Saturday, November 7, 2009

EPCOT: The Hierarchy Of Courtesy

As we were walking down a ramp from the monorail toward the entrance to EPCOT this morning, I stopped to open a 3-foot high metal gate before us. After my wife and daughter (in her stroller) went through, I looked behind them and saw a white woman in her 60s waddling behind us. Because she was so heavy and pear shaped, she was clearly having trouble walking down this extended ramp. So I stopped and held this gate open for her as well. She seemed surprised by my gesture and smiled broadly, genuinely appreciative, as she thanked me profusely.

Well, courtesy is contagious, as they say. I noticed that, as she walked through the gate, she saw an older man in one of those "power scooter" things humming along about 10 feet behind her and closing. She stopped for couple of seconds, clearly calculating in her head how long she'd have to stand there and wait for him if, like me, she remained there and held the gate open for this next needy person. And then, abruptly, she put her head down and walked away, letting the gate slam shut behind her, just a few seconds before the man in the power scooter pulled up.

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