This is a public service announcement, since apparently there are a lot of people that don’t realize how elevators work.
Now, I’m not going to go into a lot of technical details, mainly because I don’t know them, and would probably find them too boring to care about learning.
However, general usage of an elevator is just good form. And since there are a lot of elevators in the world, it’s handy to know how to use them. (Although, I guess, to be fair, I don’t know that elevators in other countries really work the same way. Except Panama–they work the same way in Panama).
Now, in case you’re wondering how I’ve deduced that there are a lot of elevator-ignoramuses out there, we just got back from a cruise. And with the baby and the stroller, we wound up taking the elevator a lot. And we’d get into an elevator, and ask the people in it ‘are you going up or down?’ to which they’d say, ‘We don’t know.’ And then they’d look at us kind of panicked and say, ‘We don’t know! We didn’t mean for it to stop on this floor!’.
So, some tips for elevators:
- The Rule of Efficiency: The elevator will stop at any floor on which a person has ‘called’ it. So if you started on floor 10 and wanted to go to floor 3, and someone on floor 7 was also going down… the elevator will stop on floor 7 to let them in.
- Elevator Kindness: Elevators generally won’t change direction until they’ve finished dropping everyone off. So, if you started on floor 10 and wanted to go to floor 3, the elevator will not start going up until it has gone all the way to floor 3.
- Taking the stairs is ALWAYS faster than the elevator. Really.
- Common courtesy dictates that if you don’t need the elevator for medical or very-large-or-unwieldy-baggage (strollers, luggage, etc), that you let people who can’t use the stairs get on the elevator first. Even if you’ve been waiting longer–your laziness shouldn’t triumph over other people’s lack of ability to use the stairs.
- Things an elevator won’t do:
- Guess where you want to go. It really doesn’t know. It’s just a machine.
- Move you through time. If it does, you’re probably dreaming or in a movie. See if you can fly–I mean, it might not be that kind of movie… but if it is, or if you’re dreaming–you get to fly! And that’s just cool, and probably faster than an elevator would have been anyway
- Move from side-to-side. It’s an elevator. It elevates. You will arrive right above or right below where you started.
- Your taxes.