Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Elevator Etiquette...
I turn up at the bank of lifts at the ground floor to our office building everyday and often have to wait. It's a busy time in the mornings and the lifts are busy shuttling people up to the top floors. But I'm the first one there. I hit the only button to call the lifts and wait. I stare at the lift doors waiting for them to open.

After a moment someone else walks up. He gracefully leans forward and hits the button to call the lifts. I grimace. I already did that. Didn't I do it right first time? There's only one button for up and it only needs to be pressed once. Couldn't he see it was lit up already? Oh well. We wait together. It's not unusual to wait.

Someone else walks up. He looks at us both as if to say, "you do need to call the lift you know". And hits the up button once again. "We've done that", we both think back. We all go back to staring at the lift doors willing them to open.

Two people more walk up to our impatient trio. They are colleagues who must have traveled to work together. They're chatting and without thinking one of them reaches forward and repeatedly presses the lift call button with his middle finger like he's fighting in a video game. Yeah, like that'll make the lift come faster! We all look at him with pained expressions but he doesn't notice us - he's too busy chatting with his colleague. We all return to staring at the still closed lift doors.

It's been two minutes now. Where is that lift?

Someone else walks up. It's getting to be quite a crowd. She pauses. Looks at us one by one out of the corner of her eye. We know what she's thinking. "Don't do it," we all think - willing her to not press the button again. She stays motionless. At last! Someone with some sense. Then just when we've all relaxed again she lashes out and strikes the up button like a snake. We all sigh. Someone even groans. She flashes him a dark look.

After what seems like an age the lift finally 'bings' and the doors open. Luckily it's empty and we all shuffle in. Convention dictates we all turn round to face outwards. Everyone leans over to select their respective floors and we wait for the doors to close. They seem to take ages. We're all stood there like lemons in a lift with the doors wide open.

Just as the doors do start to close we all see someone dashing for the lift. "Hold the lift," he shouts. Everyone averts their gaze. We all pretend not to notice him. As is correct elevator etiquette though the person nearest the lift buttons pretends to make a vain attempt at reaching for the 'doors open' button to hold the lift - but accidentally presses the 'doors close' button instead. "Sorry", he mouths to the runner with mock sympathy. As the doors are closing he even glances round the lift for support. Which he gets in spades. "I did try", he explains. We smile back silently sharing his mild embarrassment but at the same time admiring his leadership skills. Brave man! That running guy can wait for another lift. We of lift No. 2 have bonded now. We're heading up the building and no one is going to stop us.