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When it comes to letting a friend know you’re outside their building, there’s only one right way to buzz. Sadly, most New Yorkers get it all wrong.
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Some overeager, maniacal folks mercilessly smash the button for an ungodly length of time, making dogs bark and babies cry and rattling residents to their very core.
Others buzz in a relentless staccato. These twitchy ne’er-do-wells tap-tap-tap the button as if they’re sending an urgent, coded message to their only ally in a dangerous game of international intrigue. In this same population, but perhaps worse, are the would-be composers who use the button to create a little ditty. Ladies and gentlemen, no version of “Shave and a Haircut” is ever appropriate.
But the short, single buzz is the most infuriating of all. Here, overcautious weirdos alight their index finger on the button just once—for a millisecond, tops—as if they were a member of the terrorized family in A Quiet Place. Of course, the USPS has perfected this technique: You may have taken off work to receive a special package, but you’ll never hear your courier’s buzz—really, he just doesn’t want to bother you.
So, what’s the right way to treat this maddening button? A single, two-second-long buzz, followed by 15 seconds of blissful silence, then—maybe—a follow-up buzz. Anything else and you owe everyone in the building a hot cocoa.