January 18, 2008

Elevator Etiquette

Posted in Office Hijinks at 8:19 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

I don’t like to be touched.

Something I don’t like even more than touching is the threat of touching, which is the number one reason why I hate elevators.

While Emily Post has never officially deemed it so, I believe there is a proper order to getting into an elevator. My building’s current elevators comfortably hold eight individuals in what I like to call the 3-2-3 model. Three people in the back, one in each corner and one in the middle, two in the next row standing between the three in the back and then three in the front following the same pattern as the back row. This leaves lots of breathing room and room to maneuver just in case the woman in the back corner needs to get out first.

And sure there are times, for instance at 8:59 in the morning or when an elevator is down, that more people need to crowd into the space, but this particular morning was not one of them. There were only six of us in the car. I was in the middle back position when this crazy coworker stepped in and stood just to the right and only slightly in front of me.

She was so close I could taste her hair.

Worse, there was no where I could go. She just stood there, almost brushing my coat with her coat staring up at the TV in the elevator that flashes celebrity birthdays, stock updates, news, weather, travel weather and fun new words.

Two more people got on, giving her plenty of room to adjust, but she didn’t. She just stood there, reading what someone in Tuscaloosa had to say in response to the viewer’s poll.

I was so tempted to whisper in her ear, “You know the NY Times online has all of this information and more.” but refrained just in case she had a blog of her own. I wouldn’t want to be known as the creepy coworker that suggestively whispers in people’s ears.

Instead, I just held my breath, as breathing heavily in a coworker’s ear is equally as creepy.

When I finally got to my floor I ran right into New Boss’s office to vent my frustration at people’s poor elevator etiquette. He then started in on how much he hates when he goes to get off an elevator and the doors open and there is someone standing right there. Worse is when the person makes a move to get on before he has had a chance to get off.

He added that he noticed it is only women that do this. My face colored a bit, but I wasn’t going to start a fight. Particularly since I have never noticed this particular phenomenon before and therefore couldn’t come up with any concrete examples of men that do it too. For all I knew, it was something only women do.

Later that day, when I was going down to get an un-environmentally friendly bottle of water, I had the whole elevator to myself. I breathed in deep and thanked the elevator gods for such a nice gift. I read all the day’s top stories and learned what celebrities were older than me and as the elevator neared the lobby level, I prepared myself for departure. The doors opened and there, standing in my way was Jerkface (the attorney formerly known only as Lawyer In Question). I rolled my eyes and pushed past him. As soon as the doors closed I pushed the up bottom, so excited to confront New Boss with a real live male example of someone doing just what he said only women do that I forgot all about my bottle of water.

Oh, and I settled on Jerkface because when I described another recent transaction with my office crush, Lauren asked, “When are you going to stop flirting like a fourth grader.”

I just stared back at her blankly. Is there another way to flirt?



  1. Slinky said,

    So, now it is “Jerkface?” There has to be a backstory on this recent development… Dish!!!

  2. Sadly, Slinky, there really isn’t much more to it. Whenever I see him, the fourth grader in me comes out and I have to repress the urge to kick him really hard in the shin.

    Well, that and maybe a little wishful thinking. If Jerkface turns out to be a jerk, it would be a huge load off of my mind.

  3. Slinky said,

    Oh, I get it. A preemptive dislike, so as not to be unpleasantly surprised. I say throw caution to the wind and make your feelings known!!!

  4. Lauren said,

    Oh Slinky,

    Devil never, never makes her feelings known without 100% guarantee that it is reciprocal. Besides, she’s focused on being promoted to the fifth grade. 🙂
    Oh, and she loves it when I use emoticons : )

  5. Rockin' Roxette said,

    “Love in an Elevator” by Aerosmith! ;-P

  6. mbncd said,

    The issue New Boss brought up is one that plagues me whenever I use public transport, as everyone rushes to get on before anyone can get off. It’s a real pet peeve, especially as those who force their way on first have nowhere to go until someone else can get off; they just stand there in the doorway blocking everyone else from moving in any direction and it serves no purpose at all! Grrr…

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