Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I'm Like the Emily Post of Elevator Etiquette, but Angrier

It's come to my attention lately that there are quite a few people in this world who are completely clueless about basic common courtesy.

You know these kinds of people. These are the people who plow onto a crowded subway car while 200 people are attempting to get off, or stand on a checkout line and chat on their phone, totally oblivious to the line of Rage growing behind them.

 Shortly after this picture was taken, this man was beaten to death with his own Nokia...

I have my moments where I find myself glowering angrily at the back of someone's head, thinking things that aren't polite to think about, and would probably land me in jail or a mental hospital if I actually acted on them.

But lately, it's those mother fuckers who ride the elevator with me who have attracted my ire.

Here's the thing - unless you live in the Shire or some place where there aren't a lot of buildings over two stories tall, fine, you might not understand the delicate balance of courtesy that is required when you're cramming your body into a small box suspended on wires with a bunch of other strangers.

 Weight limit, Sheight wimit. We can all squeeze in!!!

However, I work in New York City and 99% of those fucking buildings are multiple stories so those people should know how to ride in an elevator without acting like a total douche nugget.

As such, in an attempt to possibly educate the public, I've compiled a short list that I'm calling "The Dos and Dont's" of elevator riding.

1) If you work on the second floor, take the goddamn the stairs. The only excuses you have for taking the elevator up one floor is if you’re old, disabled or carrying a duffel bag of bricks or dead bodies. The stairs are always quicker and there are already enough bodies jammed into those moving boxes of claustrophobic hell. It’s New York City, you walk everywhere, stop being a lazy fuck and go up the stairs.

Saying a New Yorker has never used an elevator is saying that a shark has never shit in the water...

2) For the people who work on the top floors – don’t you glare at the rest of us because it takes you ten minutes to get to your floor (except the people who work on the 2nd floor. Glare away at them). It’s not our problem you work for the fancy penthouse company. Suck it up, twinkletoes, and amuse yourself by playing with your Kindle, iPod, iPad, iWhatever for the duration of the ride.

3) When there is a small village of people waiting for an elevator to arrive, do not get in and immediately hit the "door closed" button, you selfish twat. You’re not Donald Trump and it’s not your private elevator. You need to learn to share with the rest of us peasants. Asshole. If you do this and I manage to jump into the elevator, I promise you I will hit every fucking button for every floor.

4) Don’t ever make eye contact with someone outside the elevator while you’re hitting “door closed.” The moment you make eye contact, you become a dick for shutting the elevator in their face, even if that wasn’t your intention. And they will remember you and return the favor in kind.

5) If someone reopens the elevator door for you, thank them. Don’t stare at them like they’re assholes for letting it close in the first place. Walk faster, donkeytwat. Or wait for the next elevator.

6) On the flipside, if you’re outside the elevator and you stick your hand in to make the doors reopen, do not then sit there holding the door open for your friend who is moseying toward it with sixteen Mocha-latte-skim-foam-baby-feet-Frappaccino from Starbucks. Fuck you. How dare you make me wait like my time isn’t precious just because you don’t want to be bothered taking another elevator, you fucking spoiled little princess.

7) When someone says “excuse me” in an elevator, it’s usually because they want to get off of it and you are in their way. Fucking move. While it’s flattering that you think moving an 1/8th inch will allow me to slide past, it’s not. Get the fuck out of my way.

 A group of ass-clowns ignoring the muffled shrieks of "EXCUSE ME, PLEEEEASE!!" coming from the back of the elevator.

8) DO NOT pretend that you don’t hear people saying “excuse me”. If you do this, I hope that random strangers suddenly start punching you in the dick (or vagina) everywhere you go, you goddamn prima donna. Getting off the elevator shouldn’t turn into a mosh pit, with all the pushing and shoving. You might think you’re in your own little world but you’re not and everyone here hates you.

