I’ll try being nicer if you try being smarter!

Elevator Mentality

I work on a middle floor of an office building. There’s no way for me to take the stairs up to my floor. I’m stuck with the old elevator. Several times a day, I go up and down, up and down. Elevators are a necessary evil in my life.

I spend a lot of time in the elevator, with many other people. I’ve had a lot of time to observe the human being in the elevatorial environment. It’s a strange place that seems to do strange things to people. Being in that tiny box, unaware of movement but going somewhere nonetheless brings forth odd behaviours in normal everday folk.

I have decided to document the most common and annoying elevator occurences for your reading pleasure. I will even try and give a reason for some of the behaviours, though I can’t be sure at all that they are right. They are, after all, totally made up bullshit from my cynical brain.

1) Super Nice Guy Who Winds Up Putting a Target On His Own Back. We’ll call him Frankie for short. Basically, Frankie’s a douchebag, but he really doesn’t mean to be and he really doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s the ‘hold the door for everyone’ guy. He’s the guy that stands in front of all the buttons and goes, ‘Oh!’ and slams the Door Open button every time there might be movement in the corner of his field of vision. He thinks he sees someone coming, so he holds the door open. No wait, that was just a janitor. Oh! Nope, wait, that person just walked right past the open doors. Oh! Is that the blurry figure of a human on the horizon? Better hold the door! Phew, it IS a human, with a limp and dragging a sackful of lead. Frankie’s just gonna hold the door til that guy makes it to the elevator. Meanwhile, the elevator is slowly filling up with smoke as it seeps out of everyone’s ears. Everyone hates you Frankie. People will have to catch their own elevators. We have places to go! LET GO OF THE BUTTON!!!!!

2) Classic Small Talker. Small Talker isn’t confined solely to the elevator, but the elevator is their favourite habitat. Their prey can’t run. They also can’t snap back at them. I dont know about you, but I’m not about to lose my shit in a small space on someone I don’t know. They could be batshit crazy and then I’m really in trouble. The Small Talker likes to make obvious statements, usually regarding the weather. “Hot enough for you?” “Cold enough for you?” “Man, looks like it’s going to rain/snow/be a nice one out there!” There’s nothing for you to do but give them a quarter-smile and continue staring ahead. This won’t dampen their enthusiasm. They’re then likely to comment on you. “Gee, why do you look so happy?” “Going down for a lunch break?” “Nice sweater!” Again….acknowledge, but ignore. It’s subtle. What you must remember is, the Small Talker doesn’t really care about your replies. They just want to hear their own voice. When you get off the elevator, let them leave first. See what way they go, then either go the other way or give them a few step lead. If you walk with them, they’ll assume an elevator friendship has formed and you’ll never shake them.

3) Post-Smoke Break Bitches. This is usually a group of women (3 or 4, on average) who would normally never be friends with each other. But they’ve formed a small bond over the fact that they are nicotine addicted monkeys with poorly-aged skin, yellow teeth and the inability to function for more than 2 hours without a cancer stick. They’ll meander into the elevator, talking raspily about stuff nobody cares about. Whatevs, I don’t care. But, they fucking SMELL. Bitches, you stink, get off the elevator! I’m in a confined space, with limited air flow and you don’t have the goddamned common courtesy to air yourselves out first? I propose that we have smoking areas in buildings. And at the doors to those smoking areas, we have motion triggered body spray applicators. When someone comes in from their smoke break, they are hosed down with no-name Gardenia scented perfume. It’d smell a helluva lot better than their cigarettes. Or we could have a five minute ‘air out’ tank. Kind of like a drunk tank, but for smelly smokers.
I have no advice on how to deal with the Post Smoke Break Bitches. I guess you could feign an asthma attack and shove them off before the door closes, blaming your cursed health. I wouldn’t try it, but if you’re feeling feisty, it’d probably be hilarious….

4) Guy Co-Workers Who Insist on Having Pissing Contests When In the Vicinity of Females: For short, we shall refer to them as Wanker 1, Wanker 2 and Wanker 3. These guys tend to somehow be on the elevator when you get on, you always (if you’re a chick) walk into their conversation. Silence befalls, and then suddenly, the pissing contest erupts. It will usually be between Wanker 1 and 2, while Wanker 3 stands silent and presumably embarassed by his friends actions. They’ll start talking loudly about some situation where they ‘brought the smack down’, or about some ‘hot babe’ who was totally throwing herself at them, or some recent showdown with their boss where they saved the company from sure bankruptcy. They try to one up each other and shiftily check your reaction, while they jostle about, rearranging the ‘boys’ and laughing in that retarded moron way only guys can.
Resist the urge to point and laugh while screaming, ‘You loser! Do you think this impresses me?? Ahhhhahahahaha!’ Also, try to contain the puke in your mouth. If you engage them in conversation or give them anything to comment on, they might get very excited and wet themselves. You don’t want to be a part of that.

