Friday, May 29, 2009

The Door Test: Humanity WIN or FAIL?

Throughout the years I've adopted a sort of "litmus test for humanity." It's a little odd but I feel it's a legitimate gauge for judging the humanity in others. No one knows this of me, but I use this test several times a week. I call it "The Door Test."

There are two "door"-related scenarios you can apply to determine the outlying humanitarianism of an individual. Pretty basic shit.

First, the "Door Holding" scenario. How many times have you walked up to the doors of a building -- maybe your place of employment or your apartment building -- and had a door swung in your face? Let's say there are only 2-6 feet between you and the person in front of you. I think that is a totally safe buffer zone where you should expect the person in front of you to hold the door. I mean, it would take only a second of two for them to do it. Some people don't do this. Some people never do this. It's not because they don't see you... no, even if you know they sense you are behind them -- even if you cough or jingle your keys or slide your shoe against the ground to make a noise -- they still let go of the door only to have it swing shut in your face. These people are ass-holes.

Second, there is the "I Open Door, You Say Thank You" scenario. Any time you hold a door open for someone and they do not say thank you, they are an ass-hole. All they have to do is say it. They can even mumble it if that makes it less strenuous. Now, if you go through multiple sets of doors (as I do at work), the person does NOT have to say thank you at every door opened for them. No, they only have to say thank you for every three doors held for them. This, to me, seems like a reasonable door-hold-to-thank-you ratio. If I walk through seven doors and hold all of them for someone, then they owe me two thank you's total.

So generally speaking, yeah, this is how I have arrived at judging the humanity in others. Everyone has their own little secret thoughts. Everyone judges people, even if they say they do not. If someone says they never judge others, they are a flat-out liar.

The way I see it, if a person cannot hold a door for someone or say thank you when one is held for them, then they are fair game for me to judge them. And my judgment is that they are probably inconsiderate in other aspects of life. Here are some examples:

• They would probably not be trusted to baby sit my kids
• They would probably not "have my back" if a fight broke out (rather, they would run)
• They would probably not offer to help clean up after a party
• They would probably not offer to help me move large pieces of furniture

Those are just a few examples. But they are important.

Saying thank you and holding a door are two things which should come as basic, gutteral morsels of consideration. And they take very little effort.

The bottom line is, if you can't take two seconds out of your "busy day" to use basic manners that they teach you in daycare, then to me, you have failed the litmus test for humanity.

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