This is the first of a running series on how to be a human. Today’s installment – how to operate an elevator properly and convincingly. Go be human.
So you got a job in a building that requires you to ride an elevator every day. Good for you! I bet you keep some groceries in a shared kitchenette and took a few pics of that view for your Instagram. But don’t get all high and mighty (pun intended). If you’re going to fit in with the rest of the humans, you need to learn the do’s and the hey-don’t-do’s of riding an elevator. Let’s start with the easy stuff.
Elevator? I Hardly Know ‘Er! – The elevator is a human carrier. Like a tiny room that moves you to different “floors” of the building. Sure, you can use the stairs like a freaking Libertarian, but most people prefer the luxury and care-free lifestyle that comes with automatic heightening. Most tall buildings have at least one elevator. Ideally there is one for every employee working on the property, but this is very rare and usually only found in lighthouses, so be prepared to share. As of 2018 there are only up-down elevators. They don’t go side-to-side or large-to-tiny.
Call That Boy – Most Elevators have a call button to let the giant robot that controls the building know you want to be raised. It might look like an upward arrow or just a button that lights up when you touch it. Be excited when it lights up, and say something nice. It’s doing this for you, for Christ sake. The least you can do is notice. If the call button is already lit up, you don’t have to push it again. The elevator is already on the way and you contribute nothing by pushing it again. In fact, if you see somebody else do this, give them a firm solid slap across the jowls like Moe.
Where To Stand – When the double-doors open, that’s your sign that the elevator has arrived. Let people off the elevator because humans are three-dimensional being who occupy space. Step on in, and move to the rear of the car, away from the door. This will let other people onto the elevator who also want to go to high places. Most people turn around and face the door they came in while riding the elevator, but if you want to create a very uncomfortable staring contest, the option is there. Go ahead and pick the weakest stranger and stare at him dead in his stupid face.
Where To Go – You should probably know this before you get on, but you need to have an idea of which floor is your destination. Whether it’s 18 (yay!) or 25 (boo!), locate the number associated with your goal on the panel and push the button. Again, this button will light up, so be ready to compliment the button on a job well done. There a lot of other buttons in this human container. Feel free to push any of them to just see what they do. Your elevator buddies will love you. The door close button does not work.
Movement – When the shared coffin begins to ascend, hold the railing with a white-knuckle grip as you dangle for your life inside a hollow cacophony of doom, taunting the devil through the hubris of man with nothing beneath you but the lingering pulse of inevitability. If you’re lucky, gravity won’t obviously overcome and snap the few flimsy cables and pull you down hundreds of feet into the blue flame of death, screaming the deepest breath from your frozen lungs while strangers watch the courage ripped from your hopeless soul in empty, overpowering fear. Ashes to ashes, truly alone. The final equalizer.
You’re Here! – You made it! Try not to be too surprised when the doors open and things are different than they were when they closed. It’s supposed to be! You’re in a whole other world now. Depending on what button you pushed, you’ve been lifted or lowered to a different “floor”. Go ahead and step off the elevator. Don’t bother “holding the door” for other people to get off first because you’re all going to the same place and the door isn’t actually closing anyway so just get the hell out of the way. In fact, if somebody else tries to do this, call them an idiot and poke them in both eyes at the same time like Moe.
And there you go! You’ve successfully completed elevators, Human Basics 1. Tune in next week (or later) for more helpful basics on how to be a human!
Jack Ritchey – 12.4.2018