10) Don’t roll your eyes and sigh in annoyance when people are getting on and off the elevators. What the hell do you think people do on elevators? Just ride them indefinitely? You’re on the elevator because you want to get to another floor, right? Well, you’re not special. Everyone else uses the elevators for the same goddamn reason and your sense of entitlement makes me wish horrible things would happen to you.

11) For love of all that is holy, SHUT THE FUCK UP. Get off the goddamn phone. Oh, you’re having a conference call? Bully for you, NO ONE ELSE CARES, SHUT UP. No one wants to hear about your shitty date, or your awesome apartment or ANYTHING. We just want to go up. Or down.You're only going to be in the elevator for about twenty seconds (unless you work in the penthouse) and if you can't shut you piehole for that long you have a problem.

Even Stewie from Family Guy agrees with me (sorry for the abysmal video):

Well, there you have it. I have a feeling this list could go on and on and I'm sure I've forgotten some major points.

But I imagine you'll fill them in for me in the comments below.


  1. JJ, I sense a bad day was had by someone? Poor thing! I think you need a nice soothing foot massage (feet don't freak you out, right?) and lots and lots of yummy wine...hell, take a bath in it, girl! Do a "Bella" and go to your happy place, or better yet, carry your new doll heads around with you on the elevator and subway...in a clear glass bowl...I think you'll find your personal space will increase substantially! And, no one will want to ride the elevator with you-problem solved! And, it will be very funny. Do it! Then tell us what happens.....I can't wait. And, you nade me laugh after a very tough day...you are fuckung awesome, thanks!

  2. I wish I worked and had elevator problems, but either way it sounds like you need some love.

    LOVE!!! LOVE!!! LOVE!!!

    1. Was it that obvious I was having a bad day??? Yes, I guess it was. ;) Thank you for the love!! I have to say it did make me feel MUCH better. I didn't even think about strangling anyone these past two days. Well, sort of.

  3. Just a word of advice here...NEVER and I mean EVER touch the elevator buttons with your fingers. I'm not a germaphob but I've seen stuff on those buttons that would make the strongest stomach hurl! (Elevator in my parking garage is also used by the county jail...lovely). Even if you don't share your ride with hardened criminals, those suit types wipe their noses and scratch their asses just before getting on...and pushing the buttons. Keys are very handy, or even an elbow...just don't put your finger on it. Ewwwww

    1. WTF?? I never EVER thought of that. You've completely ruined me. Then again, I touch the subway poles and that's pretty heinous.

      Okay, I'm officially grossed out.

  4. What? You can get cell phone reception in the elevators in NYC? Amazing!

    I must admit I've never encountered someone punching the door closed button with people still outside. The rest of it - pretty much. Although slightly more politely - this is Seattle, after all.

    The best part of my new job is not having to take the elevator to the 13th floor. (No superstitions here!) Cause I'm the one who always picks the elevator where someone gets off on every single floor.
    Now just zip up 2 flights of stairs and I'm there. And rarely see a soul.

    1. You West coasters are SO much more mellow than us. It's like being on a different planet sometimes. Double that for the South.

  5. Oh JJ, I think my blood pressure rose just reading this. Stressful day, huh? You know Bel Ami is on OnDemand, right?

    Btw, is anyone keeping an f-bomb count? I think this post is a record-breaker.

    1. I actually edited out at 30 of the f-bombs that were originally in there. Yup, bad day. :)

  6. It makes me insane how everyone acts like the elevator is a new fangled invention. It's really not hard. It's essentially a box. The elevator where my OB/GYN's office is pretty much takes the cake. It's not a freight elevator, so if there are already 2 wheelchairs, 3 strollers & 8 bodies, it's already exceeded the weight & size limit. You're not too good to wait for the next elevator.

    Twice (twice!!!) I had to break up an old lady smack down outside of those elevators. IDEK. I started taking the stairs to avoid the drama.

    Here are some additional rules:
    Ramming the doors does not cause them to open. Give it a half second & then walk on like a civilized human being.

