I work in a lovely building. Admittedly, I’m not hard to please, since my previous places of work have had flaws such as plants growing through the walls, rats peeing on you from the ceiling panels or even walls that would give way if you leaned on them. So you can imagine my delight the first time I set foot in this great ark of glass, stone and brushed steel! Hell, it’s so cushy here the toilet door handles don’t even come off in your hand. Much.
I also happen to work with Very Lovely People. No, really, in the whole of this company of many hundreds of people, I can only honestly name 2 or 3 that I actually dislike (minor annoyances and routine incompetence set aside, of course, plus of course all the people I don’t actually know) which is really quite a good score as these things go.
These two nice things make for a pleasant workplace, but they do also create one of those little quandaries that can be the Achilles’ heel of an otherwise enjoyable day. You see, between the desk areas and the lifts/stairs/toilets, there is a double glass door. And people bing nice, they always do the polite thing and hold it open for others. Except sometimes it just goes that bit too far and you end up wishing they hadn’t.
For example, if you’re still quite a way away from the door, and they end up waiting there, holding it, for more than a comfortable amount of time. In fact this is a doubly tricky one, because sometimes you’re walking towards the door, but not actually planning on going through it, but instead heading off to the right to see Fred in Accounts. So you get guilted into going through them all the same and making some crazy detour just so you don’t look too stupid.
Another classic of glass-door-protocol-awkwardness is the case when both you (approaching the door) and they (person holding door open) enter the state of Glass Door Standoff. They insist you come on through, but they are holding the door in such a way that it would be technically awkward for you to do so, so you gesture them to come on through, which would make everyone happy by still holding the door open, while freeing the passage. But no, politeness strikes again, they couldn’t possibly pass the doors before you, now, don’t be silly! It’s the left-right-left shuffle that you classically get when two people are walking towards each other and wish to let the other pass. Can’t we just all adopt a universal rule and all step to the right? Or the left, whatever.
Also, as his nibs CzarAllan well knows, a glass door is a terrible thing. It gets covered in clammy hand marks, therefore there is a guy at work whose main job of the day is going round all the glass doors on all the floors of the building, wiping off the hand marks… and then doing it again. So I’m torn between feeling guilty if I have to touch the glass rather than the handle (usually due to a Glass Door Standoff) and thinking that if people didn’t get the door all covered in squishy pawprints, the guy would be out of a job.
I work in a lovely building, I do, it’s fairly well built as these modern things go, looks impressive and all, but there is just a bit too much glass in strange places. If only they had cut out those doors and made the toilet cubicles out of something more… opaque? Oh, did I not mention? The cubicle walls are all made out of frosted glass. Yup. Weird, eh?