Saturday, February 13, 2010

Elevator Etiquette

Working in New York City has forced a majority of the local population to spend at least 1 minute of their day in an enclosed capsule that transports them to another level. Yes, I'm talking about an elevator. And yes, that level is the office (unfortunately).

With the frequency of this event, you would imagine that everyone has this move memorized and done with grace and efficiency. Unfortunately, you were mistaken. People lose tact and common sense when it comes to using elevators.

Why do people hold the doors? Why do people rush to catch the elevator when there are 6 others that can be called? Why don't people organize themselves within the elevator to allow for ease of exit? Why do people cram into an elevator when they know everyone is running late? Why do people hit the call button more than once? Why do people talk about confidential information in the elevator?

Here are a few things to remember for the next time you want to ride the elevator:

1. Unless there is only 1 elevator in operation, you can wait. There are other elevators available, and you don't need to cram into one of them.

2. Do not hold the doors. When you hold the doors too long, that annoying beep / siren starts fussing. Elevators have numerous complex timers and answering systems. Let them do their work as they have been programmed to do. You may think holding doors is the polite thing to do...for that one person...but not the rest of the people already in the elevator. Don't piss them off.

3. There is no need to press the call button more than once. It does not make the elevators move quicker. The system is automated. It will never forget that you've pressed it. If anything, you are only changing your position in the queue.

4. If you know that you are getting out on one of the first floors that the elevator stops at, then situate yourself towards the front of the elevator. Hiding yourself in the back only causes difficulty in your exit plan. People either have to get out of the elevator completely, or if you're like the people in my building, they just move over and smoosh people against the elevator walls in fear of the elevator door closing on them while they step out of the elevator to kindly let someone from the back of the elevator out.

5. And finally, conversations should come to a halt once you step into an elevator. Needless to say, but necessary (oxymoron, right?), conversations that are work related should be considered confidential. No one wants to hear that you fired someone or how badly someone is performing or how much you hate your boss or your peers. That kind of talk will definitely just get you in trouble. Further, no one wants to hear what you got your girlfriend for Valentines Day or what you did over the weekend that was "so funny." Those conversations are for your breaks at work at your desk or the privacy of a close-proximity conversation. And if you're ever in an elevator with me, and there's no one talking, please don't begin dialogue with me. I get embarrassed when the entire capsule turns to look at me for a response. I will ignore you.

Trust in these suggestions that I am making. It will make for your elevator experience to be as quick and painless as possible.

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