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  • Paul Davidson

Elevators: Microcosm of Society or Stinky Germ Receptacle?

I have mentioned escalators previously, which has absolutely nothing to do with today’s discussion about elevators.

Stepping into an elevator is, I believe, a total microcosm of today’s world, with its distinct personalities and conflicts. Ride one from floor #1 all the way up to the penthouse on a busy day in a busy building and you will see and experience anything that you would in the real world. Just, without the space.

And so without further ado – I give you “The World as a Microcosm in an Elevator and the Personalities Within.” I think you’ll agree, that you have come in contact with these people more than once…

The Socialite: Personable, friendly and has a knack at talking about the weather. They will hold open the doors, hit the button for your floor and even tell you that there’s some fuzz on the back of your coat.

The Asshole: You know this one very well. Especially when you’re running for the slowly closing elevator doors. They will smile, politely as they watch you struggle to reach the door in time. But alas, they will not hold the doors for you — they instead, prefer to watch you fail.

The Politician: Wants everyone to like them. The Politician always ends up positioning themselves near the control panel and/or red emergency phone. They will hit buttons for everyone, hold the doors for last minute stragglers, and even ask others to “make a little room” so that everyone feels comfortable.

The Introvert: They will always retreat to the corner that is farthest away from everyone else.

The Simpleton: They will attempt to hit the “open door” button as you’re running for them, but get confused by the actual symbols on the buttons and hit the “close door” button instead. Then, as they’re closing they will shrug with a blank look on their face like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man.

The Bimbo/The Player: Always rubbing up against you. Sniffing you. I know this has happened to you before.

The Elderly Perfume Wearer: Man or woman, they come in with their stench loud and clear. And make the ride to the top both annoying and excruciatingly horrible.

The Conspiracy Theorist: Usually, as the elevator stops between floors momentarily, they will freak out, assuming that you’re all going to die in “this godforsaken place.”

The Pregnant Woman: She’s pregnant, okay? Give her some respect.

The Forgetful Angry One: The one who realizes they’ve forgotten something trivial at home, like a shoe, paper or hair-clip, then proceeds to discuss it fervently with anyone who will listen.

The Placater: Usually paired with The Foregetful Angry One, explaining how they too, once, forgot the same thing they did — and how everything turned out OK.

The Minority: Always under the impression that their floor has been overlooked, and when it has, extremely frustrated that they must ride the elevator up when they want to be going down.

There very well may be more, and I am open to hearing about them if you have encountered them. But, I can confidently say that these characters, when put together in the confines of a small space (i.e. elevator) do represent a microcosm of the world today. Sure, they’re dealing with going up and/or down and getting to their destinations — but the way in which they interact mirrors the way these personalities would interact in society.

You may be wondering, just where does little ‘ol Pauly D fit into the world of elevators? I may be too close to my own self, but I believe I am a mix between The Socialite and The Asshole, simply because I love talking to people and love watching people run desperately as the doors start to close; sometimes even doing the “Indiana Jones” tuck and dive, which is pretty damn cool to see in person.

Which elevator personality are you?

As for elevators being a “stinky germ receptacle”, I think I can pretty confidently say that yes indeed, they sure are just that.

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