5) Button Panel Blocker: This person pushes their way to the front of the elevator line, boards said elevator and then immediately slots themselves in front of the button panel. If you want to get where you’re going, you’ve got to push the button for the floor. This forces you to become a sexual predator. There’s no way around it, you’re going to fondle them. And it’s nasty. You could elbow them out of the way first, but then you’ll get charged with a violent act. Better to go down a lover, not a fighter.
You can always try to ask them to hit the button for you. You could also carry a button-pushing stick, that can squeeze between their boobs/flab/gut/moobs (man boobs, if it’s a guy who has them) without resulting in person to person contact, but you’d look like a total weirdo. Your call, I guess.

6) The Confused Tourist Door Blocker: This person is akin to the tourists who walk around on Queen Street West in Toronto. They exit the elevator, take a step out into the hall and come to a dead fucking stop. This means that if you too wanted to get off on that floor, you’re trapped in the elevator, while they gawk around trying to orient themselves. They have no common sense or common courtesy.
There’s only one thing to do here. Kick their ass out of the way. If you don’t, you’re going to miss your floor or have the elevator try and close, but be forced open when it hits you in the rump. Be sure to give the person a nasty glare after you’ve moved them from your path.

7) Kids: Self explanatory.

8.) Stinky McStinkerson: These people aren’t grouped into the smoker group, since their smell is entirely different. The smokers just need to be hosed down with Eau de Rose Garden, but the Stinky McStinkerson’s need some medical attention. They just SMELL. Of what? You name it.
There’s no way around this one. Everyone knows you can’t just tell someone they smell. They might rub up against you and spread the stink. Again, you don’t want to be a part of that.

There’s many more types of wonderful elevator riding folks out there that I could mock, but this post is getting long enough. Feel free to share your own elevator profiling in the comments. Cuz everybody likes to hate on everybody else. And it’s so easy to do in a small, inescapable box.

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Comments on: "Elevator Mentality" (13)

  1. Also: Coffee breakers. I don’t know why but coffee gives some people really heinous coffee/ sour milk breath. GAG.
    I can’t be in enclosed spaces with those people.

    Yeah! My grade 6 teacher was one of those. His breath was AWFUL. And he always had huge pit stains. Then he fell off a roof later that summer. But he lived!

  2. I can’t stand “hiding in the corner taking notes girl” because you know damn good and well that bitch is gonna run straight home and blog a bunch of crap about the rest of us. Dammit! 😛

    Haha, I don’t stand and take notes dude. I archive all away in my brilliant little brain. You’ll never know who’s collecting blog fodder on you!

  3. 1) I have ocd, there is a little nick in the wall and I kinda have to touch it every time. When someone comes in and I have to move to let them in but become separated from said nick in the wall. My co-workers taped over it just to “f” with me.
    2) I work nights, I’m on the lower level of a 5 story building, I detest with all my heart when I get on, press 5 and it stops on every single floor to pick up other people who are leaving…. GAH!
    Elevators suck, and so does everyone who rides them *except me*
    This post is BRILLIANT. The one that got me good was your description of the “Post Smoke Break Bitches” – – – they are the absolute worst! I hate it when you get on the elevator, and you smell that wretched stank of smoking, and nobody is even in there, it just lingers for a while after they leave. Fuck, do us all a favor and just shoot yourself! It’s so GROSS!!!!!!!!
    PS, Ya gotta update me on your blogroll, i’m no longer lumpylumps baby 🙂

    It was a blast to read this post! You got mad comedic skills!

    Honestly, I probably would have taped it up too. Cuz I’m a bitch like that.
    Thanks for the nomination of brilliance!
    I HATE post smoke-break bitches most of all….they’re so inconsiderate.

    And the blogroll thing….I’ll get on that!

  4. You forget those parents with the gigantic strollers! When you are in an already packed elevator, and the person INSISTS in wedging their capacious stroller with only one ugly baby!

    They think that because they are parents, and they have children, you should get off and take the stairs so they can have that one spot in the corner. And the baby type thing starts crying, and to console it she mother/father/nanny has to bend over the stroller-thus getting their ass right in your face and wave a squeaky toy over it. You get that ALL THE TIME here. It’s actually not as bad in Toronto.

    Irina, nearly every single day I think about writing a post on my hatred of stupid SUV strollers. My god do I hate them. Your baby is 12 pounds!! Why is it riding in a full sized vehicle down the sidewalk?? And they expect you to MOVE even when you have nowhere to go, cuz they have a little bundle of joy.
    Yeah. Right. You chose to procreate, now you can figure out how to transport the thing.

    I dont notice them much in elevators though, so maybe you’re right, it must be worse in Montreal.

  5. My solution to everything!

    1- Impatient foot tapping or a quick jab of the “door close” with “I have a meeting. Thanks.” Or when I’m on my own, I like to give a sympathetic look and jab the door close button as though wondering why it’s not keeping the door open. Sorry I tried!

    2- A very slight eye twitch. Crack your neck as well if you can. If never-shuts-his-mouth comments on in (“Woah, wow! Some-other-display-of-incredulity-here!”) just say “It does that.”

