A Modern Guide to Elevator Etiquette

Lately I’ve been noticing that people seem to be struggling with basic elevator etiquette. Now I understand that in today’s post-recession world with folks working long hours that parents might not have the time to spend teaching their kids basic elevator etiquette, but it’s an important skill that I want to preserve, so once again, I’ll take it upon myself to help the youth of America.

#1: Don’t push a pushed button

I know that you’re important. I appreciate that you have places to be. But if you get to the elevator lobby and I’m waiting for the elevator you really don’t need to push the button again. Sadly, artificial elevator intelligence hasn’t progressed to the point where the elevator responds to multiple pushes. When you insist on pushing a pushed button you are basically telling me that I am an idiot that doesn’t know how to push a button. And that hurts my feelings.

#2: Wait for the next car

Once the doors have closed more than 50% you have to wait for the next car. Sticking you arm in to stop the doors from closing is a dangerous and rude game. Look, I waited for the elevator. I held the door open for the hot chick that was walking across the parking lot. I pushed all the required buttons. Don’t fuck me and my elevator buddies over by abruptly halting the process and forcing the doors open so you can stuff your fat ass in the car. Do you know why the elevator makes a loud and annoying alarm sound after you force the doors open? Because the elevator is sad and mad at you.

#3: No cock blocking the buttons

An elevator should be filled like a dishwasher: sides first, then the back, and finally, reluctantly, the front. The absolute last place anyone should stand is in front of the control panel. The control panel is communal space. We all deserve equal access. What if I want to pick up the emergency phone? Why should I have to fight with your crotch to pick my floor? It’s not 1953. You’re not an elevator operator. I don’t need your help pushing my button. But I do need your help not putting your dick in front of the panel.

#4: Never talk to strangers

Listen. We’re sharing an elevator for 45 seconds, we’re not hostages in a bank robbery conspiring to make a move on the smallest guy. Talk to your friends. Play with your phone. Discreetly smell the hair of the hot chick you held the door for. But don’t talk to me. I don’t want to make new elevator friends.

(The only exception to this rule is if I want to make a witty elevator-themed joke. Like for instance saying that my day is having it’s ups and downs. I can do that. I am an adorable and hilarious fellow. You probably are not.)

#5: Make the one floor apology

Elevators are for people traveling two or more floors. Stairs are for people traveling one floor. If you get on and push the button for the next floor, you are morally obligated to apologize to the rest of the elevator community. Valid excuses include: “I am pregnant”, “the stairs are locked”, “my gall bladder hurts”, “scary teenagers are smoking on the stairs”, etc. Please note that if you do not apologize I am well within my rights to audibly sigh in frustration at you.

#6: Readjust as people leave

This is a big one. As the troll-like people that inhabit the lower floors leave the elevator you need to readjust your position to maximize personal space. There’s nothing worse than starting in a full elevator and having the trip end with just you and the creepy IT guy standing shoulder to shoulder in an empty car. This is not a “meet cute” story in a romantic comedy. Your elevator position is not fixed. Unless you are going to make a move on me, you best move away from me.

Thus ends our helpful guide to modern elevator etiquette. I hope that this essay inspires you to spread the gospel and train others how to ride in an elevator without annoying me. Thank you.


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