Globe’s Point – Elevator Intricates


Written By Globe Editorial Staff

Have you ever thought about the nuances of elevator etiquette?The confines of vertical ascension we human beings have become so accustomed to has quite the unspoken rule book. You can’t talk – at least not very much or very loudly. You have to stand close to make space for others, but not too close that you’re touching the stranger next to you. You have to face the front door, or else everyone around you would be unnerved by the creepy guy facing the back wall.And here on campus, we all get annoyed by that one person who takes up space in the coveted car to go up a single floor when they are perfectly healthy enough to walk it.

Elevators are a phenomenon. People will wait 20 minutes for a bus, 10 minutes for an Uber, but waiting an extra five minutes for an elevator is equated to a form of slow torture. New Yorkerwriter Nick Paumagarden, in his article “Up and Then Down,” said there is an actual algorithm determining elevator efficiency.“In an American office building, you want the interval to be below thirty seconds, and the average waiting time to be about sixty percent of that,” Paumagarden said.Within five minutes of class starting in West Penn or Academic, the wait is certainly well over 30 seconds.

We all get angry when a car is out of order, but would be angrier if regular maintenance wasn’t performed – resulting in entrapment (a fear commonly referred to as Agoraphobia).Where in the code of elevator ethics does it say we can use our short time in the elevator to say hello or ask how a stranger’s day is going? The other day, a student did just that. It was refreshing to not be stuck in a small space with a bunch of fuming people who are late on their way to class, but rather someone who genuinely made the most out of the situation.So here’s a bit of advice – next time you’re barreling upwards through the dark void of an elevator shaft, get there a little early, say hello and smile at a stranger.

Change the elevator etiquette here on campus for the better.