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Five species you can find in elevators (part one)

Written by
Joyce Koh

When a completely random mix of 12 to 15 men and women willingly enter a tiny metal box that slowly transports them upwards (and downwards) every day, interesting behavioural patterns emerge. Here are some species that we are charting for your own good. Identify them and get out before it’s too late.

1. The music connoisseur
We all know your taste in music. And we are not judging you for that. What we’re judging you for is your taste in earphones. However sweet Tchaikovsky’s compositions are, we can’t share your enthusiasm when it’s leaking from your tinny earphones for an interminable amount of time as the elevator creaks its way upwards. Your eardrums probably don’t appreciate it either. 

2. The life or death call
This important business call can make or break your future, and we all understand. What happened last night can also make or break your relationship, and we too, understand that. What we cannot take is listening to one-sided conversations. Have some mercy and turn on the loudspeaker. We all want to know what’s going on. Better yet, stop trying to talk on your phone in elevators altogether. You won’t get much of a signal anyway. 

3. The woodpecker
There’s a simple reason that the ‘door open’ button in elevators always look brand new while the ‘door close’ button has been pounded beyond recognition. We all know you saw us coming. Don’t pretend you didn’t see us and hammer on the close button frantically in the hopes of getting away with it. We’ll remember your face. 

4. The rock
Elevator etiquette dictates that one moves to the back or to the walls to make way for the herd. Some prefer to plant themselves right in the middle. We’re okay with that. We’re not okay when you grow roots and refuse to budge when others need to get out. Fellow elevator mates then have to force their way through the undergrowth. Please do us all a favour and step out to give them a smooth exit, and step back in. We don’t need unnecessary intrusion of personal space first thing in the morning. 

5. The geese
We’re intrigued by your impressive time management skills. How can you do so much shopping and also cram in a meal during lunch hours? Maybe you divide and conquer, we’ll never know. The geese operate in a gaggle, chattering away and swinging their glossy shopping bags. When the elevator arrives, they waddle into the elevator together. And here’s the beauty of it: They force everyone else to wait for the next elevator. Safety in numbers, you see. If you do manage to get in with them, their high-decibel conversations will reverberate in your ears for an hour or two afterwards.

Read the second part of the elevator series.

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