While heading down an escalator in the airport today, I saw a man get off the train in a rush. In his haste, he accidentally started up the down escalator. Rather than acknowledge his error and turn around, he kept climbing up the wrong way. Up he went, one step forward one step back as the escalator carried him back down. To avoid losing ground, he picked up his pace. With the increased pace he began to make some progress. I pass him as I am riding it down. He doesn’t look at me. He is clearly embarrassed. I get to the bottom and look back. He is only half way up. He picks up his pace again, trying to outpace the downward rate of the escalator. It’s not easy and he is struggling. Another group of people pass him on their way down. They look at him as perplexed as I am.
Determined, he stubbornly keeps climbing. After about a minute or longer he arrives at the top. He now has to negotiate his dismount. He has to get off the last step and on to solid ground.
Attempt one; he almost falls. He is flailing like a drunk and almost drops his carry on bag slung over his shoulder.
Attempt two; he thrusts himself forward, lurching toward flat, solid ground. He misses and grabs the railings. He barely averts falling all the way down.
Attempt three, he grabs the railings of the escalator. His pace this time is even faster. As he reaches the last step he lunges forward . . . Success!
Then, gracefully and unaffected, he walks to the second tier of escalators and goes up the appropriate one. Yes, the up one.
Rather than admit he made a mistake and head down the down escalator and go back up the correct escalator, this man wasted 2 minutes of his time, almost hurt himself and looked like an idiot in the process. All in an attempt to a avoid admitting a mistake and that we was wrong.
How often do you run up the down escalator. We’ve all do it, but most of the time it’s just easier to admit you made a mistake, ride back down and go up the right one. Really, it is!
Stop riding up the down escalator, you’re not fooling anyone.