Elevator Etiquette

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Yesterday, a lady on the elevator said, “Oops.” after pressing the button for the 3rd floor. She then proceeded to press the button for the 2nd floor and said, “I’m sorry, I accidentally pressed the wrong floor, you’re going to stop at 3 now.” I was going to the 6th floor.

If you get on the elevator at the first floor, and press 2, you’re a terrible human being. Unless you’re in a wheelchair or part of the janitorial staff, take the stairs! It’s one floor. It takes more time for the doors to close than to walk up one flight of steps. How selfish can you be? Don’t you know that people have places to be? Geez.

Now, in this particular case, if it were I that had pressed the wrong button, you’d never know. I wouldn’t say “Oops” to get your attention and I wouldn’t press the correct floor either. I’d get off at the wrong floor and take the stairs down a level, like a god damn gentleman. That was your mistake lady, you deal with the consequences. Now I gotta sit there at floor 3 for 30 seconds, while the onlookers, whom are waiting for the elevator to come back down for them to get on with their days, stare at me like some sort of idiot who pressed the wrong floor? I gotta sit there and act like I don’t know why the elevator stopped at their floor, and give them confused looks as if to blame them for calling the elevator and not getting on.

Here are the rules of the elevator:

Get on quietly. If you’re in the middle of the conversation, put it on hold. It’s awkward enough for everyone in there already.

Don’t claim a spot. Move to the back, and make room for others. There is nothing worse than getting on the elevator and having to shuffle around someone who won’t budge.


If you arrive at a floor and see that a member of the janitorial staff is waiting to get on, but can’t because there are too many people. Get off the elevator and let them on. These are the hidden gems of every building. They are there to clean up after each and every one of us. Greet them with respect, and insist that they get on the elevator in your place. Then, take the stairs or wait for the next ride. (Also applies for people in wheel chairs. Make room)

If you press the wrong button, own it. Do not let your mistake become the burden of others. This applies outside of the elevator too, just in life, your mistake, your consequence.

Passing gas of any kind is forbidden in the elevator. There exists a special circle in hell for those who break this rule.

If someone attempts awkward elevator talk with you (such topics include; the weather; the unreliability of public transportation; the speed at which the elevator moves; etc) just smile politely and agree. They are only doing it because they feel uncomfortable.

With that being said, don’t make awkward elevator talk. It is just as uncomfortable to participate in it as it is to sit in silence.

Please people, practice this elevator etiquette and be an upstanding citizen. We all just want to get through our workday with minimal friction. Thank you and good day!

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