By Jordan Gipson:
Elevators are boxes of awkward situations. Everyone knows there are unspoken rules to riding an elevator. Everyone also knows with every rule there is someone who will break it.
When entering an elevator you get on, press the floor number and occasionally ask the other rider, “Which floor?” After that, you stand there, put your headphones in your ears and stare at the elevator wall and wonder, “What’s for dinner tonight? What if this elevator gets stuck? What if Waldo doesn’t want people to find him?” Then you hear the disembodied female elevator voice say which floor she has stopped on, you get out with no words, no glances back and finish the day.
Rule one of elevator etiquette is, “No talking.” Most people get on and say nothing, but as I said before, there are people who are on this earth to break the rules. Everyone knows that social butterfly that no matter what situation, no matter who it is, they can and will talk to them. It’s a possible way to make a new friend or make someone think, “Why in the world is this person talking to me?”
Kyler Kuykendall, a mass media major said, “I normally only talk to people on an elevator if I know them or if they initiate a conversation with me. I am usually not one to start a conversation with someone I don’t know.”
Rule two of elevator etiquette deals with holding the door open. You can decide if people get on or if they have to wait. Monica Suarez, a dental hygiene major, said, “I hold the door open for them because the next day the situation could be reversed and I would want them to hold the door open for me.”
Anything can happen in the short timespan of an elevator ride. It can leave you wishing you took the stairs. These small awkward boxes are just asking for things to go crazy. “Once, I took an elevator at a hotel. A lady and her kid came in behind me, and a few seconds after the door closed, the kid puked all over the opposite side of me. I was ready to get out of there,” Kuykendall said.
Sometimes the problem isn’t the other people on the elevator—it’s you creating the awkward atmosphere. “One time when I was getting on, the elevator the door was closing and it hit me. It felt like such a freshman moment,” Suarez said.
Other situations can arise when you enter the elevator with someone who isn’t necessarily the person you want to see. Emily Hernandez, a mass media major, said she recently got into an elevator with some girls she had known in high school. “We did not get along. I was not going to talk to them but they did not get the picture. They asked me what my major was so I told them mass media and they said, ‘Oh what’s that?’ I said journalism and other things like that and they said, ‘Oh I hate writing I could never do that.’ Then the door finally opened and I was like, ‘Well, got to go. Hopefully, see you never.’”
The next time you get on an elevator and nothing awkward happens and no one bothers you, consider it a good day. Always remember there is a flight of stairs somewhere.