Elevator Etiquette

I find large banks of elevators mildly terrifying. [via Wikimedia Commons]

Like door etiquette, elevator etiquette seems like it should be self-explanatory. But that appears not to be the case, so here are some tips:

  1. Try to avoid taking the elevator to the 2nd or 3rd floor if you are capable of using the stairs and if there are even stairs (my office building doesn’t have easily accessible stairs, so I often take the elevator to the 2nd floor.)
  2. If you do know that you are getting off at a lower floor, try to get on the elevator last.
  3. If you are next to the door and someone needs to get off, step off the elevator to let them pass before getting back on.
  4. When there is a crowd waiting for the elevator, do your best to let those who have been waiting longest board first.
  5. Keep conversation to a minimum, no one wants to listen to you and your pal.
  6. Face the door. Anything else makes people uncomfortable.
  7. If there is someone running for the elevator and it isn’t very full, be kind and hold the door.
  8. If there is an elevator operator (some buildings still have them!), clearly tell them what floor you are going to and thank them when you get off.
  9. Don’t press (or let your bratty kid) press all of the buttons.
  10. Let people getting off the elevator off before you try to get on.



4 thoughts on “Elevator Etiquette

  1. I have a lot of Feelings about elevator etiquette. My strongest ones at the moment are:

    -When you step onto the elevator, quickly press your button and then move away from the buttons so other people can press the button for their floor.
    -Move to the back of the car if you’re getting off on a higher floor so people getting off on lower floors can stay toward the front. You avoid an awkward shuffling around at each floor.
    -While getting off the elevator, don’t hold the doors open so you can finish your conversation. Everyone will hate you.
    -Don’t be rude to people taking elevators to 2nd & 3rd floors. Some disabilities are invisible, and it makes people like myself feel AWFUL to be scolded for not taking the stairs, when, trust me, I would much rather skip the chronic pain and be a stairs-taker.

  2. I live in a 15-floor apartment building and once in a while someone wants to play the untrained, dingbat elevator operator. What a pain! They won’t stand away from the buttons politely as you point out that they should when few people are riding the spacious lift. They then chirp presumptuously, “What floor?” Since they are too dumb to repeat what you said, they invariably punch the wrong button. Try to say something–even politely–to them about their unwanted ‘courtesy’ and their true colors suddenly show. They’re not REALLY polite and couldn’t care less about what you want. They only want to LOOK superior and you blew their cover!

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