Friday, November 1, 2019

Modern University Elevator Etiquette

When riding the elevator, there is nothing more irritating than stopping one short level away from the end of an interminable ride.

There is nothing pleasant about being jammed into the elevator with a group of strangers. You may never have been bothered by claustrophobia before coming to UCSF, but after riding our elevators for a while, you may notice you are developing symptoms. We’ve all experienced the horrors of the morning elevator ride, packed like sardines and watching as the elevator stops at each and every level. The door slides open to reveal a person who always seems nonplussed that the elevator is so full! Or maybe they act nonplussed because everyone inside the elevator is glaring at them for interrupting the ride. At such moments, we have all had the thought “there's got to be a better way” while crawling slowly upward. Here are some ideas to make the ride a little easier for all of us: 
  • Don't take the elevator if you're only going one floor! (Important note: this does not apply to anyone with disabilities). When riding the elevator, there is nothing more irritating than stopping one short level away from the end of an interminable ride.
  • Watch those backpacks. Most students boarding the elevator are toting a large backpack. Have a care when boarding the elevator, particularly when you swing around to face the front. Any poor person standing too closely behind (and in UCSF elevators, we’re all standing too closely behind), can take the full brunt of your swinging backpack. It's not a fun way to start the morning. 
  • Don’t lean against the control panel.  The observant among us have noticed that there is a second control panel located on the side of the elevator, provided for those with disabilities. The unobservant among us do not notice this panel, and lean against the wall on which it is located, and then the fun begins. The wide-bodied can light up as many as four buttons at a time. The time it takes for the elevator to stop at levels D, E, F and G gives others in the elevator plenty of time to reflect on just how self-aware the inadvertent button pusher isn’t. 
  • Please let us suffer in silence. The elevator ride is bad enough; don't make it worse by squeezing in and making some lame joke. No one feels like laughing, especially in the morning. And after you've been here for a few months, you've heard all the jokes there are about squeezing into a crowded elevator. Take a vow of silence for the duration of the ride. 

Elevators, like life, have their ups and downs. Here's hoping all your rides are smooth ones. – From an article by T. Neagle, for The Synapse, 2003

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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