elevator-etiquette-1.jpgIt’s morning, you’re headed into work, and you think you can make it to clock in just in the nick of time. You run for the elevator, cry out “Hold the door!” And you make it just in time to have a mostly empty elevator’s doors close in your face. By the time you catch the next car, you’re two minutes late for work.

Things like this can spoil your day—or just about anyone else it happens to, and it happens a lot. And let’s face it: if you work in an office building more than four stories high, it’s likely elevators start your workdays and end them as well. So why don’t we do what we can to make riding these up-and-down vehicles of daily life as pleasant as possible?

The Golden Rule is “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” but too many people forget this when it comes to day-to-day things like elevator rides. FN offers 10 simple commandments of lift courtesy below.


Courtesy Commandment #1: Thou shalt queue up for the elevator.


First come, first served is the basic rule of elevator etiquette. Tardiness is not an excuse to cut in line or crowd and shove your way into the lift. Besides, how do you know the people in front of you aren’t running late, like you are?


Courtesy Commandment #2: Thou shalt hold the elevator door when asked.

When someone asks the people inside the elevator to hold the door and there actually is room for one more, take the initiative and hit that “Open” button. Not sure which one that is? It’s the one with the arrows pointing outward. But you can take this one step further: if you see people heading for the elevators and the car you’re in can take a few more, then hold the door anyway.


(Photo source: sxc.hu)


elevator-etiquette-1.jpgCourtesy Commandment #3: If someone is already holding the door, thou shalt move to the back or side of the car.

Don’t stand in the middle when there’s space at the back and you can see more people filing in. Go ahead and put your back to the wall. That way allows more people to get into the car, and into or out of the office on time. However, if you’re the first or one of the first ones in and no one is holding the door open for others filing in, do put the pressure on that “Open” button.


Courtesy Commandment #4: Should thy entry cause elevator’s overweight warning buzzer to sound, thou shalt step back out.

If you get into the elevator and find the buzzer sounding, the doors refusing to close and that oh-so-polite yet oh-so-mechanical voice apologizing and saying that the elevator’s maximum capacity has been exceeded, don’t just stand there and wait for someone else to step out. You were the one who forced the issue, and you should have the courtesy to remedy the situation. Here's the rule of thumb: last one in, first one out.


Courtesy Commandment #5: Thou shalt not apply scare tactics in a misguided attempt to be funny.

No jumping up and down, or stomping your feet, or doing anything of the sort to make those in the car fear that the elevator will get stuck or, worse, fall with all of you in it. This is not only annoying, but not everyone may know that what you're doing is harmless, and even if you get your jollies out of giving people a good jolt, you don't want to do that to someone already having a bad day or, worse, someone with a heart problem!


Courtesy Commandment #6: Thou shalt not hit the buttons for floors thou wilt not visit.

True, mistakes happen. But willfully doing this is rude, and it ties up an elevator that could otherwise be going to a different floor to pick up actual passengers. And if you should happen to make a mistake, try hitting the same button again. In some elevators, doing this “deselects” the floor you mistakenly punched for.


(Photo source: sxc.hu)


elevator-etiquette-1.jpgCourtesy Commandment #7: Apologize when thy actions inconvenience others.

This doesn’t just apply to those moments when you punch in the wrong floor and are unable to rectify your mistake. It also applies to any accidental bumping of others in the car (a common occurrence should you happen to be bringing bulky items) or stepping of toes.


Courtesy Commandment #8: If thou art able, thou shalt take the stairs for trips up or down one to two floors.

Now, it’s not just the elderly, infirm, injured, or heavily laden who are exempt to this rule. Some buildings have security measures in place that do not allow employees to use the stairs, forcing them to take the elevator even when going just one floor up or down. But if you can hoof it, do so. Not only do you free up elevator space, but you also get a little cardio out of the deal.


Courtesy Commandment #9: Thou shalt not be overly active in the elevator.

Don’t pace or sway or otherwise move around too much when in the elevator with others. It’s frankly annoying and distracting, especially when the lift is full.


Courtesy Commandment #10: Thou shalt not be a chatterbox.

This doesn’t mean that you have to act like you’re in church when you’re in the elevator. It just means that don’t carry out conversations at the top of your lungs, even when most of the people in the car belong to your group. Respect the other passengers, even if there’s just one other person riding with you.

You should also not try to carry your telebabad into the lift with you. If you’re on the phone, keep your voice down, or better yet, ask the person on the other line if you can call him or her back after you’ve stepped off the elevator.


(Photo source: MorgueFile.com)

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