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.