on the elevator: bad karma?

Elevator up and down lights

It hasn’t been very good lately, that’s for sure. It’s like other people have been forgetting how elevators work. I notice it mostly at the office. There’s the simplest behavior: trying to get out on every floor thinking it must be your floor. This is cute once or twice, but it’s usually exhibited by someone whose head is permanently crooked down looking at their Blackberry and after making the same mistake twice don’t think that it might be a good idea to look up.

The other common behavior is more aggressive, though people are probably more familiar with it on metro platforms: rushing the doors. While yes, the purpose of the elevator is to take you where you want to go, it’s also to take other people where they want to go as well. The chime that sounds the door opening does not signify the same thing as the starting bell at Belmont Park. At first it’s amusing to see people ram into those trying to get off the elevator, but after a while it’s just sad.

I ran into one of the greatest sins this morning, however, at both the office and at home: pressing the button for the wrong floor and its two evil cousins getting on a car going in the wrong direction and pressing both directions from your floor.


At home I’m on the top floor, so I’m always calling the car to go down. When I see people on the arriving elevator, I assume they’re getting off, so when they don’t, I know they either goofed — we have white for up and red for down, it shouldn’t be so hard to understand — or pressed both buttons. But even moreso, I know that we’re going to have to stop on whatever their original floor was while they try to look innocent and stab at the “Door Close” button. You know they did it, they know they did it. No words are ever spoken, but the occasional glare and/or exasperated sigh are more than appropriate.

The office offender was sort of in reverse. From the ground floor, no basement, you only expect people to get off the car, though people do forget things at their desk so it’s a little more forgivable. However when we stepped on, two buttons had been pressed for floors with just the one woman in the car. She must have seen my look of confusion because she bravely admitted, “I don’t know why I pressed ‘3’ when I meant to press ‘6’, I’m sorry.” There was an eyeroll and sigh from other riders, but at that point, there really isn’t much one can do.

And sure, I would love to take the stairs in the morning and avoid all this nonsense. But someone in their infinite wisdom decided to construct this building with stairs that don’t go to the lobby, only out to the fire exits. Since I normally only have to go up or down 2-3 floors, once I’ve settled in I do take the stairs around the building. It still slays me that for all the money put into this place, you can’t just walk down to the lobby.

* Just in case you haven’t had your morning coffee (or a reason to spit it out), I’ve just been informed that Vern Troyer has a sex tape and a snippet of it is on TMZ. I haven’t looked yet but the various warnings are, once you see, you can’t un-see so be advised.

** Also: Best explanation of Moby Dick ever, courtesy of Basic Instructions.

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