Times are changing. And so, it would seem, are people’s manners.
From sidewalks to subways, it’s as if the unsaid rules of courtesy towards strangers are evaporating.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still people out there who hold the door for others, wait for people to pass if there’s a small bottleneck on a pathway, or help people with carts or strollers off buses and up or down stairways. I have no quarrel with them.
It’s the others. Specifically, those who apparently have forgotten basic elevator etiquette. You may have encountered them yourself.
Imagine this: You’re at work, and decide to go downstairs for lunch or a snack break.
Perhaps you’re the only person in the elevator car, so you have half a moment of peace and quiet to yourself.
The elevator reaches the ground floor. As you prepare to exit and the doors open, someone waiting on the outside bursts in before you even have a chance to set foot outside. Maybe they’re paying more attention to their phone than to what’s in front of them. Or maybe they’re not.
And although they don’t say anything as you try to get around them, sometimes they just look at you – or through you – as if you’re the one who committed the faux pas.
This is something I’ve been noticing more and more.
Once in a while, it might be because I’m tucked away from the entrance and the person just doesn’t see me. But in other cases, it’s someone (in my experience, it’s usually been a man) who just charges onto the elevator.
Once, while waiting for an elevator at work, I was almost knocked over by a dude rushing out … wearing a hot dog costume. (Long story. Insert obnoxious joke here.)
Usually, by the time I want to say something, the elevator’s gone, and the moment has passed.
But since I don’t have the powers to stop or suspend time, I’ve got a little public service announcement to those repeat offenders:
What’s goin’ on?
Someone chasin’ you?
Are you secretly a super-hero who needs to change into your costume?
Are your feet literally on fire?
THEN WHY CAN’T YOU WAIT FOR PEOPLE TO VACATE ELEVATORS?
Who exactly are you?
How long do you think it takes for one or two people to exit an otherwise empty elevator? (Answer: Maybe a few seconds.)
And, question number nine: Why, when people try to get around you to leave said elevator, do you give them dirty looks?
YOU’RE THE ONE WHO’S GETTING IN THEIR WAY.
Look, I know how annoying and inconvenient it must be for you. I knooow. So here’s a couple of tips to making the experience much less so:
(1) When the elevator doors open (and it’s obvious there’s someone inside), STAND TO THE SIDE.
(2) Wait for people to leave the elevator before boarding it yourself.
(2a) GIVE IT. A SECOND.
Seem clear enough?
If not, repeat steps (1) through (2a) until it sinks in. I assure you, once it does, it will make things more pleasant and efficient for everyone involved.