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Elevator Etiquette

Contributor:
Samantha Lee
Samantha Lee
Elevators are tricky places. There are times when rules and regulations clearly need to be enforced, particularly when I’m in them at some ungodly hour, or when there is a limited amount of caffeine in my system.
 
1) Use the Swine Flu Prevention Device located outside many media-fearing company elevators. One pump says you come down on the right side of prevention, two or more says paranoid germophobe; anyone contemplating getting in the elevator with you is going to be contemplating exit strategies for if/when you have a panic attack due to the filtered air system.
 
2) If the elevator has elevator music, or Music For Elevators, don’t hum/ sing along unless you’re fairly certain the tune you’re merrily humming bears a significant resemblance to the one that’s playing.
 
3) When you’re with a companion, do not demonstrate your ability to reach your companion’s tonsils with your tongue. This will disturb the others in the elevator, and potentially your companion.
 
4) If the elevator holds two or more people, you must:
a) Smile awkwardly, then stare intensely at the wall.
b) If the journey is between 1 and 5 floors, maintain an uncomfortable silence, apart from unnecessary handbag digging and fake texting. If the elevator is mirrored, adjusting of clothing is acceptable.
c) Over 10 floors, you must make a predictable comment about the weather or the All Blacks. Whoever leaves first must depart with a manically cheery smile and an enthusiastic “Have a good one!”
d) On a crowded elevator, every single person must make it very clear to all concerned they are very busy and important, and they Do Not Have Time For This.
 
5) Children must be tolerated at all times. Even if the child happens to push every single button, including the emergency alarm button.
 
6) If you get stuck in an elevator, do not panic!
Commence the following procedure:
Push all buttons in an attempt to confuse the elevator into working.
Jump up and down a few times, a la “If the elevator thinks no one is inside, it will automatically open!”
Dial emergency operator.
Attempt to explain which floor you’re on, in which building, in which city.
Attempt to decipher which elevator number the operator wants.
Pick a number over a hundred. Start singing the “Beer on the Wall” song. This is approximately how long you will be trapped.
This is also a great opportunity to embed future phobias well and truly into your psyche. Claustrophobia, germophobia, fear of people, fear of dying in an elevators. Good luck with that.
Knowledge is the key to survival. This guy was trapped in an elevator for 41 hours.
 
7) Ensure that personal space is observed at all times. Even if you must push other people away to make more personal space for yourself.
 
8) Do not eat hot food while others are in an elevator with you. They will potentially turn on you as a group, particularly first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
 
9) Do not jab any button more than twice. The elevator will not go any faster, and you will look like the type of person who pushes buttons more than twice.
 
10) Deep breaths. All in all, it’s a couple of minutes out of your life.
 
You can cope, or at least pretend to.

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