|"I hear my cellphone ringing! Should I|
answer it, or wait until I've gotten off the elevator?"
Image courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
However, something so egregious happened the other evening while your sainted author was riding an elevator that it has caused him to reconsider his temerity on such matters, and thus resume this series, post-haste. I cannot remain a stoic silence any longer! Rules are rules, Dear Reader, and must not only be understood, but also obeyed!
What? you might ask—is there anyone left on the planet who does not understand the rudiments of riding elevators? How hard can it be? Surely this cannot be the case, Reggie, as Mr. Otis perfected said vehicle of efficient vertical travel more than 150 years ago!
|"No more passengers! Step to the rear please!"|
Source: LIFE Images
Well, one would have hoped the Young Miss who I had the misfortune of sharing an elevator with several evenings ago in the building where I live would have known better than to loudly carry on a tiresome personal conversation on her cellphone for all (notably Reggie) to unwillingly (and begrudgingly) overhear. Not only was she complainingly blabbing into her cellphone while a group of us assembled to wait for an elevator in the building's lobby, but our Young Miss carried on her tedious conversation while entering the elevator and throughout the journey (but at a higher decibel rate so the person on the other end of the line could hear her better), and continued her honking without pausing for so much as a breath of air upon exiting the elevator and walking down the hall to her apartment. Those of us who remained on the elevator after her (blessed) departure looked at each other with a mixture of relief and irritation once the doors closed, and agreed that our Young Miss was a thoughtless cretin, indeed. My only consolation for her rude behavior, Dear Reader, is that it was the inspiration for this edition of Reggie's Rules, for which I owe said annoying cellphone blatherer a debt of gratitude (and a sharp rebuke, I might add, should I ever be subjected to her rude behavior again).
And with that I now share Reggie's Rules for the Considerate Management of One's Presence When Riding in Elevators:
1. When waiting for an elevator, stand to the side so those exiting it may do so unimpeded
It is inconsiderate to block their path by standing in front of the doors, which requires those exiting to "excuse me" their way around you.
|Courteous elevator lobby behavior is to be encouraged and emulated|
source: LIFE Images
2. When waiting for an elevator, allow those wishing to exit the elevator to do so first before barging in
It is basic good manners to allow them to do so, and eases the flow of traffic.
3. When entering a crowded elevator, say "excuse me" when seeking to find a space
Do not shove your way in, it is not a subway car at rush hour.
|"Sorry, Pal, no more room here. Would ya|
mind waitin' fer the next one, please!"
Image courtesy of United Artists
4. When seeking to enter a crowded elevator, use common sense and judgement in determining whether there is sufficient space to enter it. Wait for the next one if there isn't
Again, elevators are not subway cars. Another will come along soon enough.
5. While it is considered polite under certain circumstances to allow ladies to first enter and exit elevators, it is technically not a requirement to do so
Elevators are akin to stairs and escalators in this consideration—efficiency of movement trumps precedence of the sexes, particularly during busy times of day such as morning and evening rushes, or during lunchtime. When a crowd of men and women are waiting for an elevator, it is in the best interest of all concerned to resort to a first-come-first-served precedence in order to aide the efficient movement of people on and off the elevator. On the other hand, if a single man or pair of men and a solitary woman are waiting for an elevator, it is common courtesy for the man/men to allow the lady to enter and exit the elevator first. Use judgement in such matters.
6. When entering or exiting an elevator in an apartment building, one should always politely acknowledge the other people on the elevator with a simple "good morning" or "good evening"
Particularly if they live in the same building as you do. Have some manners, please!
7. When entering or exiting an elevator in an office building or store, it is not necessary to verbally acknowledge the other people on the elevator, unless one already knows them or the elevator is being run by an elevator operator (a great rarity these days, but it still happens in such places as the flagship store of Tiffany & Company in New York)
When riding elevators in such buildings one should only feel compelled to acknowledge fellow riders one already happens to know (such as a fellow employee or acquaintance), or the elevator operator, since one is expected to inform said operator of the desired floor. While it is not improper to acknowledge other riders in a public elevator, Dear Reader (particularly if one has made eye contact upon entering said elevator), it is not a requirement to do so. Again, use judgement in such matters.
8. Prior to entering an elevator, should you be speaking to someone on a cellphone, end the call with a simple "I'll call you back later, I'm getting on an elevator"
Do not keep up your cellphone conversation while riding an elevator. It is rude and thoughtless to those who are trapped listening to you (and this applies to you, too, Young Miss!).
|"Help! Get me out of here! She won't stop talking on her cellphone!"|
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures
9. Should your cellphone ring when you are preparing to enter an elevator or are riding upon one, either do not answer it, or tell the caller that you will ring them back afterwards
For the same reason as noted in 8, above.
10. When riding a crowded elevator with a loved one, spouse, or friend, do not carry on a personal conversation, but rather wait to resume it once you've exited the elevator
Similar to cell phone conversations, the other passengers on the elevator are not deaf. You are not riding in a cone of silence!
11. When riding an elevator while listening to music on headphones or ear plugs, do not have the volume turned up to such a high level that others riding in the elevator are forced to listen to the music as well
For the same reasons as in rules 8, 9, and 10.
|This woman knows that it is best to wait to speak on|
one's telephone until after one has completed one's elevator journey
Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures
12. When riding an elevator with a pet dog (or child for that matter) do not allow it to lunge at the other riders in the car
It can alarm them. Restrain your dog (or child) for the duration of the ride, please.
And last (but certainly not least):
13. When riding an elevator, one should do one's utmost not to perfume the air with one's flatulent gases, a practice vulgarly (but aptly) known as "crop dusting"
While it may be a relief (and even a source of amusement) for the perpetrator, it is inconsiderate to those who have the misfortune to involuntarily share in such aroma.
And there you have it, Dear Reader, Reggie's Rules for the Considerate Management of One's Presence When Riding in Elevators.
Tell me, do you have any good elevator stories?