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    2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 3, 2009 2:38 PM by Howard

    A Rant on Common and Annoying Elevator Behaviors

    modernbusines Adventurer
      Hello all. I have recently written an article for Modern Business Life about common and annoying elevator behaviors that I have noticed while working in a downtown building. I thought it might be entertaining for everyone, so I thought I'd post. You can read the whole article at


      A Rant on Common and Annoying Elevator Behaviors

      Working in a tall downtown building has afforded me the unique opportunity to observe and participate in the many odd, and sometimes annoying elevator behaviors that people typically display. While these are my observations, I feel confident that these are quite universal regardless of geographic location.

      X-Ray Vision

      I have noticed that there are typically 3 places that elevator passengers will stare... up, down, and forward. People will often look up (at the roof of the elevator) or down (at their shoes) while traveling in an elevator. I find this to be quite odd (in cases where the elevators are not glass) being that it is not as if you can actually see where you are going. People look up at the roof, or down at the floor as if they have some sort of X-Ray vision, and can see through the exterior of the elevator. Is this just due to the habit of looking in the direction in which you are moving in other activities?

      The other place that people typically tend to stare is straight forward. This seems the most logical place to look as elevator doors are typically reflective. This allows them not to only look at themselves in the reflection, but indiscreetly check out everyone else in the elevator as well. Great spying tactic!

      The Immovable Person

      One of my pet peeves on elevators is when people do not use up the empty room allotted by people exiting the elevator. For example, say that eight people pile into the elevator making a tightly spaced ride up to the floor that you want to exit on. You are squished in the back corner of the elevator, but everyone else is packed in too so it is not a big deal. However, half way between the ground floor and your destination, 5 of the people exit the elevator clearing out some breathing room. Unfortunately however, the person standing directly in front of you does not get off. What's worse is that they do not re-position themselves in the elevator to use up some of the emptied space either. Instead they remain exactly where they stood when the elevator was packed, and you remain squeezed up against the back wall. Not only do I find this rude, but INCREDIBLY aggravating.

      The Nice Guy (or Gal)

      I think that it is nice to let someone in the elevator if they are rushing to get in, and the doors are closing. you don't always need to be a jerk. However, at some point the line must be drawn. For example, I have been in the situation several times where the elevator if partially full. Someone rushes up to get in and a "nice guy/gal" in the elevator casually flicks their legs between the doors to open them, or presses the open button. This is fine and dandy, but then after 5 or so seconds, the door begins to close again. Someone else rushes up to catch the elevator, and the same "nice guy" keeps the doors from closing again. I have been in a situation where this has occurred back to back upwards of 4 or 5 times. At some point, the door just needs to close.

      Giving "The Effort"

      Another one of my favorites (and I am guilty of this) is when you are the only person in the elevator and the doors begin to close. Someone frantically begins to run towards the elevator with every intent to try and board. Unfortunately you have already made eye contact with them, and feel obligated to "appear" as though you are trying to do something to keep the doors open. However, you are in a hurry and really just want to let the door close. SO... at this point you spastically look at the buttons, moving your hand around, and acting as though you can not find/identify the "doors open" button. Finally, the doors close right before the person rushing towards the elevator is able to board. I don't know why, but somehow at the time, it seems like the person trying to board would be less offended because of your "efforts" to help.

      The Cell Talker

      It is quite aggravating to me when someone gets into a full elevator, and instead of ending their cell phone call prior to boarding, then continue to talk. Then, they act surprised when reception drops out and continue to say, "hello... can you hear me".

      The Wind Breaker

      Ok, we've all seen this. You board an elevator that has only one person in it who clearly didn't anticipate another person having to get on. To make a long story short, just before reaching your floor, they've left a little present floating in the air.

      The Searcher

      This one is particular to parking deck elevators. Occasionally you may be caught in an elevator with a person who can not seem to remember where they parked. So, as opposed to inconveniencing themselves, they inconvenience you by pressing 3 or 4 floors (all lower then the one you are going to of course). Then, the proceed to step one or two feet out of the elevator on each floor and look for their car only to hop back into the elevator right before it closes. I guess they assume that you do not mind. What's worse is when they press 3 or 4 floors, and then find their car on the first floor that they pushed leaving you to needlessly stop at the next 3.