Jul 092010

And now for something completely different.  I realize there’s probably been countless thoughts, blog posts and jokes on the subject of elevator etiquette, but I think mine’s a little different as it concerns whether or not using the elevator is polite in certain situations.  Allow me to explain:

In college I spent the better part of my years living in the residence halls.  The particular complex I was in consisted of 2 connected buildings.  The building for guys had 5 floors, while the girls had 12.  The elevators were incredibly slow, to the point where it was usually faster to take the stairs.  Having only 5 floors and being young and full of energy, most guys did indeed opt to hoof it.  (Full disclosure: I lived on the first floor, but I had friends all over the building.)

Elevator MusicThe ladies, with their 12 floors, didn’t have it quite so easy.  One year in particular I had a girlfriend who lived on 10, which meant I used the elevator a lot.  Throughout the course of all that vertical travel and after some asking around, I came to realize there was more or less an unwritten rule of elevator usage.  Those living on the 2nd and 3rd (and sometimes 4th) floors wouldn’t bother with the elevator at all and took the stairs instead.  This was partially because the stairs were usually faster, and partially for the convenience of those on upper floors, as they wouldn’t have to endure as many stops.

Many a time I was in the elevator when someone decided to get on or off on floor 2 or 3, and if looks could kill then the coroner would have been making an appearance.  There were of course exceptions made for those who were physically unable to use the stairs (due to injury, disability, inebriation, etc.) or those carrying luggage and the like, but in general if you were able-bodied and taking the elevator only 1 or 2 floors, you were in for it.

Fast-forward to the present day.  I work on floor 61 of 65 and for purposes of efficiency my building has a sky lobby, which makes the commute from street level a little more complicated.  To get to the upper half of the building one takes an elevator from the lobby straight to 46, where you then catch elevators that either go down to 32 or up to the top.

Several times now I’ve found myself in the second elevator with someone who gets off at 47 – meaning they’re only going up one floor.  A guy who looked to be about my age did it just this morning.  Maybe it’s all based on the experiences I described above, but this drives me nuts!  I totally agree that everyone is entitled to use an elevator if they like, I just think that were it me, I’d be taking the stairs before I used the elevator to get up one floor.  Not only would I benefit from the exercise, but everyone else would get where they’re going faster.

Am I crazy?  Your comments and/or criticism are appreciated!

  3 Responses to “Elevator Etiquette”

  1. The ones I like even better are the people who get on the elevator to only go *down* one floor.

  2. Totally get that. I work in a building that has two floors and it cracks me up to see people take the elevator.



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