Prepare for a rant, but a somewhat mild rant. I work on the third (top) floor of my office building. The cafeteria is on the “Lower Level” or basement if you prefer. The Lobby is located on the first floor, as is the parking lot, and there are a few restaurants nearby within lunch hour distance. This means that when I go down for lunch, I have about a fifty fifty chance of catching an elevator that goes all the way to the lower level without stopping at 2 or 1.
I don’t terribly mind folks who get on at 2 and ride to 1. I get that some folks have a hard time getting around or just don’t want to take the stairs (which are located just opposite the elevators). By the same token, I don’t begrudge people going up just one floor. Why you choose the elevator in no way bothers me. How people behave on the elevator, however, does.
First, people have this odd habit, and I’m sure it’s not just at my work, of congregating at the elevators as if the small hallway they occupy is some sort of makeshift conference room. This makes it very difficult to do the one and only timed thing you need to be able to do with an elevator – get on or off. Having to clear your throat, give a half-hearted “excuse me” or otherwise push your way past the assholes having long, drawn out discussions in a ten foot wide hallway while people try to get on or off the elevator is extremely annoying.
Second, despite the fact that the elevators here are busy from 11:30 to about 1:30 because of lunch, people always seem amazed that there are people either entering or exiting the elevator. I’ve seen people stand about two inches from the doors waiting to go down to lunch, only to have the elevator open to a packed car full of people all wanting to get past them.
By the same token, I’ll be standing a respectful distance from the elevator, holding my lunch (I eat at my desk so I can blog and write at work), and the people in the elevator will be so caught up in whatever conversation they are having that they don’t notice someone waiting for them to get off. This can be a problem, as the doors on our elevators close with the speed of a Star Trek door, and only stop if you hit a beam at brow level for me – and I’m 6’2″. People will take their time leaving and suddenly the doors snap shut and I’m stuck holding my lunch waiting for the next car.
I’m not sure what it is about riding in those cramped cars that makes people lose their goddamned minds, but it happens. People will talk on their cell phones about the most insanely personal stuff. They’ll talk about co-workers, about their jobs, about how much they hate coming in or how much they are ripping off the company, all blissfully unaware of who might be riding with them.
There is clearly something that turns normal people into assholes when they press that elevator button. I don’t know what it is, but it exists…it exists.