This year’s work travels have uncovered a topic that bears        address.  Chicago, New York, Atlanta all presented unique but comparable situations that resulted in a vast array of outcomes.  Some of them I experienced directly; some as a casual  but fascinated observer.  I’m talking about the revolving door.  As unassuming as the revolving door is, gender entry presents a complex faux pas conundrum. One personal case in point…

I arrive (alive) at  my New York hotel via cab and approach the revolving door at almost the same time a swarthy looking gentleman approaches.  I will call him “Jack” because nearly all masculine  media heroes are named Jack.  A well-appointed doorman was present and had he not been pre-occupied, I am sure he would have solved my temporary dilemma.  I, being an  independent and determined woman and because I was there two seconds ahead of Jack, began pushing into the door to begin its circular rotation.  Understand that I also had a small suitcase on 360 degree Ikea cart-like swirly wheels in tow.  As hard as I tried to    coordinate the dance between moving door, suitcase and my four-inch dress pumps without looking as though I’d just left the pub,  I failed to convince Jack.  Jack smoothly grasps the barely moving door and utters with a Jack-like grin “Please, allow me.”  With minimal effort he starts the doors rotation and enters the empty pie-shaped space ahead of me.

I believe I’ve already established in previous postings that I tend to be a bit competitive.  A tad.  For some odd reason I began to feel tricked, duped, hoodwinked.  I did not enter the moving door space behind him.  I would rather let Jack mistakenly think I had entered the wrong hotel because I was filled with Martini’s from the bogus pub than succumb to second place.  My second thought however; was likelier closer to the actual truth:  Jack was respectful and I was ridiculous.  As I stood outside the hotel entrance evaluating what had just occurred, it dawned on me that I had an expert in my midst that I could poll.  I approach the dignified doorman and asked him what he believed was the proper protocol between men and women when it came to the elusive revolving door.  His answer surprised me but not as much as the totality of answers I received from the other seven doorman I surveyed from coast to coast.  I also polled a myriad of strangers, friends and acquaintances.  Although I cannot provide you with an official dashboard report, I can tell you the     following is a fairly presented result.

Six of the seven doorman polled stated that men should enter a revolving door first and assist the lady.  The single remaining doorman stated that in this day and age and the fact that it is a dog eat dog world, the rule should be first come, first served.  I detected a smidgen of bitterness with this chap as he also declared he had just divorced his wife and she took him to the proverbial cleaners. Never the less, an honest answer dully noted.  Of the 10 random samplings made from “non-doormen” people, six conveyed that women should be allowed to enter first,  assisted or not by a man.  Two stated it should be first come first served and the last two asserted that men should enter first in an effort to assist the lady.  I should also mention that one of these two male respondents added a footnote to his answer.  He shamelessly volunteered that he “might score her number if he felt she was worth a pass“.  So much for chivalry.

So, what does this mean?  With all of my semi-scientific data gathered and analyzed and with a fair amount of independent  research conducted through more traditional methods, I believe there is no right or wrong tactic to take.  50 years ago, give or take, the suitable and most respectable action would be for a gent to take the lead and assist the lady with the arduous task of starting the doors revolution.  Clearly women were much physically weaker creatures that today’s women.  With today’s generation of equality and relaxed attitudes, it would take a very shrewd person to pick up on the nuances and actions of an earlier generation with any appreciation.  For me, if I could have a New York do-over, my pumps and swirly-wheeled suitcase and I would all appreciate the help and respect shown me by Jack.  Thanks, Jack.  ♥



K. Martini