Monday, February 20, 2012

Elevator Idiocy

While the elevator has been around for nearly 200 years, observations made on our recent vacation would indicate that humanity has far from mastered this device.

I spent a great deal of time waiting for and riding in elevators on a recent family getaway in the sunny south. And while I normally focus on the horrors brought about by nose-pickers, hand-coughers, and other norovirus dispensers in the resort buffet line, the daffy behavior of the masses using the elevators brought me much more joy this time.

While I doubt there is an official Elevator Etiquette Do's and Don'ts list, there are certainly some things that are irksome and worth pointing out:

1) When arriving at the elevator to find a person or persons already waiting for it, there is no need to push the up or down button if it's already been pushed.  I'm not sure why the majority of people do this. Re-pressing the button will not speed up the elevator. When confronted with this phenomenon, it took every fiber of my being to not exclaim, "I'm so glad you re-pushed the button...I was afraid that my attempt was invalid!!!"

2) Despite the large illuminated arrows and pleasant voice indicating if the elevator is "going up" or "going down", an alarming percentage of riders still hop aboard and ask.  Unless alcohol is a factor, there's no excuse for this.

3) Worse than (2) above are the riders who know that they are planning to go up or down, but jump on regardless of which direction the elevator is going "just for the ride".  Unless you are trying to elude a knife-wielding homicidal maniac, there is no sane reason for this.  If everyone partook in this practice, the elevator would always be full.

4) Hammering on the button for your desired floor does not make the elevator go faster nor does it make the door close quicker.

"Going Down?"
5) While I understand the utility of the button that keeps the elevator door open for a prolonged period of time, I have no clue what the button to close the elevator door does. Certainly pressing it does not make the doors close any faster than if you had not pressed it at all and repeatedly jabbing it does nothing either.

6) You may think that pressing buttons with your knuckles rather than your fingertips is an ingenious way to prevent contracting the norovirus, but coughing into your hand before doing so does not go unnoticed by other riders.

7) Hopping on for a 1-floor ride is never cool unless you're infirm, injured, elderly, or carrying a tray of drinks to my room.

8) If you're going from floor 1 to 27, don't linger by the doors, fool.  And if you're the control freak who must hang around by the button panel, please be courteous enough to push the desired floor for others.

9) Kids are cute, but letting Junior push all the buttons is not. If buttons are his "thing", let him screw with your Blackberry rather than inconveniencing everyone on or about to get on the elevator.

10) Last, but not least...for God's sake, let people off before ramming yourself on.  It's not going to leave without you.

Perhaps the sole reason NASA has not sought funding for a space elevator program is simply because they know mankind would ruin the experience. Curses!