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January 26th, 2002

Elevator Hijinks

Did you notice, ever, that people assume other people have never used elevators before? There are three techniques I’ve noticed lately that make me wonder just how dumb the collective population is getting.

First up. I want an elevator to arrive, so I press the appropriate “up” or “down” button. The light glows. It’s feedback; it’s saying, “Yes, the button was pressed, now hold on.” Why is it that every time someone else comes up to summon an elevator, they press the same button? Nowhere is it understood that pressing a button twice (or thrice) makes an elevator car arrive sooner.

A similar favorite is once one is inside the elevator. Let’s say you get in, and press “4” to go to the fourth floor. The light glows, again. Someone else gets in, sees that the 4 is glowing, and yet presses it again! Is there sense in that? At all?

Finally, the other favorite has nothing to do with buttons, but with simple etiquette. You finally arrive at your destination floor. The doors open and you start to get out… except that everyone has decided to get in, and won’t get out of your way. People, people.

Let’s review. Buttons need to be pressed once, and allow people to get out of elevators first. Very simple, yet no one seems to understand. -pm

Posted in Everyday Life

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