No, not the shoes Tom Cruise made famous. The big, metal machines that take people from one level of a building to another. The etiquette on these things is crazy. We have lifts at work; I can't get to and from my desk without navigating one. I mean, I could… but it would mean walking seven flights of stairs before 8am every morning. No thank you.
I feel like I've become a somewhat expert of lifts, and the dance we do when we need to use one. Let me enlighten you.
We scan our passes at the main entrance, and it's then about ten steps to the pair of lifts, of which 90% of staff use every single morning. You can imagine rush hour between 8-9am. It rivals the queue when bloody Tim Hortons opened in Glasgow and everyone acted like they'd never seen a coffee shop before.
You scan your pass, and are presented with one of two scenarios. One; you have to wait in line. Queues. Fucking, bloody queues. Once, I stood in an eight person queue, only to find out that nobody had pressed the button. That person got so many daggers in their back that day. Two; there's a lift door just closing as you are coming through the gate. You have made eye contact with the person in the lift. You've seen them. They have seen how close you are. Do you wave them on? Silently mouth 'no it's ok'? Or do you start the jog? The half jog, half walk we do whilst the person in the lift panics to hit the 'doors open' button, but instead they hit the 'doors close' button, and you are stood looking like a proper fudd, way too close to the now closed door? Personally, I never jog. I will wait the three minutes for the next one.
So, you're in the lift. Usually, at my time in the morning, there's only a couple of us. I hit floor seven; floor three is a popular one. Lazy buggers. But sometimes, it's a very full lift. Too many people. Too many bags. Just too many. And you hit every. Single. Floor. By the time I get to five, I'm so sweaty and grumpy that I go 'fuck it, let me out, I'm walking'. Two floors ain't that bad.
Sometimes people try and chat. The most common one is when you try and press the 'door open' button for someone but they don't make it. You joke together about hitting the wrong button, looking like a dick as you know the person running for the lift won't be getting on, and it's all your fault. You also joke about sometimes getting out on the wrong floor because you haven't paid attention. We sometimes talk about the weather, specifically if it's very sunny or very wet. "Busy week ahead?" is popular. And then some poor ass will be listening to their music too loudly and we will all stand and judge them. Oh, we judge them hard.
Then we get out of the lift. I have one main point of contention here. Men always let me go first. And I always say no. Out of my feminist fucking right to not be treated like a delicate flower. Sometimes the doors start to close because I'm resisting so much. Another point? People who say thanks when they exit the lift. It's alright mate, it's not like I have an actual job to go to, I'm just here to make sure you get to your floor safely. Happy to be of service.
Don't even get me started on the snooty lady who gets on the 5pm ride down and then overly sighs when we stop at every floor on the way down; we all want outta here lady.
Do you know what I love about lifts though? Absolutely fuck all. Let's install escalators please.