One of the many jobs of a parent is to teach our children good manners. Manners in general seem to be in decline but elevator manners in particular don’t seem to be commonly taught anymore. Or maybe I’m just jaded because most of my elevator use comes in hotels with vacationing families and children running amok.
What are elevator manners?
These are the rules that I taught my kids about polite elevator usage.
- Stand back from the door. Wait to see if anyone needs to get off before you try to get on.
- Don’t fight over who gets to push the buttons. (This one is probably only for the younger crowd but a good rule to follow no matter your age!)
- Hold the door if someone needs more time.
I searched around online to see what the internet had to say about elevator etiquette. What I’ve written matches up with the general consensus. I did particularly like this quote in the Reader’s Digest article…
“It’s not rocket science, but a lot of people just do what’s convenient for them, instead of considering others. Etiquette is about being selfless instead of selfish. It’s [about] how you approach a situation with consideration for the other person or people involved.”
But wait, there’s more!
There were a few other rules of elevator etiquette that I did not list above. Probably because, to me, they seem like common sense and consideration. But here they are anyway.
- The two-flight rule – If you are only going one flight up or down – take the stairs (if able).
- Back of the line! – If there are several people waiting for an elevator, be sure to queue up. Do not just walk to the front. I’ve written about the “No cuts!” rule before…
- Ladies, first! Sometimes. For social occasions, you should follow the ladies first rule. In business, men and women expect to be treated equally.
- Mind the personal space. Well, as much as possible. It is an elevator after all. Generally though, if it’s not crowded, spread out as much as possible.
- Face forward!
- Limit the eye contact. A quick, casual, friendly smile upon entering the elevator is sufficiently polite. More seems creepy.
- The person closest to the buttons is the Button Master and should push the buttons for the other passengers.
- Does your phone have elevator mode?! Please, no phone calls on the elevator! It’s weird enough when you’re walking down the sidewalk apparently talking to yourself and it’s pretty rude when you do it while in line and checking out at the supermarket or coffee shop. But definitely no phone calls in the elevator!
- Don’t be afraid to get out of the way. If you’re in the front of a crowded elevator, please exit and hold the door for other passengers as they exit on their floor, then return to the elevator and resume your journey.
So, common sense and courtesy right? Of course, the whole reason I was inspired to write this post (and the others in my Return to Civility series) is because I feel like society has forgotten how to be considerate and how to put others first, even if (or especially if!) it inconveniences them.
Be a hero! Demonstrate good elevator manners every chance you get!
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