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Dawdlers

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Thundery wintry showers

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There's usually a clash of "rights" when it comes to people being slow, say, at the front of a queue in a supermarket. There's the right of the people at the front to be leisurely and not be in a rush, vs. the right of the people behind to be able to progress in the queue without being heavily delayed.

The need for consideration towards others works both ways and both sides can be guilty of being inconsiderate. We know about the impatient people who put pressure on those in front of them to hurry up, but there are also the dawdlers who feel that others should just let them take as much time as they like and have infinite reserves of patience and allow an infinite amount of extra time for their day-to-day activities- some of whom get a boost from watching others get annoyed in the queue behind them.

I think all too often, the "dawdlers" get the benefit of too many doubts. There's a perception that people just need to slow down, be more relaxed, allow more time for everything and be more patient, and then it will be better for everyone, and thus that "dawdlers" are well within their rights. However, there's a difference between being slower because you aren't in as much of a hurry, vs. being slower because people dawdle more in front of you- the latter is a recipe for [i]more [/i]frustration and impatience, not less. There should be limits as to how much extra time people should be required to allow, and how much inconvenience and discomfort it is OK to subject them to.

This issue is relevant to some motoring-related discussions that I've been involved in on this forum (the belief that people should be entitled to drive as slowly as they like, fuelled by the war against speed) and a similar argument can be put forward for the slow-walking people who walk 6 abreast down an alleyway.

Personally I think that if possible, if you want to be slow it is good to occasionally let other people past. For instance if I'm walking down a pavement and someone is going for a jog, I'll step out of the way, I won't stand in his/her way and say, "stop being in such a rush!". Similar with people who want to drive very slowly- when holding up queues of 10 vehicles down a country lane it would be good to pull over once in a while instead of saying, "they should all have to bow to my right to slow everybody up". Of course, this often isn't possible in the likes of supermarket queues, in which case the only considerate thing to do is not to take a lot more time than you really have to.
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If there's something which really grinds my gears it's being stuck behind a 'dawdler'. Fair enough if you've got the whole day to just casually stroll around the supermarket etc without a care in the world but most people aren't in this boat and wish to get in and out with little fuss; without having to manouvre through a Total Wipeout style assault course consisting of the elderly, middle of the aisle trolleys (left there whilst the owner of it wanders to find the tin of beans they're after) and the basket whackers who appear to have the sole purpose of making as much unwanted contact with their baskets/trolleys as possible. Oh how I hate shopping sometimes.

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