I don’t like riding the elevator.
Let me clarify. I don’t like riding the elevator in the morning with other people. I’m not sure why that is.
At work, I park in the basement garage (where, thanks to a Christmas party raffle, I have a reserved parking spot, thank you very much) and I usually get there before most of my co-workers. I then ride the elevator from the basement to the fourth floor, where my office is located. And if i see other people arrive at the same time I will sometimes dawdle in my car long enough that they will get in the elevator before me so I have to take the next one.
I’m not especially curmudgeonly toward my co-workers nor am I all that shy. So why is it that I don’t like riding the elevator with them?
I think elevators are a difficult social situation for most people. It’s a small space without much to except stare at the changing floor numbers. Often, you’re thrown in there for a period of time with strangers or people you don’t know all that well and you can either stand there in uncomfortable silence or engage in awkward small talk about weather, sports, or some work-related news. Ugh. It’s always strained and by the time one of you get out of the little box, you’re just grateful to be done with it.
The funny thing is that at other times of the day if I find myself on the elevator I don’t actively avoid it like I do in the morning. Maybe it’s that before I’ve had my first cup of coffee, my tolerance for awkward small talk is that much less.
By the way, I will shamefully admit to the social faux pas of doing the “If I can’t see you, I don’t have to hold the elevator for you” shuffle by moving out of view of the door when I get on. But I never let the door close on someone who’s definitely headed for it. That would be rude.
So, am I alone in this? Tell me other people don’t like elevator rides with strangers either.
Photo by bass_nroll – http://flic.kr/p/49NivG