Monday, July 31, 2006

Following the man

I rode behind an asshole on the way to work today. The sidewalks between my place and the edge of the Microsoft campus are very narrow, so bikes and Segways can't really pass each other. There was a guy on a bike who got in front of me right at the beginning of my complex. He was riding really slowly—I mean, walking speed. I didn't really have any choice but to just follow behind him at walking speed. Half a block before the first intersection, I said "I'm going to pass you at the intersection." He just shook his head, darted into the intersection without using the crosswalk signal, and then came almost to a stop on the other side, waiting for me to get there. He did the same thing when we got to the next apartment complex driveway. Other than at intersections and places where I could pass, he never really went any faster than walking speed. He'd even look back occasionally with a cruel smile on his face. Finally, I got rather impatient, and decided to just pass him on the outside of the sidewalk, which is pretty dangerous—I never do that because it puts me about one inch from falling off the curb and into a busy street. I figured it was better than becoming increasingly angry at the man. So, I rocketed ahead at a blazing speed of 10 mph, all the way to the next intersection.

I made it to the main intersection on the edge of campus right as another slow bicyclist arrived. He recognized that I would be going much faster than me, so he let me ahead when the light changed. Then, all of a sudden, the other biker darted in front of the both of us to the other side of the intersection, just as he had done before when he was ahead of me. And then, he came to his characteristic slow crawl, but now he was preventing two people from getting to their destinations. The sidewalks on campus are much wider and nicer than elsewhere, but there are hills on both sides in some areas, making it impossible to pass others on the grass. So, he rode in the middle of the sidewalk, swerving back and forth. We had no choice but to stay behind him. The other biker came up and rode alongside me, as the sidewalk is easily wide enough for people to ride side-by-side, but not to pass someone trying very hard to occupy both lanes.

The non-asshole biker quickly became fed up with the asshole biker, and made a quick turn into the trees and into a parking lot. So, I rode another four blocks behind asshole biker before he turned into the Microsoft campus. My heart sank as soon as I saw him turn into campus; the asshole works at the same company as me. He finally ended up going another direction right in front of my building, right after the three of us met up on campus one last time.

And that is the biggest jerk that I've come across in the past two years.

8 comments:

ianonymouse said...

So, the question is: was Elbaum the biggest asshole you'd encountered in the last two years before this guy? Or was it me? ;)

Travis said...

At least you and Elbaum have positive qualities. I have no non-asshole data about this man. As far as I know right now, he's 100% asshole.

Travis said...

Also, you know, it's been more than two years since I met you and Elbaum.

Louise said...

Some people are so rude. It would be one thing if he was totally oblivious to you, but sounds like this guy knew you were there and just wanted mess with you.

ianonymous said...

I'm not exactly what you'd call a "non-asshole" but this guy makes me look like Mary Friggen Poppins ... he sounds like the guy who did my lunch interview when I went to MS. I wonder if it was the same guy?

Matthew Johnson said...

You should have tried to get a glance at his bagde, looked him up in the company address book, and signed him up for every listserv/spam factory you could find. :-)

Matthew Johnson said...

Also, I can't spell "badge".

Steven said...

You should have just accidently hit his back tire. You have insurance.