No one at ELEVATOR WORLD is fan of Zoom screenshots. Most people look odd, old and disconnected (pun intended). However, in the January 2021 issue of their NEII Insider newsletter, our friends at the National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII) recently shared a lovely Zoom screenshot of the staff wishing the industry a Happy New Year. The colorful, doctored-up shot shows staff holding masks in front of a background of fireworks. Each team member looks happy, youthful and hopeful. Pictured are: Executive Director Amy Blankenbiller, Chelsea Chaney, Government Affairs; Nicole Van Velzen, Communications, Katelyn Baldwin, CodeFinder Database editor, Megan Hensley, project manager; new team member Phil Grone, Government Affairs; Kevin Brinkman, Codes & Safety and John Carlson, Codes. Cheers, NEII! All Zoom screenshots should look like this.
News outlets, especially more sensational ones in places like the U.K., love reporting on elevator and escalator incidents involving people — especially young children — finding themselves in dangerous situations. Sometimes, fingers and toes are ripped off. In one tragic case, escalator steps crumbled, causing a woman to fall into the mechanisms below to her death. One recent escalator incident, reported by outlets including Yahoo News, had a far happier ending, with a young boy emerging unscathed after riding up the entire length of an escalator at a mall in Thailand — gripping the handrail with his small hand as his older brother looked on. Although properly manufactured, maintained and installed elevators and escalators are indisputably a very safe mode of transportation, a mall representative observed that this incident, captured in the video below, serves as an excellent reminder that parents should ALWAYS keep a close eye on children, especially around vertical-transportation equipment.
Reading a November 4 piece in the New York Post titled “Why Elevator Etiquette Has New Yorkers at Each Other’s Throats” brought to mind several things: One, an instance early on in the pandemic when your author encountered a very loud, maskless woman in a convenience store screaming something about “spicy pickles” (you can imagine the amount of “droplets” that surely produced) and two, a blog post I wrote in early July about a pair of elderly neighbors in a Florida high rise getting into a shoving match over elevator riding rights. Patience is still thin and tempers are still flaring, as illustrated by the Post piece, which describes various instances in which high-rise residents find themselves “at war” with their neighbors. Elevator rules that reduce capacity, require masks and allow people to ride solo if they choose have led to angry, awkward situations. Doormen have had to break up and diffuse several of these situations. For the time being, at least, those living in high rises — whether in NYC or Phoenix or Paris — should should perhaps just take a literal or figurative chill pill. And if you’re late to that meeting because of capacity limits and lines, surely whoever is waiting for you will understand.