Fear of Falling
I often tell people (only when necessary however) that I have a Fear of Heights. This is inaccurate, because heights as such aren't necessarily a problem. I can be at the 20th story of a flat building looking out of the window and I can ride an airplane just fine. It is the times that I can "fall out" or "fall off" somehow that poses a problem... like for example, walking over a bridge too close to the railing is problematic. Standing on a balcony (again, if too close to the railing).
But my problem is worse than that, much worse. Simply standing on a chair to switch a light-bulb gives me shaking legs. And I believe the right term for that is "Fear of Falling". It isn't in the height itself (half a meter can be enough, if you look at the chair, or standing on a table for example) but the fact I might fall off. Probably there's the 'side effect' of getting hurt in the process that causes the fear, but I don't know enough about the subject to be certain. Something like that must probably be behind it somehow.
Why am I telling you this? Well, because I noticed something strange... in my opinion really terrible.
Escalators. They are a horror for me. Well, going UP is usually okay (unless there's a gaping gap next to you as you go up) but going down is terrible. Yes, I am one of those persons who can stand at the top of the escalator, foot going slightly forward and then making up my mind. Maybe the next. No, timing... have to get the timing right. BASICALLY, I'm standing there on top, with a gap in front of me, of MOVING stairs. Heck, on a normal stairway I already have to reach out to grab the railing before I dare to go onto the steps - yes I have it that bad.
If there's people going in front of me, it is easier, because they 'block the falling' so to say. Or they would if I would start falling (or we'd fall all together, I don't know! - I guess they wouldn't appreciate).
Anyway, getting to the point now. I was in the convenience store (I think that's what you call that kind of store) and had gone up by escalator. Then, when I wanted to go down, I noticed that the escalator was at a rather low speed. BUT! As I stepped nearer to the steps, they suddenly sped up to THREE TIMES the speed! Who the hell designs a system like that!? I understand, it's probably an 'energy conserving system' that it goes slower when nobody is using it, but to people like ME it becomes absolutely impossible to use them! Really! I stood there for maybe a minute or so, after which I decided that I had to turn around and go down by elevator.
Image: Kelsey on the escalator... not able to repeat this!
Bottom line: Buildings get so many 'improvements' these days to ensure that everyone can access them, like ramps for wheel chairs and the like... but it appears nobody has stopped to think of people with fear of heights (or in my case, fear of falling, which may be even worse in cases like this).