Elevator Etiquette on Holding Doors and Yelling at Strangers

Where do you stand on the issue of holding elevator doors? Frankly, unless the person is in sight and seconds away, I think it is rude and inconsiderate of everyone who is in the elevator to make them wait on someone else. Especially in my building which had 4 elevators.  It’s the same principle with holding subway train doors. You aren’t that important that everyone else must wait on you. This is especially true at rush hour, when we are all trying to get to work on time.

But not in my building.

I am running late for work and finally get out of the apartment. I push the button for the elevator and wait for its arrival. There is a guy standing waiting too, but I pay no attention to him because I am trying to find the right getting to work music on my iPod.

Anyway, the doors open and I rush in. He takes his time moseying in. The he puts his hand up and holds the door. I don’t hear anyone. I don’t see anyone. I’m thinking who the hell is he holding the elevator for? Is his roommate still in the apartment?! I wait a count of 20 seconds, which trust me feels like an eternity when you are in a hurry and I state, “I need to get to work.”

He gives me a dirty look and asks me, “What the hell is wrong with you?”

Wrong with me?!  I needed to get to work and I let him know he was being discourteous by holding the elevator for a prolonged amount of time. This girl scurries in and apologizes. Not her fault. He’s the one who held the elevator and spoke rudely to me. Next floor another person gets in. The guy then decides he has to lambaste me. He again starts in with “What the hell is wrong with you?” But he’s on a rant now and orders me to “Calm down. We all live in the same building and  on the same floor. Be courteous. We are a community.”

I can’t believe anyone would talk to a total stranger in such a downright hostile manner and have the gall to couch it in terms of building community. Weirdly, the only one who is yelling is him. So why am I being told to calm down? I do not take orders from anyone. Especially strange men.

Plus his argument makes zero sense. Why is it okay to be courteous to her and be absolutely disrespectful to me? If he had asked me, “Do you mind if I hold the elevator?” that would be courtesy. If he had said, “Didn’t know you were in a hurry, just trying to be nice,” I could understand his argument about courtesy. But the fact that he verbally attacked me with 100x more force than necessary invalidates his argument.

Pure anger ripped through  my veins. If I didn’t say something, I’d get a migraine from the sheer force of holding it all inside; but I had zero desire for a huge confrontation. I manage to calmly respond, “I didn’t hear anyone say hold the elevator and don’t speak to me that way.” I choose not to engage further because I sense that he wants to argue and my spidey senses are screaming that he would have no issues with hitting a girl.  I always listen to my spidey senses.

That’s it. I’m done. He, of course, cannot let it go. As we exit the elevator, he waits until the others are gone to tells me, “Get up five minutes earlier.”

Obviously he wants to argue and he likes to pick on girls. I ignore him and race out of the building to get away (and  make up the lost time). Again, his argument makes no sense. I was ready and at the elevator. She was not. She could have gotten up five minutes earlier too. Or she can arrive, push the button and wait her turn.  That is simply fair and courteous.

I really like this post on elevator etiquette. Too bad most people don’t have the common sense to follow it.

What’s you’re craziest elevator stories?

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4 Responses to Elevator Etiquette on Holding Doors and Yelling at Strangers

  1. berry says:

    I got stuck several times in an elevator. The worst was that I was stuck with a man who was clearly insane. He scared me silly and for 15 minutes I worried he was going to go postal on me. I tried to remain calm and ignore him but it was just the two of us. He snapped at me a couple of times. I just wanted out. Elevators bring out the worst in people. Maybe the small space or the issue of control. Whatever the reason try and ride it alone.

    • That terrible! Being stuck in an elevator is scary enough, but being trapped with a crazy person is a total nightmare. Yeah I’ve decided if that person is on an elevator, I won’t ride it. Better to wait or take the stairs. 🙂

  2. Gerard says:

    A simple explanation to you that he was holding the elevator for a friend, and apolgize for the inconvenience to you, would have worked wonders. Obviously he’s in need of some social skills, or maybe a swift slap in the head would work better. If there is a next time, (and if you have more time) maybe you should wait until the door closes, hit the button for the next floor down, amd as you get out at the next floor, hit the button for every floor down to the ground. That will tie his butt up a bit longer than he planned. I really hate rudeness. Life is difficult enough without clowns like him screwing up a day.

    • Honestly, not berating me in an enclosed place would have been great. I don’t expect people to be nice or polite (this is NYC), but his vitrolic response to me needing to get to work was really insane. That would be a great option (if I was moving out of the building), but he seemed like the kind who has to have the last word and would then have to get even. It was a horrible way to start the day.

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