Friday, July 29, 2005

Elevator Etiquette

This morning, I got on the elevator with 3 other people. Two nursing students and one guy who does maintenance around the building.

The two nursing students went to the right, I went to the left - leaving plenty of space in the middle & back - and the guy went to the left as well. And stood very close to me. Basically, I was backed into the corner and he stood directly in front of me. He was so close that I see the errant hairs along where he'd shaved his neckline. It's not like he was being creepy or anything, I just think he didn't have much spatial awareness.

However, I am extremely claustrophobic. I'm not good in small spaces and I'm VERY uncomfortable being in a really close vicinity to people that I don't know. I have miniature panic attacks on metros, hate crowded elevators, and you will rarely ever see me at a club or on a jam-packed dance floor (and considering I was on the dance team in high school and college, I think that shows just how claustrophobic I am).


But when the nursing students got off, leaving the whole elavator (which isn't small) to me and the guy - he didn't move. Not even a muscle. And for me to move, I would have had to push past him - and as you're aware, I don't really like to touch/be touched by random people. (Had he been a hottie, perhaps it would have been a different story, wink wink.) I know a simple "excuse me" would have been suffice, but I was concentrating too hard on my breathing (claustrophobia taking effect).

The ride from the 5th to the 10th floor (where he got off) seemed like an eternity to me. When he exited the elevator, it was like a weight lifting off of my shoulders. And I'm not holding anything against Mr. Maintenance Man, because as I said before, I think he just didn't have the spatial awareness that would have prompted him to give me some breathing space... But isn't it the proper thing to do? If there's space in an elevator, you should spread out to give room to those around you, right? You know, all that stuff about people needing personal bubbles of space?

11 Comments:

At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Bill said...

Just read your post and the comments of "Another Reason Why Americans Are Fat" that you linked to in the first paragraph and wanted to point out something about the fire code that buildings in DC have to abide by. All of the buildings in DC are supposed to be locked from the outside on the ground floor so that if there is a fire, you can safely walk down the stairs and exit at the ground level but so that you cannot re-enter the stairwell at the ground level. So, this is why I am one of the many people in my office building to take the elevator to the second floor. I'd walk up the measly flight of stairs if I could, but alas, the door to the stairwell is locked. SO, point is, I'm not sure if you're building abides by the fire code or not, but don't hate on the people who take the elevator to the second floor. However, hate away if the stairwell is not locked from the outside between the sixth and seventh floors cause that is just LAZY! :)

 
At 10:42 AM, Blogger Sara said...

Ah, Bill, I didn't know this... however, I work in Silver Spring... and the doors are not locked

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger Anna said...

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At 10:52 AM, Blogger I-66 said...

I don't often find myself on elevators. I work on the 2nd floor at my building and, unless I'm somehow injured, carrying heavy objects, or going to a higher floor I don't see the inside of an elevator. I do, though, observe the estimated necessary personal space for an individual. I've learned that it's generally a bad idea to stand close to someone new anyways, since many times I've been overcome by perfume/cologne/other odor, so I do make sure there's a decent distance between me and the closest individual in a non-crowded elevator. Hell, I don't even stand close to the door when I'm the only one on so if someone else gets on they don't have to come close to me.

 
At 11:35 AM, Blogger DC Cookie said...

In a similar way, I hate when people at bars get too close to my face when they're telling me a story. Unnerving...makes me want to end the convo immediately.

 
At 11:40 AM, Blogger I-66 said...

amen, Cookie. I'm no fan of close-talkers regardless of the setting.

 
At 1:24 PM, Blogger RHB said...

What really pisses me off is when people go from like 3 down to 2. Or from 1 up to 2. AHH! Unless you're old, pregnant, cripled, carrying heavy stuff (That triple cheese burger from Wendy's doesn't count), or pushing something on the floor like a cart or stroller, TAKE THE GD STAIRS.

I-66, it's good to see there are those who abide by this principle. My hat's off to you...

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger Lady Tiara said...

i can't stand it when people get to close to me on the elevator, mainly because i'm really claustrophobic. the elevators at work are huge and probably 15 people can be crammed in there if needed. usually, people get in and grab a corner and everyone is far away, and it's great. but everyone once in a while, i get in there first and take my corner, and then someone else gets in and crams back into the same corner, even though there is about 30 square feet of space. shudderriffic.

 
At 3:16 PM, Blogger The Captain said...

This reminds me of a video I saw in college during one of my communications classes. Some people were running a study on personal space.

They hid a camera in an elevator, then followed people into said elevator, and alternated standing far or close, chatting or not, etc. It was interesting to see the way people reacted, how they would obviously tense up the closer the other person was.

I can guess that if Sara or Cookie were unwilling participants in this, the results wouldn't have been pretty. I can imagine screaming and knees to the groin being involved.

 
At 3:56 PM, Blogger Complacent Chase said...

You poor thing! I'm with you...I need personal space. My newly acquired pet peeve is when people sit next to me on the metro when there are clearly several open seats available.

 
At 7:03 PM, Blogger Mantooth said...

I think we have a responsibility as humans to let eachother know when we're stepping on eachother's toes.

Why do you think there are horns in cars?

1)So you can let someone know they're about to hit you.

2)Let someone know you're about to hit them

3)To let them know they just fucked up.

You should have honked the horn at this guy, lady. Give him a "AHEM" or rustle some papers.

DONT BE AN ELEVATOR VICTIM!!!

 

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