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Elevator Etiquette

I automatically dislike anyone who gets into an elevator with me, especially in the morning when I first396px-Elevator_icon.png arrive at work.

This is mostly an irrational reaction, but odds are those who join me in the elevator will disembark on floors lower than mine. I'm now located on the 30th of 34 floors and apparently anyone who works on the floors above me always arrives either before or after I do in the morning.

And for some reason, inevitably no two people who get on the elevator with me in the morning will work on the same floor. So every new person who manages to catch the departing elevator by inserting and sacrificing a body part between the closing doors, will not only delay departure even more by stopping everything, but will continue to delay things by punching yet another floor below mine.

I used to be on the 20th floor, which was the first floor available on the express elevator. Then, I didn't give a shit who got on the elevator with me because I got off first no matter what. But now, everyone who gets on the elevator with me is the enemy.

There is that rare occasion when I find myself on the elevator alone, but I can always hear the pitter patter of some approaching threat, so I start punching the Close Door button. I hide in the corner of the elevator so that if the enemy comes barreling into elevator lobby, they can't see me see them. Because at that point, elevator etiquette dictates that you must hold it for them.

There have been times where eye contact is made and I hear the desperate plea Hold the elevator! as if the ferry is leaving and there won't be another for two hours. In this case, I continue to push the Close Door button, but the equally desperate look on my face implies I'm pushing the Open Door button for them, but for some reason, it's just not working. The elevator door closes, I smile and enjoy my private ride to my floor.

Worse than the enemy who starts the journey with me from ground zero, is the surprise attack from the enemy who joins the journey from a floor that has not been selected. It's an unscheduled stop that surprises me every time. I look around and think, That floor is not lit up, so why are we stopping? Is something wrong with the elevator?  And then the doors open and there stands some nimrod with a dumbass smile as if we should be glad to see him. It's a moment where my enemy and I both join forces to despise an even greater common enemy.

And then... Worst of all, that nimrod selects yet another floor that is not currently selected.

None of the eight other floors already selected are good enough for this asshole, he's got to get off on some floor nobody else cares about. I was already resigned to the seven floor schedule before my own, and now this guy show up out of the fucking blue and imposes two additional unscheduled stops.

That is the moment I know I have the capacity and the will to kill another human being. But there are witnesses and no reasonable escape route, so I am forced to restrain myself.

Also, in my view, riding an elevator is akin to taking a piss at the urinal. You don't "chit-chat" with others taking care of business. This is meant to be a somber moment; a moment to oneself. Even if I know someone else in the elevator, nobody else wants to hear our conversation. Wait until you get into the hallway. Don't burden the rest of us with your meaningless chatter. The person you know doesn't care, how do you think the rest of us feel?

And then there's the person who feels compelled to say goodbye to everyone when they get off on their floor. Silent the whole ride, and then suddenly, as if we had bonded by sharing this required journey, there's this Have a good day comment.  

My first thought, of course, is Fuck you.  

The problem with this is that it starts a chain reaction. Now everyone who gets off the elevator feels compelled to say something as if we're all now friends.

Don't talk to me. My expression says it. Do I have to wear a sign?

The only redeeming value of an elevator ride is the possibility of some hot girl getting on. Our elevators have mirrored doors, so if anyone worth glaring at gets on, I've got a front row seat. If a hot girl gets on the elevator, it makes all the rest of the shit go away. Then I actually want the elevator ride to go long. And if it's just me and her, by the end of the ride, I might have another user in the pool.

Well, I feel better. It's an early post, but I just had to get that off my chest.  

Reader Comments (13)

Right there with you on that one!! Can't do anything about the multiple stops, but one way to avoid the "uninvited elevator talk" is to keep your blackberry in hand, keep your head down, sigh and begin mumbling profanities to yourself to make it appear as though you've got a ton of shit to deal with as soon as you arrive at your floor. Trust me, you'd be the last person anyone would want to say anything to. Works for me all the time!

March 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTech Babe

Oh last thing, that also applies to elevator rides with a Hot Girl. You'll get one of two reactions:

(1) She'll think you're a big shot and really important, which, in turn, makes you attractive, or

(2) She'll think you're some crazy, self-centered, miserable asshole, which, oddly enough, still makes you attractive.

Have a great day Jason!

March 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTech Babe

"Triggering the Grand Irrationality?"

Cowering in an obscure corner of the food pyramid

somewhere between the tofu and the unflavored yogurt

contemplating the juxtaposition of intangibles for all you are worth.....

March 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpoetryman69

I never thought of it that way poetryman69. But you're right.

Thanks Tech-Babe. Almost time to go home, so I'll try out your trick on the ride down. I still hate everyone in the elevator though.

March 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJason X

Guys have it so easy, try being the hot girl in the elevator getting hit on by chumps to and from work. You learn really quick not to make eye contact... not even for a second!!!

March 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKrista

I used to work in a building down by La Brea Tar Pits... you had to get off the elevator half way up and switch to another elevator. I freaking HATED that. It was bad enough to have to deal with 1 elevator ride, but 2? It made my day suck. So I left that job and took one at the cemetery. Only 2 stories in the admin building so me and the elevator always alone. Heh. Although, sometimes I can smell the embalming solution. Ick.

March 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWinter


Other people that piss me off on the elevator are large groups of people who think they can all fit (and their luggage, sometimes) into an already crowded elevator. Being pressed up against six strangers in a tiny cube isn't as fun as they think it is.

March 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMax Miroff

On some elevators, you can hold the button for your floor and the close door button at the same time to go straight to your floor.

March 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCameron

I live on the 17th floor out of 21 in an all girl dorm, nothing makes me happier than seeing everybody else stop on a floor above mine, it really makes my day. But I wouldnt complain about the elevator, I would rather deal with the annoyances than have to go up 17 floors taking the stairs

March 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterroki

ya, i abhorred those that would get on the elevator with me in the morning at work and always found myself hiding in the corner and reaching for the 'close door' button when i'd see people coming. Not because of all the stops the elevator would inevitably make before reaching my floor if those people did get on, but because i am a gigantic bitch in the morning and i don't want to speak, or smile, or even grunt an acknowledement at others! i started taking the stairs and have never been happier. i'm always alone AND i don't have to worry about working out later. =P

April 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermaiden

Listen to your ipod while on the elevator. It makes all the shit go away cause you can pretend not to hear somebody coming and it blocks out the awkward conversation.

September 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterM

Will definitely give that a shot. If that doesn't work, I'll kick them in the shins.

September 14, 2009 | Registered CommenterJason X

Elevator etiquette is a kind of social media, you know. When you or your representative behave like a tool in the elevator, I consider that to be an indication of how you conduct your business and treat people in general. And if I see you doing any of the above things, then no, thank you very much; I’m no longer interested in doing business with you. Rude and stupid outside the office = rude and stupid inside the office.

May 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterplumbing

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