SO… It never ceases to amaze me how much I learn from seemingly mundane activities. I’ve been spending so much time in and around elevators lately that I’m coming to the conclusion that Filipinos are all going to hell. Well, almost all. For some reason, elevators seem to bring out the worse (I don’t want to say worst because that’s too extreme and too judgmental) in us. Of course, even though I like to say that I’m aware of my surroundings and have a high level of self-awareness to boot, others would define it as crossing the border into cuckooland. If, after reading this week’s mental meanderings, you can say that I don’t make sense, then my days outside the loony bin are definitely numbered.
Let’s start with the simple act of pressing the elevator up-or-down button. Why in the heck do we need a sign that says “Please press button just once”? I mean, think about it. If we are in need of the services of an elevator, I understand that we do need to press that all-important button that starts the whole experience off. If someone has already gotten there before us, that darn button is going to be lit up, isn’t it? So brightly that even a severely vision-impaired dumbass like me can see it. But still we are drawn to it like moths to a flame. Rapidly poking it. Even if the light means the request has been made. And many others will come, after you, to do the same thing. So don’t feel too stupid. Just a little bit. And poking the poor button repeatedly and rapidly isn’t going to make the elevator come any quicker. If the light is already on, then join the collective group of people joining you on the trip. Control your dumbass and wait.
Finally, the cab (yes, Fraterno, that’s what it’s called) gets there and the door slides open. To anybody coming out of the elevator, be prepared to feel oppressed. For some reason, the waiters (people who wait, not just those in the restaurant) will flock around the opening as soon as that door cracks open, making it extremely difficult for those getting out to exit from the cab. For some reason, it’s a mad dash to see who gets in first. Why we can’t we be considerate and wait for everybody to get out, providing them with ample room to calmly walk out rather than elbowing their way through the madding crowd, so they can go on their merry way? Besides, the cab isn’t going anywhere until someone tells it where to go, something I wish for frequently. I mean telling it where to go. This will happen on any floor. Oh, and a simple elevator hack, if you want. You know that little button? The one that you’re supposed to press only once? It also serves as a door-hold. If you keep it pressed while people are getting out, the door will stay open. So lose your fear that the cab is going without you. Control your dumbass and wait.
So now we’re rushing to get in. I don’t know what the big deal is. The cab is usually five or eight feet deep and five feet wide. It’s not like there’s a finish tape at the end. The even weirder part is, whoever gets in first plants themselves solidly nearest the exit. So the later entrants have to elbow their way through to get to the back of the cab. The only thing I can figure out is there must be some elevator rule that says “First In, First Out”. Kind of like “Garbage In, Garbage Out” for computers. Shouldn’t the more considerate rule be “The higher your floor, the further back you should stand”? And for some reason, everyone coming in the cab has to crick their neck to look at the panel and press the appropriate floor button, again even if it’s already lit up. The person standing closest to the control panel isn’t kind enough to do the job of elevator operator, but isn’t that the right thing to do in exchange for standing nearest the door? Control your dumbass and be considerate.
Now the door opens at designated floors, and there are waiters there too. If you’re not on the ground floor, please take time to look at the elevator request button. It will usually have UPé and DOWNê arrows. Yes, Fraterno, some people are going even higher up. When the cab stops at your floor, take note of which request button doesn’t turns off. That’s the direction the cab isn’t going. And people in the cab should also be informative enough to say “Going up” or “Going down” to prevent the awkward elevator cha-cha. That kind of cha-cha should be prevented, not the federalism kind (but that’s just my opinion). If you’re inconsiderate enough to insist on standing near the door even if you’re getting off on a later floor, please make room for the exiters, okay? Control your dumbass and be considerate.
And one more for the books. When the elevator overweight buzzer sounds off, everybody looks at the last one to get on and expects them to step out. What if that’s the one person who desperately needs to get elevated? Doesn’t anyone ever think about that? But nobody ever offers to get off so the cab can go. As a rule, I always get off when that offensive buzzer sounds. Not because I’m noble or anything. Because I’ve known for a long time that I’m overweight so… Maybe if I started taking the stairs a little more often, especially if I’m only going ONE floor up, my Dr Alagadan might give me a medal. After all, some people pay the gym exorbitant amounts of money to use the stairmaster.
As an elevator side note, the quality of private information people are willing to discuss loudly in VERY close quarters among strangers is astounding. Maybe they assume others are deaf. I now know some embarrassingly private stuff about strangers who I hope to never be introduced to in the futures. I will be extremely hard put to keep a straight face. Or worse, to say, “Oh, yeah. Aren’t you the one who…?” Awkwardly, I’m just the person who just would. Oh, and the “NO SPITTING” sign with the appropriate graphic. That always cracks me up.
So I wonder, when we take that final elevator ride, are we going to be just as dumbass? Remember, that’s the one elevator we can’t tell whether it’s going up or down.