How to pass through a door

Talking to a friend, we arrived to a conclusion that people here in NY are not very good in holding the door for others, and in case we do hold for them, sometimes they may pass through it without even saying “Thank You”.

Although it’s a very simple process, it may not be clear to everyone, so I created a graphic to illustrate it, and started by pasting it on the entrances of my school. If you feel the same and want to print one for you, you might download it here.

door sign

And thanks to Chris Choi for taking this picture! : )


  • 1
    February 25, 2011 - 10:46 am | Permalink

    You forgot to add, “Use the door on the right,” or the entrance on the right. Drivers in America use the right side of the road but they forget to enter through double doors using the right side. And then Wal-Mart goes and screws up this whole concept by enabling these individuals by putting the entrance on the left and exit on the right when entering their department stores.

    • 2
      February 25, 2011 - 5:18 pm | Permalink

      None of the Wal-Marts I can recall have the entry door on the left. Check Google Images.

    • 3
      March 13, 2011 - 4:42 pm | Permalink

      THIS is what burns me up:
      If there are double doors, take the door on the right (in the US at least). I’m not even talking about big store entrances with one set of doors for enter and another for exit — just a simple double door like at a Starbucks, for example.

      If i approach the door and open it, i’m opening it for me, not for you to walk out on the wrong side while i wait. There are two doors for a reason.

      @Ash Nallawalla, most Walmarts, Targets and many grocery stores i can think of have the entrance-on-left arrangement.

  • 4
    February 25, 2011 - 3:45 pm | Permalink

    What about people who hold the door for you when you’re really too far away from them and expect you to hurry up so that they can hold it for you and get the warm and fuzzies for doing so? What about the person who holds the door until you take it from them even though its a really slow moving door and there’s no need to take it because you’d get through it before it ever even got close to you and there’s nobody behind you, but the dude gets all huffy anyway because you didn’t take the door from him?

    • 5
      February 25, 2011 - 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Well, these are good points, but optimistic as I am, I like to think that people just fell good about doing something good. If you’re far and they decided to hold the door for you anyway, it’s their choices, maybe they do that because they think it’s worthy. I just like to think that if people didn’t need to hurry so much and cared a little bit more for those around them, this would be a better place to live! : )

  • 6
    February 25, 2011 - 4:43 pm | Permalink

    I would like to add a “consideration”: when two parties approach the same door from different sides nearly simultaneously, please defer to the party with the greatest burden first, and then to the party with the less friendly environment/climate.

    For instance, hold doors for someone coming through the door carrying shopping bags, even if you are there “first” and it is wind whipping cold. Preferably, you should enter and then hold the door to allow them to exit, if possible. As to climate, if it is cold, allow parties on the outside to enter the nice warm premises before barging forth. In contrast, if it is a balmy 102 in NYC, let the outsiders in before you push out. Take a moment to enjoy the nice temps for a last few seconds.

  • 7
    February 25, 2011 - 6:31 pm | Permalink

    It’s not just NY. I’m from Toronto, and people are just as clueless up here. :S

  • 8
    February 25, 2011 - 6:52 pm | Permalink

    thank you!

  • 9
    February 25, 2011 - 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant. Thanks for making this. You could extend the concept into a campaign. I’m looking forward to the “When it’s O.K. to talk during a movie at the cinema” chart.

    • 10
      June 10, 2012 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

      You should aawlys switch, because you started with a 2/3 chance of picking the wrong door. Now that a wrong door has been identified, you have a higher chance of switching to the “right” option.

  • 11
    February 26, 2011 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    Good stuff. I really enjoyed this.

    Could you do one for exiting an elevator?


  • 12
    February 26, 2011 - 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Haha. I found this through Bridget’s blog. This is wonderful. Thanks. 🙂

  • 13
    Luiza Trigo
    February 26, 2011 - 9:38 pm | Permalink

    I liked the idea for “When it’s O.K. to talk during a movie at the cinema”!

  • 14
    February 27, 2011 - 3:16 am | Permalink

    What happens when you get through the door? This happened to me today: a man held the door for me at a coffee shop. I followed the procedure on the flow chart, but that put me inside the coffee shop before the man. It seemed wrong to get in line at the counter ahead of him, since he’d actually arrived at the door before I did, so I pretended to look at things in the shop for a minute until he and his son appeared to be safely in line. But then he asked me to go ahead of him, and we had an awkward “no, after you / no, after you” moment, and then he and his son pretended that they needed time to decide what to order. Except I think the son might not have been pretending. This is all too confusing to deal with before I’ve had my coffee.

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