    When there's a full elevator with its doors still open, DO NOT keep hitting the up/down button. You cause everyone involved to get stuck in some kind of elevator purgatory where the full elevator's doors keep opening & an empty elevator is never called.

  7. When the elevator gets to you, don't stand there like you had no idea an elevator was going to show up. This drives me crazy, people stand there, look blankly into the elevator, look around the door frame like "Holy shit, I thought this was a coke machine." Someone says "going down?" The person says "yeah, the lobby." Then they pause like "am I sure??? Hmmmm, well, alright then" and meander onto the elevator.

    You've pushed the button, get in and go.

    On the other hand:
    Elevator mechanics, make the close button work properly. It is so awkward to be waiting for an elevator that's going up, only to have an elevator on it's way down stop for apparently no reason. I say "I'm going up," the people in the elevator try to close the door but instead we stand there awkwardly staring at each other for 10 seconds which feels like an eternity before the doors close. This always happens when I'm alone and the elevator is packed.

    I second TK: Wait until the full elevator is gone before pushing the button. Someone will jump off, shank your ass and jump back on because well, your dumbass kept the door open and that's what you get. IDIOT

    1. OMG, THIS. I'll never understand why people seem so confused about elevators. It goes up and down. It doesn't take you to another dimension. Make a decision, people!!

  8. JJ, I am not exaggerating when I say that I think you are absolutely hilarious and wish you lived next door to me. Of course, then I'd probably be the annoying neighbor that makes you crazy, but at least one of us would think it was awfully cool.

    I have a feeling that if you ever end up stuck in an elevator, we'll be hearing about a homicide on the evening news.

    1. Personally, I think you'd make a great neighbor. BTW, house next door is up for sale but they swear they're not moving because of us. If you're interested let me know. Please. Because the one couple looking at it is bat-shit nuts.

  9. I rarely if ever ride in elevators but the times that I do... oh man what I wouldn't give to punch a douche or two. I was at an arena the other day and we were sitting in the nose bleeds, on my third trip down, because it's too hard to put in an accessible bathroom and food service and gift stand (was not my choice to make it three different trips but that's neither here nor there)... I took the elevator bc I'm lazy and there was this lady that got on by her self and proceeded to repeatedly hit the door close button before I could get on and I was full out sprinting bc I wanted to get back to my seat. If I could have, I woulda hit her! Anywho I ran my fat ass up the almost three flights of stairs and nearly passed out before I got to my seat... good times.

  10. MyHeartGoesPitterPattinsonMay 9, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    My building is only 6 stories. 3 underground parking levels and then then 3 above ground building stories. I work on the top floor. I usually use the stairs b/c it's obvious the university spent a bajillion dollars on this building but took the absolute lowest bid on the slowest fucking elevator to ever be made. However, I occasionally take the elevator when I have something heavy to carry. The asshole that stops the elevator on 1 to go to 2 almost receives the heavy thing I'm carrying in his/her face. I think I've even said "are you fucking kidding me?" under my breath but loud enough to still hear a time or two.

    On a side note...I just read a translation of that Premiere Magazine interview with Rob. Ummm...it said he was growing a beard to prepare for his future role in the movie about the rock band "The Band." alsjdfl;askjdlf;kjsalkdjf.....I think I squealed when I read this. These are a few of my favorite things. I mean is someone fucking with me or is this true? The motherfucking Band?!!! Epic. I have eclectic music tastes. The Band was way before my time but I don't care. The Last Waltz is one of the most amazing things ever. I will fucking die if this pans out. Okay...sorry for the long post and the uber fangirl moment.

    1. I'm a fan of The Band!! I had no idea about any of this!! {{Runs off to check it out}}

  11. A. I love that video.

    B. I rarely ride the elevator at work with someone that I don't work with. My office is on the 3rd floor (and yes, I'm too lazy to use the stairs) and it seems like we're the only ones who work in this building.

