I was at an ATM in Point Pleasant the other day and there was one guy making a transaction and two guys standing about 20 feet away from him just talking. I couldn't tell if they were just hanging out or waiting on line.

They were waiting in line, and I actually appreciate the distance. When you're at the ATM, you certainly don't want anyone breathing down your neck or looking over your shoulder. It's nice to see people going oiut of their way to give you a little space, especially in a state where someone is always breathing down your neck.

I started to wonder, though, just how much space you should give someone without looking like you're not next in line. Just how far away should you stay? As an example, when you're on line in a supermarket, you might be paying with your debit card and punching in your pin, and the person on line is about three feet away from you. Nobody expects you to wait 20 feet back in the frozen food aisle. But then again, you usually don't leave the supermarket register with a handful of cash.

Here's my theory. When you're waiting for the ATM you should position yourself in a way where you give the person enough room so that they don't feel uncomfortable. And you should also be in a place where it's clear to the person at the machine that you can't see what they're doing. You should also try to look in a direction other than the ATM.

Seems like a lot of work, but we should all do our best to avoid being in other people's "personal ATM space".

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