Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Elevator Enlightenment

For me, the point of indifference is probably 4 flights.

Yes, if I am going up 4 flights of stairs I would be equally likely to take the elevator or the stairs. And going down? I'm probably indifferent at around 6 or 7 flights, depending on if I'm carrying a lot of/heavy things. Indeed, after living above the 3rd floor for 3 years in a row at Brown, I would have been very grateful for for an elevator on move-in day, but I managed just fine- and so did everyone else. When I lived on the 5th floor, there was an elevator, but it was extremely tiny compared to the number of people living in the building, and I generally found it very inconvenient, as it was located on the opposite side of the building. Every morning I would just walk down the stairs right near my room with little thought.

Flash forward. For the past 4 quarters at Stanford I lived on the 4th floor of a building with 2 elevators (the slowest moving elevators in the history of elevators) which I only used on occasion: such as carrying especially large loads of laundry or when I probably should have just made two trips to bring groceries in from my car, even though it was a mere 1.5 times my carrying capacity. After the aforementioned recent move , I find myself on the 11th floor of a 12 floor apartment-style dormitory, and have never had the impulse to walk up the stairs. I have gone down once, but will probably never do that again, except in case of fire. Needless to say, this means I ride the elevator at least twice a day, on a normal, non-hermiting day.

Now for my rant: sometimes I am amazed at the laziness of my fellow-occupants. For instance...

I was doing my laundry, which means I used the elevator an unusually many number of times that day, and during one of my journeys back up, I was stopped mid-ride: 3rd floor. I greet this rude interruption (please note the sarcasm) with a ''polite'' smile and then actually start feeling annoyed when I noticed that they got off on floor 5. Two flights of stairs?! Really? My only consolation was that they probably had to wait longer for the elevator to come, than it would have taken them to just walk up the stairs like a normal person. Since that time, I have discovered that this is not a rarity.

No,

I have encountered such instances on numerous occasions. I have slight sympathy for those going up, but the other day when someone made my ride stop twice so they could go down ONE floor, it took every ounce of my mother's teachings for me to not say something about it to them. You know, something casual...

"Hey, did you know there are stairs at both ends of the hallway? Yeah funny thing... they're behind the doors with the big green exit signs above them, so I can see how you might have been confused and thought they were exits, instead of stairs. Well, now you'll know for next time. Have a great day!"

or maybe

"Hey, did you know there are stairs at both ends of the hallway? Oh you did know! Oh... sorry, I just thought you might have used the stairs if you had known about them since you were just going down one floor."

Okay, some people may have knee problems or something... fine. But as for the rest of you... (which is most of you- given that I live on a college campus, not in a geriatrics ward) you should be ashamed!!

This is why America is getting fat.

7 comments:

RC Watson said...

Libby, this is too funny, I deal with the same issue every day, but now I am "one of those people." I work on the 5th floor, and I used to always take the stairs up and down--that is until my office started being criminally hot. So now if I don't take the elevator up to my office, I will be sweating for the better part of the day. Anyway, the other thing I find humorous about elevators is the whole "door close" button... do you really think pushing it more than once is going to make the doors close faster? And don't get me started on escalators...

blogbud said...

This trick worked for me on one elevator (either that, or no one ever tried to use the elevator when I did the trick): http://lifehacker.com/software/travel/send-the-elevator-directly-to-your-floor-205918.php

Andy said...

I hate stairs, and walking for that matter. I can't wait until they make moving sidewalks so I never have to walk again.

My favorite moving walkway I have experienced was in Midway Airport in Chicago. It was so soft it felt like you were walking on a trampoline.

UsedToBeDay said...

In Hungary (and probably other places too) their mall, instead of having an escalator, had an elevated moving walkway. It was CRAZY!

UsedToBeDay said...

Funny you should mention moving walk-ways, Andolf, and then I immediately read this in my google reader. Weird.

Bryn said...

AMEN!

Laura said...

Denver airport has some great moving walkways too. I once spent 3 hours killing time going back and forth..

And the elevator thing--that happens to me all the time at work. The annoying thing about my building is that, while you can use stairs to go between floors, you can't use the stairs to get to the lobby. Some kind of security thing, I guess. I always time my exit from the building to work with the departure of a my BART train, so when people ride from down 1 floor, it not only irks me, but I find myself sometimes missing the train. The IT guys at work are especially bad about this. My company is so big that we take up 3 floors of the building, but that is still no excuse for taking the elevator to go 1 floor. Once I found out about the no-stairs to lobby issue, I stopped thinking vile thoughts about those who get onto the elevator at level 2 on the way down.