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Slow people.

  1. Sep 3, 2010 #1


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    Just a bit of a rant here:

    I've come to the conclusion that slow people drive me crazy. For example, the guy that you are waiting on to cross the street and who ambles across like he's on a sight-seeing tour. I'm not talking about people who just can't walk any faster, like the elderly, but that guy in his 20's who walks like he's wading through molasses.

    What makes me bring it up is that I ran afoul of three of them today. I had the day off, so I thought that I'd get some shopping done. While I was at it, I was going to return some cans (we have a 5 cent deposit on beverage containers in Oregon.) I just had a couple of paper bags worth, so thought that it wouldn't take long.

    When I got to the store, 2 of the can return machines were out-of-order and the other two were in use. I set my bags down to wait. I slowly began to lose my patience. Not only did the people using the machines ahead of me have tons of can that they were returning, they were extremely slow.

    The machines work by feeding a can at a time. The machine then reads the bar code to make sure it that is a returnable can, sends it to the bin and waits for the next can. I always have the next can ready the instant the machine is ready for it. These guys however, would put a can in, wait for the machine to take it, then dig in their bag for the next can, pull it out, stare at it for a while (why, I don't know), and then finally feed it into the machine.

    After watching this for about 5 min, and seeing how slowly they were making headway through their cans, I gave up and left. I put the cans back in the car and went ahead with my shopping.

    I get through my shopping and head to check out. You bag your own groceries here and each check out stand has two conveyor belts for your checked times which the cashier alternates between, so that two people can bag their groceries at the same time. The guy ahead of me had just a few items, and the gal ahead of him had quite a bit, but most of hers was already ready to bag.

    The cashier went through the guy ahead of me pretty fast, and since the lady ahead of him still had quite a bit to bag, he started putting my stuff behind the other guy's. Big mistake. This guy had to be one of the slowest people on the planet. Not only did he move slow, but he didn't even use the conveyor belt to the move his items towards where he was bagging. (there's a button you can use for that). He was walking back and forth, picking up an item, carrying it back to his bag, then walking back for another item...

    Meanwhile, my groceries are starting to pile up in front of the cashier, because he has no other place to put them. He finishes checking my items, I pay for them, and the guy ahead of me still hasn't finished bagging his few item. The gal that was in front of him is long done with hers, So the cashier starts lifting my stuff over to her now empty belt. I had half my stuff bagged before the other guy finally finished.

    I just don't get how some people can be be so slow at doing the little mundane things. In my mind, these are the things that you try to get through as quickly as possible in order to save time for those things that it is worth spending time on.

    End of Vent.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2010 #2
    Get over it. They wont change, you wont change. So why waste your energy? Move on , and avoid what hassles you. And btw, what you think is important, others wont give a dime about it.
  4. Sep 3, 2010 #3


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    AAAArrgghh. You just made me relive some of my worst moments.

    What's with the people that walk so slow that you can't figure out how they do not topple over between steps? And you're right, these are young, healthy looking people. What's worse, is two of them will walk side by side and you can't pass them.

    A woman I used to work with that latched onto me would ask me to go to lunch with her. We always ended up at the drive thru of her bank. She would pull up to the window, then fix her hair and put on lipstick. Then she'd start sloooowly fumbling through her purse, looking for her checkbook. Then she'd start looking for a pen. Then she'd read the last 3 pages of her check register. Then she'd start writing her check veeerrryy slooowly. Then she'd start looking for her driver's license. Then she'd make an entry in her check register. then she would replace the pen in her purse. Then she would replace her checkbook. Then she'd recheck her hair and lipstick. Then she'd roll down her window, look at her check again, then hit the button to get a tube sent from the teller who has slipped into a coma while waiting.

    THEN, she get's her money. And she counts it sloowly, 3 times. Then she separates it into different piles and starts folding them and THEN placing different wads into different parts of her purse. (I found out that she hides money from her husband). Then she rumages through her purse for cigarettes, finds them, manages to get one out. Looks at it, decides to place it into her mouth. THEN she starts looking for her matches. By this time there is a long line of angry people trying to pull out of line from behind us and get to another teller and honking their horns. then she gets all upset, clueless as to why all of these people are being so rude to her. :surprised

    There have been few people in my life that I just point blank had to burn my bridges with and tell them I could not go anywhere with them for the sake of my sanity. Luckily, she was shocked and refused to talk to me again.
  5. Sep 3, 2010 #4
    Recently, I began driving the speed limit. Exactly. Sesame Street's the Count would go insane trying to count all those middle fingers. But apart from the reactions from everyone else hurrying by, I noticed that I wasn't feeling quite so angry or irritable when I stopped hurrying through my day to day.