  12. Can I take a moment to slam the people on elevators who are wearing so much perfume that they nearly asphyxiate all the people in the car with them? Aaaand that's one more argument for taking the stairs to my third-floor office.

  13. Having a bad day or just surrounded by idiots? I remember a short, funny fanfic called Going Down about Edward & Bella meeting in an elevator. It's definitely entertaining enough to make you forget about the bad day.

    I work on the 4th floor of a new Smart Building. Three of the four floors in this building are empty, yet the elevator is constantly breaking. To make things more interesting there is constructin on the third floor and no freight elevator so the stairs on my end of the building are off limits.

  14. I feel you JJ. I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. In my office building (in NYC) there is all of that + 2 floors of celebrity kiddies dance studio and its a nightmare(apart from the times I saw Hugh Jackman). So, lemme add a few more:

    1. No offense to parents but people with strollers: The entire elevator is not for you. Other people need to get to their destination too. It is not other people's fault that you have a two-seater Hummer as a stroller. As such, if there are many people waiting, kindly let them in and wait 2 more minutes for an empty elevator. A valuable lessons to teach your kids- learn to be considerate and to share with others.

    2. To the same parents/caregiver above: No one is paying me to hold doors for you or your kids. If I do it, I do it out of the kindness of my heart. It is only good manners to say thank you after I stand there like an idiot for 5 minutes holding the door and waiting for kid after kid and parent to file out.

    3. To everyone else working in my building- Kids are kids and they have a right to live in NYC. Stop rolling your eyes or huffing when a child accidentally bumps into you. You suffered no damage whatsoever. You were once a child,you know, and children will never go away. DEAL WITH IT!!

    Thanks, JJ! I feel better!

    1. Your elevator situation beats mine in the "this sucks" factor. At least I don't have to deal with kids. Or their parents. Not that parents or children are a bad thing... never mind. Y'all know what I mean.

  15. Thank you JJ. I work on the 32nd floor in NYC and frequently rant about these same things. Two more to add:

    1) When getting into an elevator that contains other people, placement is important. Everyone needs to triangulate the spot in the elevator that places them at maximum distance from all other humans. No need to stand on top of me if we're the only people in the thing. Similarly, see: choice of toilet stalls in public restrooms.

    2) I'm all for men being chivalrous, but if there's a packed elevator reaching the lobby and a guy is in front of the doors, please just GET OFF! There is no need to clog the entrance letting the ladies off first.

  16. Damn! i had a really good comment, but I got sidetracked reading everyone else's comments and now I've forgotten mine! Damn dementia!

  17. Something tells me you and Stewie would get on like a house on fire, JJ...

  18. I disappeared! And now I'm back! To catch up on my mostest favoritest blog, natch.

    Elevators, huh? Fuck 'em. Yeah, necessary. Especially if you're on floor #shitillion. And there are etiquette standards! My biggest piss off? People on their bluetooth/hands free and you can't tell that they have it, but they insist on making eye contact while talking. WTHF? Everyone is looking at you because you are talking to the voices in your head, dipshit!

    Everything that has been said is spot-fucking-on, though. We roll with a bunch of smart, snarky, sassy bitches.

  19. I was in AC recently and saved two separate sets of people in the elevators - well not literally like saved their lives but...

    1) Couple gets on elevator, doors close, floor light goes off. I press up button outside. Doors open, couple still there. Doors close, floor light goes off, I press button. Guess what? Doors open and couple is there just looking at us. We finally walk on and ask "Is you key not working?" Quizzical looks and then I pull out our room key, put it in the slot and away we go. They were shocked!! "You have to use your key??" Yup that is what the sign says right above the buttons. Lesson learned.

    2) Basically the second couple knew to use their key but kept trying to use their casino card instead. Perhaps carrying around the rum drink was the giveaway that they were not all there. They laughed very hard and long when I pointed out their mistake.

    One floor for my office, thank goodness.

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