Thursday, March 22, 2012

LDM part 1: elevator etiquette

Sometimes, I have what I like to call "Larry David moments" (LDM's). If you don't know who Larry David is, familiarize yourself:

He's also the co-creator of a little show by the name of "Seinfeld." If you've seen it, you're comfortable with the notion of LDM.

I have a feeling most of us have our own LDM's in our daily lives, but society mandates that we keep them to ourselves. Well, I say it's time to put an end to that. In said spirit, here is act 1 of what will be a multi-part series detailing the many majestic LDM's I experience on an everyday basis.

Elevator Etiquette
The elevator is a place I happen upon on a daily basis. I work on the fifth floor, which is precisely the threshold where one can rightfully say, "screw the stairs, I'm taking the elevator." In one commonly occurring instance, I find myself stuck between adhering to societal standards and responding to my inner Larry David.

This instance takes form when I hear the dreaded, "hold the door!" or when those frantic footsteps can be heard coming around the corner. Someone is trying to squeak in before the doors close - it's a squeaker. In many cases, this is not necessarily bad because there is always the chance the squeaker will be getting off at a higher destination than yourself, thus having no impact on your travels. However, the fifth floor being the top floor in my building, I immediately calculate a 3/4 chance that I will have to tolerate a premature stop on the way to my destination. Now this is certainly a minute delay, and perhaps I seem quite silly (meaner terms are welcome) for concerning myself with such a minuscule inconvenience. However, consider the following scenario: you get in a cab (optional public transport, just like an elevator, right?). Just as you're telling the driver where to take you, someone else hops in, completely ignores you, and says to the cabbie, "drop me off on the way." Just like in an elevator, it's only a short stop, and it's on the way. But how are you feeling? It doesn't seem fair, does it? You were in the cab first, your destination should be first priority. Why should the same rules not apply in an elevator? In the heat of a scenario where someone is trying to to slip in at the last second, I am always so very tempted to feign an attempt at pushing the doors open button, while really jamming the doors close button with ferocity. Not only is there a 3/4 chance my upward journey will be delayed, but if and when that 3/4 chance comes to fruition, that means a person is opting for the elevator over the stairs when only travelling 3 stories or less. This is rude AND lazy. But, the nicer, "societal" part of my brain usually wins, and I allow the squeaker to squeak. When they try and make small-talk and my responses are curt, they should know why.

Besides all that, one can achieve a certain solitude while alone in an elevator. I'm hard-pressed to imagine another place where, even if someone wanted to, they could not get to me. For a brief moment I am completely alone, unattainable, and I am also being productive because I am moving somewhere I need to go. What a great combo that is. And how easily it can be ruined by a squeaker. Just have to squeak in, don't they?   

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