Monday, October 17, 2005

Elevator Etiquette

We all know no one likes waiting for slow elevators, or riding on crowded elevators. And there's little that's more annoying than *finally* squeezing onto an elevator where no one bothers making room for anyone else, just to have it stop on literally every floor. This happened to me this morning.

So I squeeze onto the parking garage elevator, trying to stay out of the way of everyone else riding it, but also noting that the people behind me had plenty of room to back up before they hit the wall. Ahem.

So the elevator stops at literally *every* floor. The woman at the front of the elevator, closest to the doors, pushes the "Close Doors" button the instant we get to every floor, without even bothering to see if anyone is waiting for the elevator. I get that we're all impatient and cramped and irritated that it's stopping at every floor -- but the people waiting on those floors want to get to work, too, and it's not as though there was absolutely no room inside. People could easily have moved over to let a good three or four more people in for a few seconds. It's not like there are even 15 floors.

As we get to yet another floor where the elevator stops, Impatient Woman jabs her thumb at the "Close Doors" switch as the lady waiting for the elevator is trying to board. It's clear there's going to be a showdown. "No room," mumbles Impatient Woman. "I'm sorry," Level D Lady says, "I've just been waiting too long for this elevator." She says this as she sticks her shoulder into the closing door so she can get on, as Impatient Woman doesn't seem to care that other people understand that there is still room on the elevator.

This is seriously one of the most astonishingly rude things I've ever seen. It's one thing to let the elevator door close if you can't find the "Open Doors" button in time to let someone else on. It's one thing if the waiting person politely says, "I'll wait for the next one" and you don't argue. But my understanding of the unspoken rules of elevator etiquette is that it's the prerogative of the waiting person to decline admission to the elevator car. If someone crowds on to an elevator where there's no room, that's her right. You're allowed to think she's rude but it's still her decision. But for someone to stab the elevator buttons to save herself another three seconds, when another person clearly wants on to the elevator? I don't even know what that is. I do know that I was embarrassed to be sharing a building with her. Hell, a state for that matter. Maybe someone should make a book of elevator etiquette rules.



Post a Comment

<< Home