Thursday, 30 December 2010

Calling all button-pushers

Good afternoon chickadees (notice the rather optimistic use of the plural there), welcome to bloglet number two.

Today I ventured out into the real world for the first time in almost a week. To be honest, I don't think going down the road to collect the turkey on Christmas Eve really counted as an outing, so it was probably more than a week. Anyway, the point is that I went out into the world (well, as far as Stratford) where I saw actual, real-life, human people. These aforementioned people were going about their daily business, wandering round the shops wrapped up nice and warm in thick coats and scarves. Some of them were with a partner, some were with their family but all of them seemed to be enjoying themselves. How lovely, I thought to myself.

As I waited to cross the road at a set of traffic lights a young family of four also stopped and waited to cross. They were all smiling at each other and the two children were waiting patiently for the green man to appear. Then, the father leant across and pressed the button.

I feel that I should explain to readers at this point that I had already pressed the button myself and that therefore, the word 'WAIT' (written in nice, big capital letters so it's easy to spot) was already lit up.

Why do we do this? Why, as an intelligent race of sentient beings, do we feel the need to press the button at traffic lights when someone else has clearly already done so? Do we not trust the ability of the person already standing at the traffic lights to press the button correctly? Mmm hmm, I see that you've already pressed the button and the word's lit up, but I don't feel completely comfortable about the situation. Yes, I'd feel much better if I pressed the button too.

Can we not see that the individual(s) already at the traffic lights is/are clearly waiting to cross the road as well? Or do we believe that they actually have no intention to get to the other side of the street and that they just like pressing the button and then buggering off?

I don't mean to attack this one man who pressed the button today; I too am an unneccessary button pusher and cannot, upon arriving at an already lit up 'WAIT' sign at the traffic lights, resist the urge to press the button again. My question is why do we do it?

I have a theory that this uncontrollable urge to press the button when it's clearly already been pressed is closely linked with a similar phenomenon which happens with lifts; namely that repeatedly pressing the 'call lift' button will ensure a speedier arrival on the part of the lift. As if somehow it can sense we're in a hurry and will therefore bypass other floors in order to get to us quickly. Crikey, the guy on the third floor's pressed the button seven times now, I'd better get a move on. (Readers should note that I used personification in the previous sentence in order to project human thoughts onto an inanimate object. Lifts do not actually possess any cognitive abilities; I have carried out extensive studies).

I think that I have ranted enough for one day so I shall leave you to ponder why it is that we must repeatedly press buttons. Answers on a postcard, please.

Toodle pops.

1 comment:

  1. ROFL like actual ROFL this is brilliant Groves! I want more pple to read it - I like the use of personification and will be aware of excess button pushing! I wonder however whether the size of the button has any effect on button pushing because in Auz the buttons are 4 times the size of the ones in the UK...