If you've ever worked in a big city, then you not only know the struggles of vehicular commuting, but just walking on the darn street trying to get to where you need to go.
I don't miss having to trudge through Manhattan every morning and evening to get to and from work. The myriad of tourists, street performers, selfie-taking nerds, and costumed street performers extorting people for money was a nightmare.
But stationery people were easy to bypass, the worst are those who clog up the sidewalks with their snail-pace walking.
There are tons of ways to deal with slow walkers. You can dart around them the second there's an opening if you're not in the mood to employ the ringing bell strategy like up above. Or you can mock their slow pace while trudging behind them to at least entertain yourself as you're late to whatever appointment you have.
But what happens when you, a fast walker, encounter another fast walker who's slightly slower than you are? You need to pass this person because you don't want to be that awkward kind of close walker who just lulls behind an individual, making them uncomfortable.
Something that Twitter user Gabe Rivera brought up online which started a whole conversation of the nature of fast walking dos and don'ts.
You know how when you're a fast walker and the guy ahead of you is fast too but only 90% as fast as you, so you MUST pass him, but to pass him you have to walk comically faster than your normal speed, or else you'll be in his personal space too long as you pass? That's annoying.— Gabe Rivera (@gaberivera) January 17, 2018
There are rules about personal space.
And social norms seem to make the entire width of the sidewalk the other person’s personal space. Sometimes you just have to step off the curb into the street.— Matt McClure (@matthewlmcclure) January 17, 2018
And even though you have to pretty much jog to get past them, Rivera argues it's an important move to shame people into getting out of the way.
It's inconvenient, but a good way to let everyone else know how terribly slow they are.— Gabe Rivera (@gaberivera) January 17, 2018
I just don't understand why people don't follow the rules of road traffic when walking. If you want to be slow, stay on the left.
But standardizing a fast walker walking pace would be nice.
I live this truth every day. I miss Hawaii where at least I walked faster than the entire state.— Gene Park (@GenePark) January 17, 2018
There have been extensive studies and commentaries on this important social cultural phenomenon.
Something that Rivera couldn't help but appreciate and use to bolster his point.
Like drivers, however, you have to imagine that there are some people out there who will walk more quickly to prevent you from passing.
when you go to pass the 90%-as-fast guy, does he speed up to not let you? Because men do this to women which is even more annoying— Carolyn Penner (@cpen) January 17, 2018
Now although this might seem like rare occurrence, it probably does happen a lot more than you think.
Ugh. Not usually.— Gabe Rivera (@gaberivera) January 17, 2018
If you secretly record a viral shaming video of said dudes, I will RT.
But, like any good scientific study, the most meaningful results are conducted in the field.
Hey Siri. Clear my calendar. I need to speed walk all over Manhattan tomorrow.— Carolyn Penner (@cpen) January 17, 2018
Some men brought up the problem of being a fast walker on a sidewalk with a female fast walker.
It's even worse when person in front is female and you want to overtake so she doesn't feel that you're stalking her but if you walk too fast to do so it sounds like you're chasing her.....— Wildthing🔸🇪🇺 (@SJWilding) January 17, 2018
To which other people responded with some solid tips on avoiding any awkwardness.
You're fine if you don't make eye contact/stare and just keep walking. Helps to have headphones so you just look oblivious.— Kinna Thompson (@KinnaThompson) January 17, 2018
You know when you come up with the perfect comeback to what someone said? It's called "The Spirit of the Staircase." Basically, you think of what you would've said at the party to that person just as you're leaving.
So why isn't there a word or phrase for fast walking frustration?
Regardless of what it's called, it's just such a nuanced act.
There’s an art to the pass. Not too soon because you’ll appear passive aggressive. Too far and you’ll tire yourself out and eventually they’ll catch up. Preach Gabe.— Ashley Huffman (@ChickTech) January 17, 2018
Some people, believe it or not, take an inordinate amount of pride in how quickly they can walk.
Being able to walk faster than people is the only accolade I allow myself. If they defeat me I cannot accept it, always concoct a reason why (the weather doesn't suit me, my bag is heavier than theirs etc)— morning unglory (@glowypanda) January 17, 2018
While others just think this is a conversation that deserves more attention than it currently receives.
It's difficult to argue that it isn't important and if you don't think so, well, come talk to me after you're in a hurry on a crowded sidewalk one day and there's someone in slightly less of a hurry than you ambling about.