Things that vex me… people who stand at traffic lights without pressing the button and block it

Welcome back to another edition of things that vex me, the place where we rant, rave, moan, groan, and complain about all the things, big or small, that vex us in life.

Last time it was gate being added to every scandal, this time it is people who stand at traffic lights without pressing the button and block it. Yes I know oddly specific.

Now before anyone says it, yes I know the majority of traffic lights, like those at junctions, the button does nothing. It’s there so pedestrians can press it repeatedly and think that they are having some kind of effect on the traffic. It’s a placebo I guess you could say, put there to keep pedestrians calm, to make them feel involved and recognised. I still smash the button through gritted teeth mind.

But not all traffic lights are like that, for some there is no need for there to be a red light unless someone wants to cross the road, like the one I’m about to tell you about.

I went to the shop the other day to pick up a few items because I was running low on food. I got some milk, bread, pasta etc. It’s not really important.

To get to the shop I have to cross a busy road. There’s lot’s of lorries, buses, cars etc but it’s not a junction so the crossing will only go to a red light if someone pushes the button indicating that someone wants to cross.

As I’m walking up to the crossing some guy basically stands in front of the button without pushing it and begins to look at the traffic, getting annoyed with how long it’s taking to stop.

Now being British I can’t say what I was thinking “oi you wanker push the bloody button,” I can’t even say something more polite, something along the lines of “oh I don’t think you pushed the button.” I mean he know’s he didn’t push it, which is what makes it all the more frustrating, but also I would be breaking all kinds of traditions by talking to a stranger in public. No that can’t be done. Just a polite nod of the head if we accidentally make eye contact.

Nor could I just walk over and push the button myself. He was quite a big chap, by which I mean he was very very fat, so even if he hadn’t been standing right on top of the button I doubt I would have been able to reach around him to push it.

It left me in quite a dilemma on what to do.

Do I walk down to the next crossing which was like a ten minute walk there and then a ten minute walk back since the Tesco I wanted was literally across the street from where I stood?

Do I grit my teeth and hope that someone comes along in a minute on the other side of the road and pushes the button from their side?

Do I just give up with shopping and go home in defeat? Was the universe sending me a sign telling me that I’m not allowed food?

All these thoughts started going through my head when I suddenly saw a gap in the traffic and decided to take my chance and run across the road. I made it in case you hadn’t guessed.

The big guy was left stood on the other side of the road looking more agitated at the traffic. I know because I couldn’t resist taking a look back at him.

He wasted a couple of minutes of my life by being such an idiot. Push the bloody button. It’s there for a reason. You don’t have special mind powers. The cars aren’t going to see you stood there and stop for you. It’s not difficult. It’s one button. One bloody button and then it’s all coloured coded.

I think I was hungry and thus in a bad mood at the time and that’s why this has annoyed me so much but still.


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