Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How to Not Be A Jerk on the Elevator

My office is on the seventh floor of our building, so I spend a fair amount of time on the elevator. It's an uncomfortable situation--stuffed in a small space, with strangers, and the possibility of getting stuck looming in the back of your mind. All those healthy types would probably suggest taking the stairs...and to that I say-HA! It's seven flights! I would prefer not to arrive at work sweaty and exhausted, smelling like a yak, every morning. I would, however, like to offer some elevator etiquette tips to all the folks I share that space with on a daily basis, just to help make the workday a bit more tolerable for all of us. Without further ado, I present:

Absepa's Helpful Hints on How to Not be a Jerk on the Elevator

Don't talk on your cell phone.

I started to write, "No one wants to hear your conversation," but sometimes I do, actually. You see, I'm kind of nosy. The problem is that a normal elevator trip is not long enough for me to really satisfy my curiosity about your business. I might hear a snippet of your discussion about a fired co-worker, illegitimate offspring, or scary medical issues, and then I'll just spend the rest of the day wondering about it. That's not good for either of us.

Don't rush the door.

People, you're not trying to get a wicked front-row general-admission seat at the Lynyrd Skynyrd show here. Don't rush the door! Give the poor souls on the elevator a chance to disembark before you attempt to get on. The door bum-rush is usually a move favored by groups of large, oblivious men. Since I am not exactly hulking, I end up getting squished against the door frame by one of these walking monoliths. This involves the potential for injury (bad) and physical contact (extra-super-bad); therefore, it is one of my biggest elevator pet peeves.

Don't Be a Total Tool on Every Possible Level
Okay, this one is not universally applicable. It is directed toward one old jerk in my building, who committed the most egregious elevator faux pas I have ever witnessed. This guy boarded the elevator after I did, talking on his cell phone all the while. He positioned himself in the spot nearest the buttons and pulled out a legal pad. He then propped his legal pad against the buttons, so that I couldn't reach them, and began taking notes. I asked him at least four times to push the button for my floor, but he totally ignored me and continued his cell phone conversation. Consequently, I was forced to ride the elevator back down to the lobby, looking like a schmuck. I often do things that make me look like a schmuck, so that wasn't such a big deal. It was this guy's unadulterated, unmitigated, bold rudeness that blew me away. I've already decided that, should he ever pull that move again, I'm just going to shoulder him out of the way and push my button. He's not that big, and he's pretty old, so I think I can take him.

So, there you go, folks. Put these helpful hints into practice at your office, and your co-workers will thank you for it. Or at least they won't be hoping you get run over by a bus.


Junk Drawer Kathy said...

Ugh. Loud cell phone talkers are the worst in any environment. As for the tool, next time you rip that legal pad out of his hands and smack him over the head with it. What's he gonna do? Press the emergency button and tell someone a woman beat him up?

absepa said...

Kathy: I like the way you think! It would be so great to see the old jerk run out of the elevator with his hands over his head, squealing like a little girl. I still give him the stinkeye every time I see him.

janis said...

i've experienced all of those! irritating...
your ideas are great the next time there's a jerk on the elevator

JD at I Do Things said...

HAHAHAHA! "This isn't good for either of us." True. There's nothing worse than just getting into a nice, juicy overheard conversation and then, the elevator doors open and you're cut off.

I would also like to address those weirdos who think we should all take the stairs. Don't you people sweat? Or have a sense of time? I don't want to stink or be late in any kind of office building. That's what elevators are for. Weirdos.

absepa said...

janis: Thanks for commenting!

JD: I know! I am SO bad about listening to people's conversations in public. It's a sickness...and very unfulfilling, since you never get to hear the end of a story.

Shawn said...

Wow, that last guy pissed me off and I wasn't even there. It's okay to punch old people, by the way. At least in my book.

absepa said...

Shawn: Thanks for sharing in my righteous anger! I'm still bowled over that someone could actually be that rude. I have a hard time being rude.

Anonymous said...

Stephanie, I have another one for you. Do not get into an elevator that has a VERY bad odor in it. I once stepped alone into an elevator that had just been vacated by a seedy looking man. The doors shut just as I realized that the man had obviously passed gas in there! On the second floor, the doors opened and two men stepped in. The doors closed and their conversation abruptly stopped. They looked at me suspiciously. Of course, they thought I was the culprit. That was one of my most embarrassing moments and I was tempted to start taking the stairs after that. Actually the stair smell worse since all those health nuts running up and down all day end up sweaty. What's a girl to do?