11 October 2017

Elevator Etiquette

I have to admit that, in my misspent youth, I once, cheekily, pushed a whole bunch of buttons as I got out of the elevator, forcing the elevator to stop at every other floor. This happened a long time ago, and I'd like to think that there was no one actually riding in the elevator at the time, but I can't swear to that being true.

In more recent times, concern about Angel's behavior in elevators has surfaced. We were once riding in a very crowded elevator, with no room for anyone to move around, when he started baring his teeth and indicating to my second-youngest sister, MaryGrace, that he was intending to bite her arm. This was quite effective in freaking MaryGrace out, but because we were trapped in a crowded elevator, she had no way of escaping Angel's menacing teeth until we reached our floor.

Fun fact: If we take a selfie, it is most likely taken while waiting for the elevator to get to our floor. We also have a lot of in-elevator selfies, because Angel loves to take photos in the elevator, but these rarely turn out well, as you can imagine.

On another occasion, Angel was mid-describing a Youtube video he'd watched of laser eye surgeries gone wrong (apparently medical people watch odd things in their spare time) to my cousin, who was interested in the subject. Even in the elevator, he continued his description, although the rest of us surrounding the conversing pair noticed the gradually more horrified stares that strangers shot at him as he continued to describe the method of cutting an eyeball's lens with a laser and tragic ways the surgery can go wrong.

Elevators present an interesting conundrum to me. During the time it takes to ride an elevator, we are squashed into close physical proximity with complete strangers. Sometimes you have to judge whether you need to hold the door for someone who is approaching or if they are simply planning on walking right past the elevator, in which case, you feel pretty awkward while holding the door for them. But you'd hate to not hold the door if they were planning on getting in the elevator, because then you just seem mean. Sometimes conversations between strangers arise. In the elevators around this apartment complex, Angel receives inquiries as to where he's from on a regular basis. Pakistan? Oman? Sometimes someone takes a look at me in the elevator and says, "Oh, I know your father, he's a ___(career title that does not in fact apply to my father)___." 

One is never quite sure how to respond.

The elevators in our apartment complex are not exactly great. I've gotten stuck in the elevator by myself a couple times, and I've gotten stuck with Angel once. Thankfully, I've never gotten stuck in the elevator with a stranger, because then I could not be my true "stuck in an elevator self" which always tends to be a slightly overdramatic version who naturally assumes that I'll have to live in the elevator for the rest of my life. When the elevator gets stuck the usual recourse is pushing the alarm or emergency escape bell, which I'm not sure does anything, pushing floor buttons to try to convince the elevator to open its doors again, or yanking on the doors until they are triggered into automatically opening. This last strategy seems like it would be the worst strategy, but in fact tends to be the only one that actually works.The correct response, apparently, after freeing yourself from a stuck elevator, is to exit, and walk down the hallway to the next elevator, hoping for better luck this time, or else just heading for the stairs. Let's just say I'm glad that we live close enough to the ground that walking down 5 floors is not too impossible, even if it's not our preferred route, especially when carrying stuff.

Have you ever had a particularly interesting elevator encounter? 
Kay R. said...

I got stuck once back in uni days. The elevator at work is always interesting as people from other companies go to other floors and its always the awkward, should I say more than hi? Is this going to be a long ride? How much silence is too much silence? debate ... I also just think too much generally.

Melissa said...

I hate elevators. The worst elevator experience I ever had was at our beach rental - stuck for almost an hour for being above the weight limit. It was horrifying! Now, I just have to keep my little men from always pushing the emergency call button haha

AnneMarie said...

This is so funny! I can't recall if I've had weird elevator encounters, but I do remember one occasion when my friends and I were in high school-we were in Washington D.C. for a pro-life event (the March for Life) and I was walking by an elevator and saw that some of my friends were in there. I joined in, and we just went up and down, offering cubes of ice (someone was holding a hotel room's ice bucket) to random people who hopped on. So while it wasn't awkward for us, I'm sure we made it awkward for other people.

Elizabeth said...

Elevators are so awkward! We have one at work (a 2-story hospital). When I first started working there, I was getting on the elevator at the same time as another person. I hit the "2" for me and then asked him which floor he needed. It was kind of embarrassing at the time, but funny now.

Bethany Carson said...

Being stuck in an elevator sounds so scary! Fortunately, I've never had that experience. In so many series I have watched, at some point, someone ends up climbing an elevator shaft--whether it's MacGyver or Mission Impossible or The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew. Probably the most interesting elevator I've been in was the one at the St. Louis Arch. It was comforting to see stairs out the window at some points though.

Suzanne said...

Oh yeah. Elevators are THE place for awkward encounters. My Dad is the best at these situations. He takes it upon himself to start a conversation with anyone. Even if they don't want to. I'm always embarrassed and slightly horrified and can't wait to exit.

Being stuck in an elevator scares me. I think I saw some episode once where the guy tried to get out as it was stuck between floors and then the elevator started and it cut his body in two. SO GROSS!!!

I would be scared to take the elevator at your place if it is constantly breaking down.


Brita Long said...

I've never been stuck in an elevator, thank goodness. My dad and one of my brothers were once, which was pretty bad since my dad is claustrophobic.