It always amazes me, although it really shouldn’t, that people do not know elevator etiquette. Let me see, here: Before I proceed onto the elevator, I wait one second to make sure that nobody is attempting a quick get-a-way off the elevator. To me, waiting that one little second is completely normal behavior. After all, I can’t get where I’m going until the people on the elevator get off to get where they’re going, right? Wrong. That logic is faulty at every step of the thought process. We ride the elevator at our own risk.
So often, riding the elevator is a scary adventure. I ride the elevator of a 29-floor, downtown, “business” building at least four times a day. (Air quotes for the word, “business,” will be explained at a later date.) Let’s relay the action here, shall we?
Begin work day, sevenish in the morning. There are no less than 16 elevators from which to choose. Don’t walk straight to the set of eight elevators you first see upon entering the building unless you are prepared for the E-ticket ride straight to the 22nd floor, or unless you want to end up on the 22nd floor and you ride the limited edition elevator that only goes to the 11th floor. If you want to ride to floors 19 through 29, you need to veer left to the second set of six elevators. When I first began working here, I made the mistake of riding the wrong elevator and was 20 minutes late to work. Now, though, I direct traffic in the lobby for the unaware and first-timers. I’m the elevator queen. I can self-declare Elevator Queen. I took the time to ride each and every elevator to each possible venue of the building. It was an interesting and thought-provoking two hours of my life.
This morning, I took the elevator down to the first floor, where, if I turn right and walk down another flight of stairs, I can quell my craving for a small or medium coffee. As the elevator stopped at the first floor, I looked to move forward, when… the Elevator Spaz attacked! She looked harmless enough — small frame, business skirt, sensible heels, and a red blouse. But don’t let her appearance fool you. She’s a thoughtless, hyper, walking-through-life-with-blinders-on type of woman. In other words, a spaz.
Now let me stop right here and be the first to say that I am a self-proclaimed spaz, and a prime candidate of the ADHD poster child (squirrel!), but somehow, I’ve become the ADHD kid with manners and etiquette. I am blessed with having etiquette in many different settings; Thanks, Mom and Dad, for sending my sister and me to etiquette classes at a young age (we even learned the skill of walking with books on our heads with our hips thrusted forward, looking straight ahead). So, I know another spaz when I encounter one. Enough said about my non-politically correct use of the English language… (shiny red ball!).
The elevator spaz charged right at me, head down, with the force of a just-speared bull, charging at his nemesis’ red cape. “Whoa…” I said, “excuse me, please?” “Oh!” As if she were surprised that anyone would dare to be coming OFF the elevator, and at the first floor lobby area, for Pete’s sake. How dare I? She kept right on charging in before I could even take my first step forward off the hydraulic-induced mini-cabin. Being a larger framed woman, I figured, “Spaz powers, IGNITE!” and forged right passed her while I said, “Wow. You can’t wait for others to get off before you get on?” I know that there’s no use in my saying anything to the monster, for she speaks my language of Polite not. But it kind of made me feel better knowing that others heard me and may be giving this creature the malocchio (evil eye) to ward off her evilness inside. I was fortunate to escape her grip. Phew! Being caught by one of these Elevator Spazes is never pleasant.
Two weeks ago, though, I was caught. I was caught by a male version of the species. My flight up, this time, was aborted at level ten, short one floor, and I picked up another passenger. We re-engaged our trip upward. Eleventh floor (instructional products, operations wear, and nursing guides!) I was balancing a cup of my morning coffee along with a snack sized bag of tropical trail mix for later snacking. Boom! Crash! Pow! Yikes! (Yeah, I’m a product of the Batman syndicates.) The monster smashed into me without even a thought (do they think?) and my coffee spilled all over the spaz and me with violent splashes. Most of the coffee was on him. Serves this Elevator Spaz right for being born into this category of funless, thoughtless, mannerless species and not having any elevator etiquette. To add insult to injury, the monster didn’t even apologize for his gross miscalculation and misinterpretation of others living in the world.
The next morning, I began, yet another, ascension on the elevator. I was alone. Two men were watching me as the doors began to shut. I pressed the door open button and waived them both into my domain.
“Oh, thank you for holding the elevator for us.” With a big smile one of them said.
I responded, “Of course I held the elevator for you. Why wouldn’t I?”
They both laughed and the other gentleman said, “Right? You never know sometimes. People are always in such a hurry.”
I motioned to the door close button, pushing it fiercely, “Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t know you wanted me to hol…[fade to oblivion as if falling down a dark well]. They both laughed again.
One said, “I really don’t know why people do that, but I know they do. Maybe they just want to be alone.”
“Yeah,” I said, “They’ve been holding in a huge fart and as soon the door closes, ‘P-p-p-th-th-th-wrrrrrupt!'”[squatting down to emulate the process of such a person].
The boys break out in hilarious laughter, “You just made my day! Thanks!”
“Anytime. My pleasure. Have a wonderful day, guys!”
The two get off at the 10th floor, giggling. See? Was that so hard to be a human being for 30 seconds? In fact, it made my day better, too.
Is being at work so all-consuming that you forgot we existed? Have we forgotten how to say, “Good morning,” or, “Have a great day?” Did we forget that one second of your life can be used to put thought into others besides ourselves? We did. Unfortunately, this type of behavior performed by this species is common place and the diseased things have infected the human population. I first believed it had to be a bad etiquette gene that created this species…but it’s worse than what I imagined. It is contagious. Don’t become infected. Don’t morph into this grotesque excuse of a breathing animal. It’s become an us vs. them elevator mentality and I refuse to give in. Put on your Elevator Spaz boots and night vision goggles. You don’t know who the next victim of bad elevator etiquette will be. They strike at a moment’s notice, or no notice at all. Beware and be kind.
February 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm
Funny Story, and insightful. I’m surrounded by spazzes all day long at my current job so I can relate.
February 17, 2014 at 9:22 pm
Mr K you’re a spaz!