Question of the Week – the 1st

QOTW Penguin

(Trying on new content ideas for size here guys. Bear with me!)

Every Tuesday I am going to post a “Question of the Week” (QOTW). Some will be silly, some serious, but all will be something that I have genuinely spent some time pondering. I look forward to your thoughts!

For this first QOTW, I pose this:
Is it creepy or gentlemanly for the taxi driver to wait till you have got through your front door before driving off?

Now, we can take this one step further – it is dark out, but not late (18:30, for example). Does this increase/decrease the creepiness quotient?

Thoughts in the comments please…

4 thoughts on “Question of the Week – the 1st

  1. If it was daytime, I’d be a little creeped out, although it’s entirely possible that he’s doing something innocuous like putting away money, checking his phone, etc, before driving away. If it’s nighttime and dark, I’d say he’s being a gentleman and looking out for you.

  2. As a male I hope it would be taken as a gentlemanly gesture. Now, if as the driver, I were to get out of the taxi & escort you…creeeeeeeepy.

    The relative darkness shouldn’t really be a factor but it’s so much easier to wind yourself up with paranoid thoughts in the dark (at least it is for me!) and all it takes is bad lighting from the dull streetlamp’s orange glow to turn that cheery smile into a leering grimace and beady eyes.

    Ultimately I hope that it’d be seen as nothing more than a spur of the moment kindness (until someone wades in with criticisms using the ‘man must protect woman stereotype that’s engrained within all males’ calling card or the like and thus ruins a perfectly nice & innocent gesture with over-thinking and philosophic twaddle). Sorry, I hate that angle! Can’t anything just be a nice, off-the-cuff gesture anymore?

    Good question – looking forward to more! 🙂

  3. I am just about settling on the side of gentlemanly – the Aged P used to drive taxis, and I know he used to wait till the young women were safely inside before driving off. And my initial thought was “oh, he’s being a nice man”.

    But that thought was followed swiftly by “hang on, it’s 6.30 in the evening! And I am a capable woman, not a drunk student! And who does he think he is, my dad?!” Then I knocked that thought on the head and went “he’s just being nice, and he’s probably just counting his change, or checking on a pick-up”. And then I felt the urge to blog!

    I agree with you Stu (welcome to the comments btw), it does become far too easy to get caught up in the paranoia and stranger-danger, especially when the statistics show I am depressingly more likely to be at risk from someone I know INSIDE the house.

    My only comment on the stereotype issue – I am perfectly capable of managing on my own, and I am certainly capable of asking for help should I need it, but sometimes it nice to have that help offered without HAVING to ask. But I reserve the right to tell you to sod off. I know, I know, it’s hard being a kind man in this day and age, isn’t it?

    On a related (sort of) note, I spent three years living in Liverpool, and then another four in Southampton – both cities known for their dangers and, sadly, all too common attacks on women. I rarely went out alone after dark, I very rarely got in a cab alone. I was trailed home one night when I was driving back from some event or another, right to my front road. I parked further down the street and rang my housemate to come get me. As soon as my (big, burly, Greek) housemate stood by my car, the person that had been following me and idling a few cars up from mine drove away. I was frankly terrified, but also somehow not surprised and rather matter of fact about it. All of us knew the score, were sensible, knew what to do to minimize risk.

    Then I moved to Oxford and the first time someone said “oh, just walk across that big, dark, empty park, in the middle of the night, and join us at the pub…” I thought they were crazy! But people do that here. You walk alone at night and think nothing of it. It is lovely that people can do that, but the fear has already been instilled in me. So I worry about taxi drivers and people following behind me on the pavement for more than a few yards.

    I think maybe I watch too many crime dramas…

  4. Yep, being nice is tough, I should setup a support group for people that have been cruelly jilted for acts of kindness or something!

    As you quite rightly point out, most people are capable of looking out for themselves but even so, that extra act of making sure they get a foot into their house is just what I would regard as polite behaviour. I guess the problem is that without turning around and re-approaching the taxi you can’t really tell the guy “thanks, but no thanks” and they haven’t asked if you mind them watching you to the door. Perhaps, other than waving manically and motioning them to drive on, it feels a bit weird because you can’t tell you’re absolutely capable of walking to your front door. Whereas someone physically asking an old person in the street if they want a hand with those 8 bags they are struggling with can instantly get a yes/no and everyone walks away contented.

    History and locale probably have a massive influence on a person’s point of view. I grew up in the Berkshire countryside and I’d have no qualms wandering about down unlit roads…I moved to Milton Keynes for university and there were estates I’d never walk through alone even fully lit in the daytime. I never saw anything untoward but there were always the rumours and talk of mugging, etc. – be they true or not! Probably overhyped media exposure to horrific one off events and the natural cautiousness that seems to have crept into my life the older I’ve got haven’t helped but I’m always a little more alert/paranoid in a town/built up environment – especially somewhere I don’t know.

    I think a healthy dose of paranoia is sensible but if I believed everything the Daily Mail prints then I’d not make it through the walk home tonight alive. I’m a cautious person, I like to think so at least and so I understand the thought process you went through regarding the driver and am glad you wound up at the conclusion he was just being nice as if I was a cabby, I’d just be being nice too and would be mortified to think anyone thought otherwise. =)

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