Elevator Etiquette

Elevator Etiquette
Business and pleasure tends to take us to many of the same places. Whether working or playing we are forever finding ourselves facing a closed door and waiting for it to open. Sometimes these doors are elevators. Other times we are standing next to a bus waiting to get on. Then there are the doors to a public bathroom stall. This is goes on but you see my point. Regardless of what we are doing, quite often we want to get into a small space where the door is initially closed. We are patiently waiting for the door to open (sometimes) and we want to get in.

The door will finally open, you know. But what then? Most likely there are people on the other side of that door. And what are you going to do?

Once you arrive at your confined area. You need to enter. But there are typically people who want to exit. There is a right way and a wrong way to tackle this dilemma. Your decision to use proper manners will get you to the other side of the fence (so to speak) easily, quickly and without harm to yourself and others.

When entering an elevator, I’m always astonished how someone will walk on to a crowded, irritatingly close area without allowing it to thin out a bit. Proper decorum directs a person to allow those who want to leave the elevator to do so first. The obvious result is you will have more room and you won’t get jostled while the other people are attempting to exit.

The same applies to busses and bathroom stalls. In the case of busses, there are people at the door who will need to leave before you walk on. It is always comical to see people who have been waiting for the bus and can somehow justify pushing their way onto a bus while passengers are attempting to exit. In considering this, keep in mind you can’t physically get past those people without bumping them and for the most part being totally irritating.

Where bathroom stalls are concerned, the need to exit first is obvious to most. The fact that people need the space to walk comfortably out and head to the sink….not so much. Hello? Give people the room they need to walk out of a bathroom stall and head in the proper direction. Let the ladies carry their purse and possibly their child by the hand. Allow the gentlemen to carry their briefcase or backpack and go in the general direction they need to go. There’s no need to crowd. You’re going to get there soon enough.

Finally, when entering a small space, like an elevator or the entrance to a building, men, hold the door for the ladies. And everyone hold the door for someone who is elderly. If there’s no door to hold then allow them to enter first. And ladies, please act like one. Women for the most part like men to be polite. Manners dictate that a man holds a door, offers her to enter first and to give up his seat. When you decline, or worse, get offended, you are being the most impolite of all. Allow men to be men and let anyone who is going out of their way to be nice to be just that.

Confined spaces can be difficult. Allowing people to exit those spaces before you enter eases the challenges. In all instances, be polite to all people. Finally, accept that politeness and consideration keeps the wheel for proper manners going.

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