elevator etiquette

Episode 53: Lazy People Use Elevators

I walked in to the building in the morning, swiped my badge through the time clock and walked over to the elevator to push the up button. Another IT coworker walked up behind me to wait and I didn’t really know him so I just smiled and nodded a hello. He almost smiled back. IT people are shy. Don’t force them.

The elevator opened and I walked in, IT coworker following behind me and then a woman came quickly around the corner and jumped on with us.

Okay, welcome to the elevator, I thought.

It’s been a long time since I’d been on an elevator THIS crowded. And yes, in my company, three people is a crowded elevator. It’s not because the elevator’s small. We could probably fit 12 people in this one. It’s because of the signs our onsite gym posted outside of all the stairwells and elevators about how many calories you burn by NOT being lazy.

Our company culture frowns a bit on using the elevator too much.

But first thing in the morning, I just don’t feel like climbing up to the third floor. I know, right? THREE FLOORS!

Back to the elevator.

So now we’re on the elevator: it’s me by the elevator buttons, IT coworker standing quietly in the back, and the woman standing just inside the door. I scan my employee badge and hit the button for the third floor. There are only three options in that elevator: 1, 2 or 3. After I pushed three, I stepped back some, knowing that IT coworker was also going to the third floor with me.

What about the woman?

She looked somewhat familiar, but I’ve worked here for nearly five years; I should know many of my coworkers regardless of their department. I just wasn’t sure if the woman worked on the third floor.

She didn’t say anything to me or lean forward to hit the only other option in order to stop at the second floor so we all rode to the third floor together.

The door opens.

What is normal elevator etiquette at this point?

Oh right. You get OFF.

Not the woman.

Even though she stood at the door, she didn’t get off.

So we had to WALK AROUND HERE.

As IT coworker and I walked off of the elevator, we turned around and looked back at the woman. She walked over to the buttons, scanned her employee badge and pushed the button for the SECOND FLOOR.

Who does that?

Who rides up to the third floor and then rides back down to the second?

This lead me to wonder about elevator etiquette and I’ve come up with a few simple rules:

Rule #1: Don’t Be Lazy – Seriously, if you’re only going one floor, try taking the stairs. Obviously, if you have an injury or you’re pushing around a cart filled with PC hardware, you’re allowed to take the elevator for one flight. But when all you have is your little purse, take the stairs.

Rule #2: Don’t Push the Button Again – So I’ve pushed the button to go up on the elevator and somebody comes up behind me. The button is all lit up telling us, “Hey she already pushed me so the elevator will be coming soon.” But guess what the new arrival does? He pushes the button, too. What did you think? That my button push was inferior and the elevator only responds to your touch? Apparently, you don’t think I do an adequate job of button pushing. Next time, take the stairs.

Rule #3: Just Ask – Don’t be like the woman and wait for all of us to get off at our floor, which is PAST the floor you wanted to stop at, then go over and push your floor button. Seriously. Just ask the person who pushed the button for floor three to push it for floor two, even though that means that you’re using all that electricity to travel one flight.

Rule #4: Wait to Board – I’m on the elevator and it arrives at my floor, the door starts to open and I prepare to exit, but suddenly: I can’t because six people from HR are all waiting on the other side to rush on. While waiting for the elevator, stand AWAY from the door. Don’t expect that the elevator is only arriving at the floor because YOU asked for it. That makes you look like a liberal. You are not entitled to that elevator so step back and wait for people to get off first before you board.

Rule #5: Be a Gentleman – I always appreciate the men who ride the elevator with me and politely extend their hand when the door opens in a gesture that I exit or board first. Thank you.

Rule #6: Face the Door – This is the rule that I like to break. People look at you funny when you do.

Rule #7: Hang Up – Nobody wants to ride on an elevator with somebody who’s on the phone. Finish your call before boarding. Even more obnoxious: conversing using your Bluetooth headphone on the elevator. People riding with you keep thinking that you’re talking to them. That’s almost as bad as using your phone in a public restroom. If you do this, people should intentionally make farting noises.

Rule #8: Emergency Stop – We don’t have these at my office, but if we did, we still wouldn’t use them as frequently as they do on Grey’s Anatomy. Does anybody ever REALLY push that button?

Rule #9: Don’t Jump – Unless you want to get stuck in an elevator. Just ask Sabrina and Kim about that one.

Rules #10: Escape Hatch – I think I’d like to add to my bucket list: “Be stuck in an elevator for a long enough time that you decide it’s necessary to climb up an escape hatch.” That would be cool. I’d totally blog about that.