A Lack of Lift Etiquette

Lift etiquette – that’s a thing right? I’m sure it is, in fact I’m certain, there is an unwritten set of rules we’re supposed to follow when it comes to lifts (elevators for my American friends):

No farting in the lift

  • Squeeze up to make room for people
  • Don’t force your way into an overcrowded lift
  • Don’t blast music out of your phone/iPod forcing everyone else to endure your gangsta rap, scremo metal or happy hardcore dance/trance.
  • Make way for those more in need than you
  • Leave space for people to enter/exit the lifts
  • Leave no man behind

We all know these rules but I’ve decided that they need to be pinned, both inside and outside of every lift. That way there can be no doubt, as to the correct way to use a lift and I won’t have to nearly sever my tongue in two as I bite it with immense frustration when people so rudely get it wrong and disobey them.

Cue the ranting man

Ok I ‘m going to have a rant in fact it’s probably already started, I’ll apologise in advance but I just feel the need to vent on this issue. I know what you’re thinking and yes I agree I’m probably being slightly irrational, but the issue of lift etiquette really does wind me up, to the point that I feel it warrants a rambling, ranting, blog post. I will at least try to provide a bit of qualification for my lift based anger, in the hope that this mitigates my ranting and makes it seem more rational (unlikely). I’ll also aim for the post to be a bit shorter than others so you’re not sucked into reading reams of pointless and inane waffle.

So in case you’ve not realised it yet, lift usage and etiquette is one of my little bugbear’s in life. It might seem quite a daft thing to get worked up about and possibly a tad hypocritical as, (whisper it quietly) I may have broken one or two of the aforementioned rules in my time although I’m not revealing which ones! I reckon I can and should be forgiven though, my indiscretions are always accidental and they are nothing compared to the amount of times I encounter rude behaviour in and around the lifts.

I work in a University and whilst I stress this post is not aimed at anyone in particular, it has to be said that students in general have provided me with a lot of lift based frustration. There are plenty of students who are perfectly lovely and try their best to be accommodating when it comes to using the various lifts around campus and some who only accidentally commit a lift faux pas, however there are also some who get a kick out of making life difficult for people when it comes to the lifts. I guess they find it funny but I find it really quite annoying that lift rudeness (yes that’s my new term for it) is so prevalent. It irks me so much, it’s a wonder I’ve not been cautioned by the police for having a fit of lift rage. To make matters worse we have a glass lift at the University, when lift rudeness occurs there, you can clearly see exactly what’s going on and you can tell if it’s happened accidentally or not.

I’ll provide a couple of examples of the types of lift rudeness that I’ve encountered the most and then I think I’d better stop or I could go into rant overdrive.

The smile of the door closer

I’m clearly walking over to the glass lift and I’m only a few feet away from the doors. It only has one or two people in so they’ll be plenty of room for me to get in. I make eye contact with the people who have just stepped into the lift and I signal to say I want to get in and what do they do? They press their desired floor number followed quickly by the door close button. They do this knowing full well it will cause the lift to leave before I can get there, then there is that infuriating moment where you can see a smug look plastered across the occupants faces. They know, that you know, they’ve just pushed the door close button on purpose thereby forcing you to have to wait for the lift to come back again once it’s dropped them at their floor. Aaaarrrrgggg! It wouldn’t be so bad if they’d been chatting to a friend or looking at their phone but no, they had made eye contact with you and acknowledged your presence and desire to get in the lift and still left you standing there high and dry.

The Security Cordon

I’m in the lift, it reaches my floor, I go to step out and BAM, I suddenly feel the President of the United States. Why I hear you asking? Well the simple answer is because I can’t move, you see when the doors opened they revealed a cordon of people stood directly in front of the door, protecting me from anything outside of the 4×6 lift space. On close inspection I noted that they were not suited up and sporting a fear inducing set of sleek black Ray Bans, nor could I see any of them talking rapidly into their sleeve cuff whilst pressing on a discreet ear piece. Having ruled them out as Secret Service agents, I rapidly deflated from feeling like the president to felling like a caged animal. Now the ire was back, what were these people doing, not only were they fully blocking my exit. They didn’t move when I stepped forward to leave the lift which resulted in a laughable impasse, even the words excuse me wouldn’t budge them. To top it off one of the charming posse decided to step forward in an attempt to squeeze past me into the lift, as you can imagine I was visibly impressed with this development. Eventually the group decided to part in two allowing me to be on my way but the whole episode could have been avoided if they’d just stood a few feet back from the lift doors in the first place.

I’m sorry, I didn’t really manage to make the post any shorter than normal and if you’ve got to this point in the post then well done you, I bet you’re wondering why you’ve just read that load of waffle. Hopefully though a few of you may actually share my lift rage which would help to prove I’m not completely bonkers, imagining things because I happened to miss a lift one time. If not then believe me, lift rudeness is real, so watch out as somehow I don’t think it’s going away any time soon.