Holding the door open when leaving the movie theatre

The calm before the storm

I’m a huge fan of social observation and experimentation. Even as a little child I was fascinated by the choices people would make. In fact, I loved observing patterns in peoples behavior and even attempting to manipulate that behavior with subtle changes in the environment… or whatever.

One common social observation has resulted in a life-long rule for me:Never hold the door open for someone as you exit the movie theatre.

In virtually every other environment on this planet, I find that people will ‘take the door’ from you if you hold it open for them. And if they don’t take it, the next person will. It’s almost like it’s built in: “Oh, this guy got the door for them. Now I’ll take it from him”. And the line continues in this manner.

But not in a movie theatre. Something makes movie-goers walk right past you and out the door if you hold the door open for them. There is no acknowledgment of your courtesy; No attempt to prop the door open for themselves or the next person.

I don’t know if it’s the benefit of anonymity from the dark theatre, or a desperation to ‘make potty’ after sitting quietly for a 2 hour thriller… but the concept of general courtesy, and ‘door etiquette’, is completely eliminated when exiting a movie theatre.

There have been times in which I have stood there, waiting for the people behind me to bare the burden of the heavy steel door. But no, it’s as though I exist solely to prop this door open for them.

This creates an epic internal battle for me. My mother always taught me to get the door for people – male or female, although it was alwaysladies first at my house. So it’s hard for me when I get stuck there… what if I let that door go? Will someone take it? Will it hit someone in the face? My conscience is weighed with this question every time I think about letting the door go.

How do I reconcile my learned desire to be courteous and polite, with my carnal desire to not be a push-over door man for selfish movie-goers?

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and from this point forward… keep your eyes open, because that door ain’t gonna get itself.

The inside of a RedBox machine

I had an opportunity to snap some photos of the inside of a RedBox the other day, and thought it’d be fun to share them here. Click through for higher resolution:

I'd love to tap on some of these buttons. What do you think "Secure Browser" is? I wonder how you get to the 'Field maintenance App'. Maybe it's only available when the door is open? Otherwise it's probably similar Konami code.

The doors are open!

You can see the modem in the bottom left there

A clear shot of the Wireless modem

Another shot of the wireless modem, showing the SprintWireless card.

A standard Windows workstation by Dell

A classic UPS. I guess they're not taking any chances?

This closed box actually looks like it's one of the wheels movies go into, that you see above. I'm not sure if they can just replace one "wheel shelf" with another or not.

Another shot of the "Wheel Shelf" as she's putting it into the bottom for storage?

The modem and other hardware in plain view.One more shot, just because.


As Rebecca Black would say: “FUN FUN FUN!”

Facebook Restricted List – It's broken. They can see everything… (sometimes)

How many people have used the ‘Restricted list’, thinking their newly ‘friended’ boss will not see all of those disparaging comments made about work, only to find out later that Facebook removed those restrictions without permission?

As sites like Reasonstohate.com continue to expose the dangers of posting publicly, Facebook seems to be in a never-ending attempt to reassure the public that they take privacy seriously. In their latest attempt, they’ve taken a page out of Google +’s book and implemented easier to use “lists”, which are similar to circles. Lists allow Facebook users some granular control over their posts, allowing work friends to see work posts, and neighbors to see neighbor posts, and prevent those worlds for colliding with each other. Unfortunately, there’s a major defect in the way one of these lists work.

Adding friends to lists

When you send a person a friend request on Facebook, you’re also given the opportunity to add that person to your lists, at the same time. That means you can invite a person to be your friend, and classify them as a friend, neighbor, or even add them to the restricted list.

What’s the Restricted list?

The Restricted list is a special list created by Facebook. Let’s hear it directly from them:

When you add someone to your Restricted list, they will only be able to see yourPublic content or posts of yours that you tag them in. So if you put your boss on your Restricted list, post a photo and choose Friends as the audience, your boss (and anyone else on Restricted) won’t see that photo. However, if you add a tag of your boss to the photo, we’ll let them know they’re in it. If someone else tries to tag your boss in one of your photos, you’ll get to approve this tag from your pending posts.

What’s the problem?

When you send someone a friend request, you can also add them to multiple lists at the same time. For instance, when I add a neighbor I don’t know real well, I might add them to “Neighbors” and also to “Restricted”. This allows me to be friends with them and see their posts, but they’ll only see a limited amount of my posts instead of some of the more personal posts I’ve made. Unfortunately, as soon as that person accepts my friend request, they’re automatically removed from the Restricted by Facebook. The other groups are left in place, but the Restricted group is removed. This unfortunately means that any new ‘Restricted’ friends have access to my whole Facebook history until I remember to go and re-add them to the Restricted list. Go ahead! Try it.

I’m unsure if this is intentional functionality (If it is, it’s horrifically stupid) or if it’s a software bug. Either way, it’s a major limitation on the Restricted functionality. Facebook touts it as a way to keep private things private, but they automatically remove that barrier under conditions not made clear in their documentation.

How many people have used the Restricted list, thinking their newly added boss will not see all of those disparaging comments made about work?