Who the heck rides a frickin' elevator up or down one floor, when there is a perfectly healthy, working escalator a few steps away? Who?
I boarded the elevator at ground level at lunch time so I could ride up to five, where our newsroom is located. I was wet from having just run through the rain with my lunch, and I was anxious to get back to my desk and dry off and sit down.
A woman who works on the second floor got on with me. She hit the button for two. She does this often. I have bad luck, 'cause I often get caught on the elevator with her. I usually grin and bear it. Today I ground my teeth.
Why do I have a problem with her taking the elevator from one to two? We have a frickin' escalator. A giant escalator that is impossible to miss when you walk into our lobby.
So what possesses you to walk into the lobby, walk past the giant escalator that stops right at the double doors to the second floor biz operation, and get on the elevator and ride up one lousy floor?
You don't even have to break a sweat on the escalator. You just stand on it and it carries you up or down like a metal toothy version of Aladdin's magic frickin' carpet. I'll bet if you stood in just the right way on the escalator it would probably sing to you and massage your calves and whisper to you that you're the handsomest or prettiest person in your cubicle city.
If you didn't attend the elevator courtesy academy, or ECA, as we used to call it when we sang the old school song in harmony while wearing lettermen's jackets and highwater jeans and white short-sleeved t-shirts and Chuck Taylors, then here's the deal:
- If you're only traveling one floor in either direction, ride the escalator, not the damned elevator. It's just as quick a trip for you and doesn't slow down people who have to go several floors.
- If you're only traveling two floors, and you're not in a major hurry to exit the building or get to your work space, ride the damned escalator.
- There are only four reasonable exceptions to this rule. If you are physically disabled ride the elevator as much as you want and if anyone challenges you, feel free to poke 'em in the eye with your cane or crutches or run over their feet with your wheelchair, or have your guide dog bite 'em or defile their leg. If you are carrying a heavy or fragile load, and you could potentially lose your balance and drop it or fall over the side of the escalator, then take the elevator. No need to kill yourself in the name of efficiency. If you are in a genuine hurry - late for work or late for an appointment outside of the building - and the elevator is the faster option, then take it. But I'd still argue the escalator would be faster, 'cause there's no chance of it stopping at every floor to pick up new passengers. And if you are next to the elevator heading up and no one else who works on a higher (or lower floor than yours) is waiting to board then take the elevator if you want. No harm, no foul.
Learn these rules and you too can be a guardian of the elevator.
*One more exception, from Hammer: If you have a diagnosable mental condition that makes you fearful of escalators then fine, ride the elevator. But you'd better have a doctor's note.