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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Door protocol.

If the person walking ahead of you opens a door for themselves, walks through, and then holds it open so you can walk through behind them, it's appropriate to say "thank you." Duh.

However, what if there is a small space - what's it called? a vestibule? - and then another set of doors? And what if that same person, still ahead of you, holds this door open for you as well? Keep in mind you just thanked them .2 seconds ago, does etiquette dictate that you thank them again?

I've always been flustered by that little maneuver, despite the fact that it happens quite often and one would think that by now I'd have it figured out.
posted by hilary at 9:22 PM |


Blogger ::Ali:: said...

I thank them through every door someone opens for me. Even like last night same example we were at the mall, they had doors, the little vestibule place and doors and someone opened them both for us, and I thanked him twice,but that's just me!

5/07/2006 9:42 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

The first door is a thanks, but on the second, you're supposed to give them a hug. It's best to stop there and open the next door yourself (stopping at third is safest).

5/07/2006 11:19 AM  
Blogger Shosh said...

I always wondered about that too. I thank at the first door and nod and smile at the second. Or sometimes, if I can tell it feels a tad awkward to the other person too, at the second door I grin and say "deja vu?!" Usually the person chuckles. And chuckling people are always cute.

5/07/2006 7:16 PM  
Anonymous hilary-dilary-dock said...

I've often wondered that myself. I actually thought about this the other day, but in a little different way.

What if, just say, you are 50 steps from the door...that is still quite a ways away...and a person comes out and realizes that you will be going through that door when you get to it and they stand there and hold it. I always feel like I need to job a bit to get up there so they don't stand there holding the door. Has that happened to you, or is it just me?

I counted my steps once and it was at least 50 steps for me to get to that door and the man just stood there and smiled. When I got a little closer, I jogged and then said thank you. But when that ever happens to me, I feel awkward and almost embarrassed because I wasn't walking faster to get up there!! If none of this make sense, I have been sick this whole weekend and am not all up there today!! LOL!

5/08/2006 1:51 PM  
Anonymous gene said...

At a sequence of 2 doors, as is often found in bldg entrances, someone opens door #1 which lets me into the vestibule facing door #2. I thank them for door #1, but realize I am closer to door #2 and should reciprocate by opening door #2. I do this and get thanked. This little Gaston-Alphonse dance happens often.

Related comment: For elevator doors, usually several people have accumulated by the time the elevator arrives and the door opens. Inevitably, one person insists on entering last, all the while extending a inviting sweep of the arm to shepard in the others. This activity seems gallant, but is almost always the opposite. It is a form of dominance behaviour. Example: A person of high status will always do the gallant elevator move for a collection of lower status individuals. I tried to break this pattern once. The Dean of my college offerred to let me in first. As a professor, I was outranked, but I decided to experiment: I insisted that *he* enter first. He insisted that, no, *I* should enter first. This dance carried on for 30 seconds or so, with each of us offering grand sweeping arm gestures to shepard the other in. Finally the elevator door closed and we missed the elevator entirely.

5/08/2006 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will thank you until you are blue in the face...always err on the side of caution I guess. Though sometimes I'll say thank you for the first door and then "hey, I really appreciate it" for the second. Shrug...who knows?


5/08/2006 3:03 PM  
Blogger hilary said...

josh: lol! you crack me up.

shosh: i do the same thing, generally. the smiling, i mean, not the deja vu. you're way more self confident than me to pull that off. :)

hilary: i know what you mean! i too hustle when someone is holding a door for me. also, when i'm on the other side of the situation (as the door holder) i sometimes don't know what to do. how close can the person be before it becomes rude *not* to hold the door for them? how far away can they be before it's uncomfortable for us both if i *do* hold the door? and what about the times you know you're both going to get to the door *at the same time*? do you ever try to speed up or slow down so that you don't have that awkward moment deciding who is going to open the door?

gene: that happened to me this morning. a guy opened the door for me, and i sped up so i could pass him and get the next one for him. usually, however, i'm still behind the person who opened the door so they end up opening the second one again for me.
you're sucha rebel: challenging the dean, spelling behaviour like a Brit, etc. ;)

5/08/2006 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one who ends up holding doors for people alot, but rarely a double doors like you talk about. I would still saying "thank you" once is penty. Although, I don't think I would ever turn down a smile!


5/08/2006 7:58 PM  
Blogger Tedd said...

As a friend of mine used to say, "Thank me or pay me." I think if you thanked them on the first one, you're covered for the second, just like an enlisted man doesn't need to salute me every five seconds if we are still in the same general area. And speaking of military, Marines are actually schooled that the junior person in the group is supposed to enter a form of conveyance first, and exit last. So perhaps the elevator thing has roots in that. Also, while I personally do not wear a hat indoors anymore, when I used to, I always took it off if I was on an elevator and a lady boarded. 'Just how I was raised...

5/08/2006 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

I can't help but say thanks each time but I usually grin at them the second time to share the semi-awkwardness.
I usually do the Gaston-Alphonse dance and open the second door. When I am in the door opener position it really irks me when a long stream of people decide to take the opportunity to get in on the favor. Often the more there are the less the thanks and no tips either!

5/10/2006 10:13 AM  
Blogger Blue said...

Generally, I'm either with a friend, or pushing a stroller (or both), so I don't have to worry about holding the door and waiting for someone. I do thank them twice for holding the door for me, but I generally try to avoid double doors and enter through a different store (the only time this situation ever occurs is the mall, lol). I have held the door and waited, but generally, I don't do it. I'm lucky if I can get myself and the stroller through the door, I'm not holding the door for anyone!

5/18/2006 10:12 AM  

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