Every Ormondian will be familiar with the dilemma of back gate etiquette: the question of when and for how long to hold it open for an oncoming resident. While our proxies give us entry to Ormond with a simple swipe, we feel obliged to hold the gate open when we see a resident coming along behind us. Don’t get me wrong, this gesture is one of the most wonderful displays of courtesy that graces the grounds of Ormond! Holding open the gate for that little bit longer saves your fellow resident from the exceedingly burdensome task of relocating the infamous proxy. This chivalrous act is a cornerstone of Ormond’s first value, community.
Lately, however, an alarming ‘crisis of courtesy’ has come to my attention. All too often, gate-holding residents misjudge the walking pace of the oncoming resident, or the distance between them and the gate, and find themselves stranded. But once the gesture is made, there’s no turning back. The wait must be endured, but how to pass the time? Call out? Make a joke? Do some Sudoku? Dabble in some Facebook stalking? As awkwardness peaks, the oncoming resident breaks into a sprint, desperate to reach the gate and end this torture. Instead of offering a noble gesture, the gate-holder has forced a fellow resident to break into a sweat just so they can get through a gate they could have opened at their leisure. Now for the awkward stroll to the vesti door; a sheepish good Samaritan and a red-faced Ormondian.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the grand, symbolic gesture. But I advise caution when judging the distance of gate-holding.