Thursday, January 27, 2011

Doors - doesn't anyone knock anymore?

For years and years and years, I worked offshore Newfoundland, and never did I feel a need to lock my cabin door. And for all those years, never did anything occur to make me regret that choice.

Here, it's another matter. I'm beginning to believe that 'door etiquette' handouts are required for all new arrivals.

My cabin serves as my office, and when the door is open, all are welcome. I have even produced a little sign that is posted next to my door, with various onboard locations where I could be on the ship, and I place a magnet by said location so that people know where I am if I'm needed. All the locations even have a little graphic by them, in case English is not the person's first language. How much more friggin' obliging can I be?

The location on the very bottom of the list reads "Z-z-z-z-z-z", and has a clip-art thingy of a person in bed, asleep. When my day is done, the little magnet goes next to the "Z-z-z-z-z-z", and I close my door. I'm fairly certain that a sleeping image with z-z-z-z-zs next to it immediately adjacent to a closed door is pretty universal.

So why, why, why do people feel the need to come up to my door and barge right in without knocking? Twice in the past week this has happened. I do a little freak-out dance and tell them I will not even listen to them until they close the door and knock. I was sat here in my jammies one night, and the guy barged in, and I kept pointing to the door and saying "Out! Out!" and yet in he kept coming. I finally screamed "OUT!!!", and he seemed to get the message. His emergency was that he wanted to be assigned to a different cabin, with his friends. He's lucky I didn't heave him over the side.

Maybe it's a cultural thing. The two instances of which I speak involved gentlemen from some part of Asia. We have a large contingent on board from India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand and Singapore. It was two of these gentlemen who, apparently, don't know Western door etiquette.

That is NOT to say that those of us in the Western world can't be equally mindless when it comes to the closed door. I remember well one time, when I was probably 10 or 11, there were some kind of repairs or painting being done in our basement at home. The 'call of nature' arose, so I went into the little downstairs bathroom to take care of business. I didn't lock the door, because the Harris children, and adults, were well-versed in door etiquette. However, Painter Dude - not so much. You know where this is going. Nowhere that a 10 or 11 year old girl wanted it to go. I've been traumatized ever since.

I've lived alone for most of my adult life, and I confess there are still times I will unconsciously lock the bathroom door. Painter Dude's legacy, I guess.

Even if you know the room on the other side of the door is empty, what's the harm in knocking? This guy thought he knew, but he was wrong. You knock? One of two things will happen - 1) No one will answer. 2) Someone will answer. Either way, you get an answer!!

It's not all about the knocking, though. There's the additional aspect of 'door etiquette' - Knocking and waiting for an answer.

I've noticed over the past few days how people will go to someone else's cabin door, someone who they know is asleep, and knock very lightly. Almost immediately, without getting an answer, they will leave. I rolled my eyes at this when it happened to someone else, but was a heaving mass of rantingness when it happened to me this morning.

Person's asleep. Why knock at all if you're only going to lightly tap on the door? Either you want the person awake or not. If you do, knock like you mean it. If you don't, go away and don't knock in the first place. Why are you tapping gently... what, you don't want to wake him? Then don't knock at all, idiot!!!

However, if you are going to knock on the door of a sleeping person, give the bugger a fighting chance to wake up, realize they didn't dream the knock, and climb out over the sea-rails of the bunk to answer the damned door!

This is cabin fever at its worst, folks. I need to get home out of this!!!



  1. Oh Maggie - you do make me laugh ;0)

    Sorry you're having a bad day and all, but if it's any consolation - you've just made my day!

    Just as anonymous reminded you of your first day blunders at the gates of Suncor, I must remind you of another incident that you experienced in the great white north.

    This one a non-door kocking incident! You must recall the First Nations (I don't know if I cansay Injun here) woman who climbed into bed with you in your apartment after returning home from the bar in such a state she somehow made it to your apartment instead of her own!!! She scared the HELL out of you probably just as much as Painter Dude when you were ten!

    Why is it trouble follows you wherever you go?

  2. Sister Mary Pat!!! MAJOR clarification needed here!! She did NOT crawl into bed with me!!! NOT-NOT-NOT!!!! Almost, but not quite!! HUGE, monumentally huge difference there!!! (And SHE was the one coming home from the bar in a state, not me, just for additional clarification purposes!) But yes, I remember that night well. I called my sister, bawled, (she remembers it well, too!), and then I went to work coz I couldn't sleep, and you were there. Oh, the good ol' days. HA!!!!

    Yes, trouble does tend to follow me. One day, I'll post about being held at gunpoint by the cops in Timberlea. Did you ever hear that story? :-)

  3. You both crack me up. You both along with Tammy saved my sanity numerous times and I never had the cojones to tell you before.

    Luv ya all


  4. Love you too, GloBug. The six months you and I worked together on Team 4 are some of my scariest, happiest, and fondest memories of Fort McMurray. I learned more in those 6 months than I ever did before or since.

    I feel the need for another McMurray Madams weekend... Just sayin'...


Your comments are welcome here! Just keep 'em clean, that's all I ask. I welcome differing opinions, but it IS my blog... I'm going to have the last word!!