We all take the elevator on most days. And my patience is ultimately tested in this cramped space, where the ride can be your most patient or angry moments.
My take on elevator etiquette. If you feel alluded to, sorry. The following are NOT appropriate when taking the lift. The general rule of thumb is BEING CONSIDERATE with the people inside. If you don’t want people staring or glaring at you when your highness steps in OR out the tiny cramped space, here are the rules:
1. Remove your backpack when you’re inside the lift
The space is cramped already. Boarding an elevator with your backpack at your back is occupying extra space. What’s worse than an indignant person with a backpack on his/her back is when he/she keeps moving around and the backpack is swinging at the other people. If someone smacks you, you deserve the smacking. Oh yes. That includes those carrying those large bags (and we don’t care if it’s an Hermès) that are bigger than a luggage. Please make sure that it’s not on your arm but held down in front of your legs with your hands stretched downwards.
RULE IS – when boarding the lift, remove your backpack and keep it between your feet. Being considerate of other people is mandatory.
2. Fold those baby carriages
When a disabled has to occupy the space because he/she is in a wheelchair or crutch, they have the priority. Not the babies! If you need to take the baby, fold the carriage and carry the infant. If he’s already a toddler, wake him up, make him walk or carry him and if there’s an escalator, take the escalator. The carriage is meant to carry a person and not your shopping stuff. The carriages are space occupying lesions.
RULE IS – fold the carriage before stepping into the lift. If you’re in a building that has an escalator, fold the carriage, carry the baby, take the escalator. The disabled have priorities in using the lift.
3. Face the front
It’s weird that you’re facing people in the elevator. It’s never right to stare at each other’s face. When in a lift, everyone should face the door. It allows you to step out of the lift at once when you get to your designated floor.
Don’t board the elevator when you’re going the opposite direction. Like when you’re going down, you take the elevator on the 7th floor when it still has 15 floors to go. It’s rude. You’re wasting space that can allow others to take them to their designated floor.
Looking at the door allows you to assess when it is time for you to step out of the lift.
RULE IS – after entering the lift, turn around, face the door and look straight. No groping or touching body parts unless you’re a pervert.
4. Last floor in, first floor out
If you’re heading to the uppermost floors, stay at the back of the lift. If you’re getting off at the lower floors, stay in the front area. When it’s already full, take the next lift. Don’t make everyone feel like sardines in a can. Move to the side when the doors open for other people to get in. Statues are not allowed inside the elevator.
RULE IS – last floor inside, lower floors near the door. Move for other people when the door opens or closes. If it’s not your floor and you’re at the door, step out of the lift when the door opens and let the people out. Be considerate. No statues inside the lift please.
5. No cellphones and keep your voice down
We don’t need to hear your conversation. Just today, as I was going down from work, three people were simultaneously chatting on their mobile phones. It wasn’t only irritating. I didn’t want to overhear each of their one way conversations. But they were outdoing each other’s volume. And I had 8 floors to go.
The Japanese are great examples of courtesy and decency when it comes to elevator etiquette. When they board a lift or train or bus, they don’t talk on their mobile phones.
Incidentally, it holds true for music and headsets. You’re supposed to hear YOUR music. If I wanted to appreciate a concert, I’d go to one. We’re not as tone deaf as you.
RULE IS – turn off your phone or place in silent mode when you board the lift. When you’re already in a conversation before you board the elevator, tell the other person you’re talking to that you’re getting into a lift and that you’ll call back. If you can’t cut the conversation, don’t take this lift. Wait till you’ve finished that conversation before riding the elevator. The lift is not your mini conference room.
For those appreciating the music at top volume, tone it down. Your sounds may be noise to me.
Silence is the key!
6. Eating is disturbing
We’re all starving to some degree. We probably dashed out of the office to grab a bite to eat. Eat it in your desk over a sad lunch or at the cafeteria or restaurant instead. Don’t bring out the food and munch while you’re inside the lift. You can enjoy every morsel of that bite in your space without having to irritate the others inside the lift. That is, of course, a different story if you want to offer everyone in that 30 seconds ride, a cheeseburger.
RULE IS – it is rude and gross to be snacking inside the elevator. Enjoy your meal without having to slobber all over the lift. If you spill food on someone who accidentally bumps into that ice cream cone, it’s your fault.
7. Stairs or stars
A bit of exercise is worth our health. It’s ironic that there are people who will run a 50km marathon but would want to take the elevator two or three flights up. If you’re in good health, you may want to be kind to those who need to use the lift more than you.
RULE IS – if you’re going one or two floors up or down, take the stairs. It is being considerate to those who need to use it. Think of it as your contribution to the good of mankind and your health.
8. Sorry I’m closing the door
This is a tough topic. You ever encountered that situation where someone or you are running towards the lift yelling “pssst pssst pssst” or “hoy hoy hoy” to hold the door? Then it closes. If you were the guy outside, some would probably be cursing at the inconsiderate bastard who didn’t hold the door and you’d have to wait another few minutes for the next lift to arrive.
RULE IS – he who is inside the door and has control of the door has the prerogative to allow you to join him in the lift or not. No one needs to wait for you when you when they’re inside the elevator already. It is always the prerogative of those inside the lift to allow to wait or leave you behind. If the people inside the elevator decide to wait for you, be grateful. You’re not the only one in a hurry.
If this article hits home, feel free to share away especially to those concerned. It would be good to have educated someone today on proper elevator etiquette. God knows this country needs this.