Miss Shirley’s Urban Wisdom – Riding the Elevator

In wide use since the mid-1800s, elevators enable people to gain access to areas of multi-floor buildings without having to use the stairs. This device is incredibly useful for anyone moving large or bulky items such as boxes, baby strollers, shopping buggies, beer kegs, large dogs or refrigerators.

Although the western world has lived with the elevator for over 150 years, it appears that some basic rules and etiquette continue to be neglected. Miss Shirley will enlighten you.

First, when you approach the elevator and press the button to call the car to your floor, step back once you have done so. While it seems like the most basic of common sense, if you stand directly in front of the doors, the people already on the elevator will not be able to disembark. Which means you won’t be able to get on, you stupid nimrod!

Second, once you have entered the elevator, select the floor you want and move as far into the car as possible so that others getting on behind you have room. Do not, Miss Shirley will repeat this, do NOT block the goddamn doorway. If you desire to remain close to the door, either because you are phobic, someone else on the elevator smells bad, or because you are getting off before everyone else, wait and let the other people on first. Miss Shirley, who lives on the 2nd floor of her building and who is usually accompanied on her elevator trips by two large dogs, often lets others onto the car first so that she does not have to push past them 30 seconds later to disembark. Also, elevators are not like airplanes – if for some reason the door closes before you can get on, the elevator will be back in a couple of minutes.

If you are transporting a bicycle in an elevator, it behooves you to pop the vehicle up onto its rear wheel and place it as far into the back corner of the car as possible to prevent other riders from brushing up against the wheels and getting dirty. Also, and this should be common sense, but Miss Shirley often wonders how much of that actually exists out there in the world, don’t push past other riders to get to the door – let them off first if possible.

Finally, when you are riding the elevator, pay attention to the display that indicates which floor the elevator is at. Every version of the uppity box has one of these, even older models, although most of the new ones are of the fancy digital variety with a big huge lit up display that shows the floor number, in addition to the lighted button panel. If you live in Miss Shirley’s building and get off the elevator on the 2nd floor because the door opened there to let Miss Shirley on, it is not her fault if you are a dumbass who does not pay attention, and finds themselves wandering up and down the 2nd floor hallways looking for the ground floor lobby.

Miss Shirley also encourages you not to frantically press the “close door” button when you see someone approaching the elevator because you don’t want to ride with them – unless it is that bitchy lady from down the hall who will trap you and gossip at you for half an hour. If that’s the case, you have Miss Shirley’s blessing to close that door as fast as your little finger can jab at the button. Also, do not push the buttons for all the floors just to piss people off, unless you are under 10 years of age, in which case, fill your boots, although Miss Shirley will still exercise her curmudgeonly right and chastise you if the opportunity arises.

Thank you for riding the elevator with Miss Shirley today – it has been delightful.

Miss Shirley’s Urban Wisdom was the name of a recurring series of posts I made back in my LiveJournal days. Meant to be a snarkier more cynical version of Miss Manners, writing these pieces and directing my wrath at somebody’s boneheaded behaviour toward something creative (instead of finding a big stick…) was a catalyst for me and hopefully an amusement for my readers.