    Uh, sorry Janus if I pissed you off recently. :tongue:
  6. Sep 3, 2010 #5
    :devil: I knew there was a reason why I always liked you .
  7. Sep 3, 2010 #6

    Ben Niehoff

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    What annoys me the most are people who stop to talk in bottleneck areas. Don't stop in the doorway! Go all the way inside or all the way outside, and then move over out of the way to have your conversation.
  8. Sep 3, 2010 #7
    hm... I'm pretty slow sometimes... lol! the other day I was kind of just standing there, not even walking! I was trying to decide what to do next - in my head. for some reason I couldn't decide! and so I stopped. to think. haha... luckily there wasnt anyone walking behind me!
  9. Sep 3, 2010 #8


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    We have some hilly, twisty roads around here, and the worst drivers are the passive-aggressive jerks that insist on driving 5-10 mph below the speed limit most of the time when condition clearly warrant the top allowable speed, and then speed up to the speed limit when you might have the opportunity to pass them. Those jerks are killers, and when they precipitate rash behavior on the part of other drivers, they never get blamed for the carnage.

    As a long-time biker (40+ years) I have witnessed dangerous behavior like this more times than I can count. With a hopped-up bike (I did my own mods and tuning) I could generally pass the creeps very quickly and safely in short distances. Pissed-off drivers in under-powered cars and trucks did not have that option.
  10. Sep 3, 2010 #9
    One day I heard someone say the same thing about the persons who take the elevator for 1 floor. The point is, we never know why someone stops in a doorway, or takes the elevator for one floor only. We think we know. But maybe, the person who took the elevator for 1 floor has arthritic knees. Or gout. Just get around them. An agile person will just make way around them or if he is a bit more aggressive it will just say "Im sorry" and gently guide them out of its way.
  11. Sep 3, 2010 #10
    Grr... One of my pet peeves, as well, and yes, particularly at choke points such as doors and narrow intersections where I can't simply dodge around them.

    Interestingly, more than one person has remarked that I have an uncanny ability to breeze through a crowded room like it was empty, while they feel stuck like ball bearings in a pachinko machine. I just look at the currents so as to spot where the holes will open up, then head in that direction.
  12. Sep 3, 2010 #11
    I'd advise you all not to go and live in Soutern France where they seem to exploit time dilation extremely well, even without approaching c. They just slow the time. Nothing moves there, except cars with a Toulouse licence plate.
  13. Sep 3, 2010 #12

    Daudet, Tartarin of Tarascon
  14. Sep 3, 2010 #13


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    If it were just their own time they were wasting, I wouldn't give it a thought, but when its my time... The problem is that you can't avoid them. I avoided wasting my time returning cans, but only at the expense of not being able to return them at all. I couldn't avoid the guy in the check out line, as I didn't know that he was going to be so slow until it was too late.
  15. Sep 3, 2010 #14
    Yeah, but what the hell can we do ? Not too much, those bums are everywhere. So I personally got over it.
  16. Sep 3, 2010 #15


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    One thing I've found to avoid people of all speeds: do things early in the morning. And I mean early (I'm a morning person o:)). If the store opens at 7:00, be in there by 7:01. Most slow people are just getting around to going to bed, at that time of day.
  17. Sep 3, 2010 #16


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    Sorry Evo,

    I just couldn't resist, but she sounds like classic OCD to me, your opinion ?

  18. Sep 3, 2010 #17
    I hate people who don't walk quickly at a pedestrian crossing in a parking lot. There are some unwritten rules, that I unwrote, for pedestrian crossing etiquette.
    You don't immediately cross, assuming the driver will stop. You look both ways, like you're crossing the street; if a car is coming, you don't immediately start walking across in front of them. You wait until you see he's coming to a stop, give a little wave or whatever, then cross. You don't cross at an angle, you go straight across. It's preferable if you walk quickly across. Don't run or anything ridiculous like that, but make an effort to at least slightly increase your speed. You don't even have to increase your speed, you can just make it appear like you're walking faster. Some people opt for this strategy: they wait for you to stop and do a little wave as they start to jog across, but they don't keep jogging, they jog for like one or two steps, then begin to walk. That gave the appearance that they hurried to get across to not waste your time, when in fact, they didn't get there any faster than they would had they walked the whole way.
  19. Sep 3, 2010 #18


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    Definitely OCD and on some major tranquilizers, the woman could barely function.
  20. Sep 3, 2010 #19
    Gawd, my blood boils when I read this thread.
  21. Sep 3, 2010 #20
    I definitely get why everyone here is bothered by slow people, but I think perhaps you are all missing an opportunity. I've learned to keep any problems I'm working on with me, either mentally, on my ipod, or in my backpack. In any downtime, whether it be waiting in lines, at the doctor's office, driving in traffic jams, waiting for my wife etc, I work on a problem. Before long, I'm upset that my time was not held up even more.

    This is one of many strategies one can employ to outsmart Murphy's Law. Give Murphy a Catch-22 option whenever you can. This won't help a typical person, but given the audience here (mathematicians, scientists, engineers etc.), it seems like a reasonable thing to mention.

    I've done this for over 20 years now; however, my recent purchase of an ipod offers the opportunity to read a book (via Kindle), or to watch lectures that I've downloaded. Now, I'm even more upset when people are not holding me up. I'm on the verge of becoming obsessed with finding people that will hold me up, rather than trying to avoid them.

    Damn, now that I think about it, perhaps this is Murphy's new strategy.
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