Elevator Observer

Since I work so closely with the elevator industry, I always notice things such as the manufacturer, the last time a unit was inspected and even people’s social behavior when riding an elevator or escalator. Do you ever take the elevator to go only one floor up when the stairs are right next to where you are? Do you ever find yourself in the elevator, when you have to go to a floor that would take a lot of “effort” to take the stairs to (like the 6th floor), and then someone comes in and goes only one floor up? What’s interesting is that you can almost see the dismay on the faces of people when they are waiting for the elevator for several minutes at the 1st floor (ground floor for many), and when it finally comes, everyone has to wait for the elevator to stop at the 2nd floor (only one floor up) simply because someone chose to take the elevator instead of walking up about 15 steps.

The situation seems a bit less severe and interesting when people are going down one floor, even though going down is easier than going up. It becomes even more interesting when you think about how people consider going up “one floor” on an elevator to be a nuisance, but 2 floors up to be all right.

I got into the elevator yesterday on the 1st floor of a building, and someone had already pushed the 2nd floor button before they got out. The entire elevator was jammed with about 10 people. The elevator started with a push, and then slowed down immediately to stop at the 2nd floor. I joked “Wow, I should always take this to the 2nd floor”, and everyone looked at me as if they were going to throw me out of the elevator right there. I looked around at the uneasy faces and quickly said “I’m just joking, really.” The “really” part put a smile back on all the faces, and a comfort to my mind that I could then safely ride the elevator to my destination. I calmly continued to floor 6, while the elevator stopped at floors 3, 4 and 5.

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