    3- Cough. A lot. Exit the elevator with an “Oh my GOD, my eyes! What is WRONG with people?” I used to smoke a LOT in uni, and actually had someone in a lecture hall ask me to move as soon as I sat down because the smell bothered him. I got it – and so should everyone else.

    4- This doesn’t work very well for us since the elevators are split into two banks and once we’re below the 13th there’s no hope of escape until the ground floor, but normally I like to hit the button for the next floor (it’s extra awesome if you time it precisely so it’s sudden) get off, turn around with a glare and watch the doors close as you stand there, obviously having opted to wait for the next elevator rather than listen to their crap.
    (Remember: “What? Dude, I’ve been to Europe like three times now. ‘Cause one of my parents properties is there.” Right, and you still live in the basement of one of these properties, jes?)

    5- I like to hold my right hand up by my face, twiddling my fingers daintily in that “I’d like to pick up that object but it looks absolutely filthy” kind of way and say “Um, can you press floor-number for me please? Yeah…thanks.”

    6- Ooh, this is tough. Especially cause if I do that, there’s a good chance they’re going to our office where they will continue to act lost, so I can’t bitch people out. I would suggest simply standing in the elevator doorway with a raised eyebrow. The sound of the doors clanging back open as they sense your presence (hopefully) should alert the person to their fucktardery as they turn around and are greeted with a “Hi, can I please get off now?” glare.

    7- Cringe. Full body acting. That child is filthy, filthy, filthy, oh dear lord what IS it doing in my elevator? I love kids – but not at work.

    8- Cover mouth with back of hand – looks more subtle but isn’t really, and blink back tears with a slight clearing of the throat that sounds like it could be an approaching barf. Be sure to shift your body weight away from the person in question with a quick dart of the eyes so those around you know you’re not responsible. Upon exiting the elevator, heave a breath of fresh air and quickly brush at your sleeves as though beating a horrid smell out of the fabric – cause that’s exactly what you’re doing.

    And finally, whenever possible, leave enough time to wait for your own elevator and jam the door close button as quickly as you can.

    See? I know all.

    I can’t even respond to all of this dude! I shall sum it up by saying you are hilarious and I appreciate your obviously effort-filled comment.

  6. Oh my god, that comment was super long. Good thing I’m so important 😀

  7. LOL i love that list 🙂

    Thanks Kaylee!

  8. I used to be amongst the Legion of Stroller People. And I had the good grace to feel bad about my SUV sized piece of rolling plastic, and would wait for an empty elevator car. It’s just the right thing to do.

    When last I was part of the workforce, I used to make sure I got on the elevator at the same time as my best gay boyfriend/co-worker. We were unapologetic “Close Door” button-pushers. And if someone was swift of foot enough to make it onto our elevator, we would stand on either side of the car, making the intruder stand in the middle, then just stare at them. Creepy? Yes. Effective? Oh yes.

    Ginny, you’re lucky I’m willing to reply to you after you admit that you were once a Stroller Person. Why oh why are they always SUV sized?? My parents had this piece of shit with a hammock-type piece of fabric attached for it for me to park my baby ass in. Why do babies need shock absorbers and struts? Seatbelts and fucking drink holders??? They’re BABIES! They’re just gonna sit there and shit their pants! Don’t reward that!!!

    Whoah. Well. That came out of nowhere.

    Anyways, I like your staring strategy. That’ll learn ’em!

  9. I was on an elevater once with Warren Buffet (rich guy if you don’t know the name…) and I just HAD to say SOMETHING?! So, yep, it was, NICE WEATHER TODAY, HUH? I was so embarrassed but I just had to talk to the man…

    If you haven’t read the Hitchcock elevator story – it’s pretty good: http://www.netjaunt.com/thinkinghurts/elevator.txt

    As a person who aspires to surpass Mr. Buffet in wealth (HAAAAAHAHAHAHA), of course I know who he is! You’re excused for commenting on the weather. Personally, I would have begged for some money.

    I haven’t read that yet, but I will.

  10. “Super Nice Guy With a Target On His Back”….. sounds like my dating life….

    Awwwwww. 😦
    But you’ll note that my post actually said that he winds up putting a target onto himself. I hope you don’t do that.
    Sadly it’s true…..nice guys finish last. I guess that’s not very encouraging….I’m gonna go now.

  11. Yeah, I hate that. And also when they bring them to the movies. You can afford an SVU sized stroller, and you are telling me you can’t dump the baby with the grandparents, or a babysitter… so you HAVE to bring them to the movies.

  12. Dude, Ginny is a genious with the dual stare down.

    I know, right? We should try that one day.

  13. Hi Talea,
    I stumbled onto your blog because your elevator post was listed under MY elevator post as a possibly related post! Loved it, like your blog, celebrate your bitchiness as a partner in bitchywood should, and would like to ad you to my roll, cuz that’s how I roll, see?
    Peace~

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