At first, I thought that it was something cultural, you know, like spitting on the sidewalk or walking on the right. Then I noticed it wasn't confined to one or two cultural types and seemed more across-the-board kind of problem. Not waiting for the people *on* the lift to disembark (yes I take the Ferry so I am down with the nautical lingo) seems such breach of basic everyday manners. I thought it was an unspoken rule that when an elevator car reaches the ground floor, those awaiting the lift stand a fashionable distance from the entrance for the passengers to vacate the car before moving smartly into the elevator. I say "unspoken" because I don't ever remember being told this in Manners School, it just seemed the natural, polite thing to do. Apart from anything else, it's not the safest thing to walk straight *at* people who have only one way out of a small metal box, and no matter how svelt you are there are only *so* many people that can fit between open lift doors at one time.
I don't see the same problem with escalators, that's pretty much first-come-first-served as far as I'm concerned but please, people, watch your distances - the angle of the stairs means you are at eyelevel with someone's ass if you don't watch it - unless of course watching strangers asses is your thing then by all means do so, but use discretion.
It's nice to hold the lift doors with one of your less important limbs if you had noticed a fellow building dweller walking behind you into the lobby - but note distances, time is money you know. Another nice thing you can do on your daily elevator travels is to offer to press another person's floor button for them if they have their arms full. Or to inquire as to the weather. Using the lift shouldn't be an excuse or reason to add further stress to your day.
There's fun to be had with elevators too, especially if you travel with your friends in "packs". When I lived in Devonport, Kiki, Todd and I would arrive and travel the lift together and let me just say, there wasn't a better show in town between Ground and Level 11 - witty, snappy banter, drawing in fellow lift travelers like seasoned street performers - what better way to start your day then travelling in a car filled with desparately hilarious hungry eLearning people who don't want to be on their way to work - talk about a captive audience. Or, as i found out the other day, directing a woman to her lift with a "your lift is this way Madam" and gesturing, ushering her complete with slightly bewildered [ that's an expression of mild confusion, not the face of someone who had just visited Rosie's website ] [of the same name ] [Slightly Bewildered] [in case you didn't know] [which you should by now] expression into the elevator and answering, when she inquired as to whether I was coming too, "no Madam, this is your lift. Please enjoy your ride and thank you for visiting Level 11."
And no story about elevators would be complete without the original Lift Gnome story. He was already in the lift going down when it's doors opened and I entered from Level 11. He was holding his weight on the handrails, his feet dangling inches off the floor "if you do this" he said in his Canadian [they're all strange] accent "it feels really freaky when the car stops." We got to the ground floor, and he didn't get off and the doors closed and took him up again. He became known as the "Lift Gnome" in part because of his gnomish looks but mostly because who the hell just goes down to go back up again? (of course, as in nearly all cases, he turned out to be a really nice guy and on closer inspection looks nothing like a gnome and god help me if any of you ever tell him that's what we call him because he'd have my guts for garters).
Some etiquettical links: