors for anyone. I let my boyfriend do it. Lol. Seriously though, if you ever catch me doing it, you're lucky.

Thanks, I guess I am lucky to win the domain. 🙂

If my love for puzzles earns me the title 'dork', I'd be glad to receive it. At least I'm a dork with a brain.

Jan 01 8:30 pm

I don't really remember if I ALWAYS hold the door open for people, but I do remember times when I do. I don't really care if I get a thank you or not to be honest :S

Jan 01 8:27 pm

Oh I love your new look. 🙂 Sorry haven't visited this site for quite some time.

As always your post made me LOL'd.

Sometimes, people say thank you just for the sake of saying it, without actually meaning it.

Jan 01 7:21 pm

Hahaha! I do the same thing and end up saying thank you every time someone opens a door for me even if it's the same person. I'll have to try the kidney line though. I like it!!

Jan 01 5:36 pm

Your posts always make me laugh..and then I say that every time I comment your blog, lol!

I think the whole not saying thank you deemed as rude is totally true though. Like it's common courtesy isn't it? But then sometimes it backfires too..or like fifty people start walking in and do they all say thank you? No, haha. XD

Jan 01 5:20 pm

Will do.
I love the hook too, I just don't know where to mount? it yet.

Jan 01 5:16 pm

Yeah mostly in the summer. But some celebrity died a few months ago. ): Haha yeah hopefully, 2010 won't be like that. Thank you! I hope you had a good New Year's too!

Ah the magic word. My principal said that when you buy lunch please use the words "please" and "thank you." :3 Just because you don't say thank you doesn't mean you have to be so rude, eh?

I love your site, by the way. It looks so pro. ;D

Jan 01 3:19 pm

The commercials with the kids don't really affect me. However, those ASPCA commercials with all the kittens and puppies… those tear me up.

I've never really experienced this. I honestly can't remember the last time someone held open a door for me. 🙁

Jan 01 2:03 pm

Haha! That would be totally cool if I became a superstar! xD

And I agree, people get so appreciative over holding the door open for them. I always try and do that, though because it's polite!

One time, I like held the door so long cause It was like person after person. Haha!

Well, anyways, Happy New Year! 🙂

Jan 01 1:09 pm

Hey I agree with the thank you on the door opening for others routine. It only seems right. As for my resolution. I don't have one. Do you?

Jan 01 11:50 am

Hey! 🙂
I agree with you about saying "thank you". At my school I have to go through two doors to get in, and when the person in front of me holds open both of them, I have no idea whether they're expecting two thank you's, or what. It's pretty weird. Then whenever you get something from people in my classroom and don't say thanks, they give you a face and say, "Thank you…?" like they expect you to repeat them. I just say you're welcome. xD

Haha yeah, the second one would probably help the first one. 😛 I hope your new year turns out great, too! 🙂

Jan 01 11:26 am

Thanks 🙂 Happy New Year to you too!

Interesting "rant"! Saying thank you is the only way we know for sure that the person receiving the kind gesture acknowledges it. And yeah, opening a door for someone seems rather tedious but maybe for some people it all they are capable of doing in terms of performing an act of kindness. But, I know what you mean, it's kinda become a social "test-thing". I guess for the people who view it in that way, they probably have some insecurities with the way they are "contrived" in society. lol. But we all do when you think about it. In a way, if you focus too much of your time and attention on trying to satisfy people through a simple gesture like opening a door, you're are kind of being selfish to yourself and other things that need that kind of attention to be exerted upon.

Anyways, have fun 😛

Jan 01 9:27 am

Thank you (:
It's been way too long since I've been to your site. Probably because I'm lazy in addition to my month with my site down. I love what you've done with the place!

Jan 01 12:58 am

Haha, I hope so. 😀 I would love to laugh back at my friends. XD

I think that "Thank you" is not really necessary just because a person opens a door for you, although I guess it's a nice gesture.

There's nothing rude about not saying thank you. It's your choice whether you want to be so nice to hold a door open for someone or not and it's your choice whether you want to thank them or not.

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