As a mom of toddlers and daughter of senior citizens, I’m quite bothered by these signs at shopping malls. Much more of their #EscalatorEtiquette campaign. I don’t mind if people walk on the escalator as long as they do it carefully and courteously. But, if you make it into a rule and open the door for bashing even of people who are in “different/special situation”, then I guess there is something to talk about.
1. I have a toddler whom I can no longer carry especially now that I’m pregnant. He’s heavy and big for his age yet, my instincts tell me he’s not ready for the escalator all on his own. Better safe than sorry, you know. So, whenever we take the escalator, I get a tight grip of his hand and we go hand in hand, side by side. We’re still training him how to safely ride the escalators and we’re teaching him about the safety rules. These are things which he cannot learn from mere word lecture or through school. It is one lesson only experience can teach.
2. When I carry my two-year old and I have a diaper bag hanging on my left shoulder. You know how diaper bags are; quite bulky, yes. My diaper bag is a gift to us so I have no choice but to use it. Sure I can buy another one but that would be impractical. Besides, why would I choose an unguarded backpack especially these days? Imagine, as I carry my baby with my right arm and a diaper bag on my left shoulder, some would squeeze themselves carelessly, bumping our bag and makes me off-balance sometimes. It has happened to us several times in shopping malls, in escalators.
3. When I’m with my parents who are senior citizens, my father even has had a stroke years ago, you don’t expect me to stand in front nor behind them, right? It’s imperative that I assist them as they use the escalator. Now, I know what you are thinking, use the elevator, you fool! Mind you, do you know the elevator situation in malls? It’s small, always crowded and you’d wait for several minutes with the risk of being overtaken in the queue by some rude people. We may be, well, supposedly the priority in elevators per book but that is not implemented or guarded strictly. So, instead of playing as a bouncer in front of elevators, we’d rather stand on escalators.
4. When I buy a luggage bag (okay, so I don’t buy one every week!) or when you have a shopping bag with wheels. It’s trending even as giveaways, especially in trade fairs. For balance purposes, it is but logical to hold it beside you, right?
Now, I don’t really mind people walking their way in escalators but please don’t make it into some rule and give others the license to be rude or indifferent or worst bash at us, us with a different situation. Even I myself walk at escalators but I would understand if others could not stand on one side and let me pass. I don’t stare and mutter words at them like they are so unethical, unruly and selfish. The problem kasi is if you turn it into a rule without exceptions and tag it as “escalator etiquette”, people could easily judge and bash everyone who stands at the left side even those with valid reasons.
The problem of today’s world I guess. We are all living a fast-phased life. We need everything in an instant. Instant coffee, instant noodles, instant cash, instant shopping. We forget the other discipline which is patience. If you were in such a hurry, why not take the stairs instead?
In other countries, this rule is meant for subways where people need to hurry to catch up with train schedules. But, even in other countries, they are starting to discourage the walking in escalators as a study revealed that it is still faster if everyone stands. Just like in anything I guess, if you let a machine or someone for that matter do what it/he is supposed to do, then, the task would be finished faster. It/He would be more effective and efficient.
My kids would grow up. My parents would in the future not be able to stand and would probably roam the mall in wheelchairs. But, my stand on this issue won’t change. More than ethics, it is kindness, compassion and consideration for others.
I still believe that escalators were built so people can be transported in different building levels while standing. If you need and want to walk, take the stairs.