Human stupidity in all it's forms must be the most visible aspect around us in our daily life, and Common Sense the most absent. And incredibly, both of these come together when it comes to the usage public spaces. And Elevators (Lifts) rank high among said spaces. While being one of those inventions which made human life infinitely easier it is also one of those public spaces where even an act of simple callousness can be amplified to humanly intolerable levels.
Elevators are closed and ventilation-less metal boxes suspended by an array of cables and pulleys, hurtling through space on rails and squeeze the most number of people together in the least area of space barring probably the Mumbai local trains. While using a space of this kind, it is necessary to follow some guidelines on public behavior because the next guy has the same right to live on the planet as you do. And just as it is with every aspect of public life, there are some people who just don't get this. These rules need not be taught in school, but will get imbibed in oneself from a good and fair upbringing which most unfortunately lack. I present below 5 things stupid people using elevators/lifts need to learn:
5. Use The Stairs
So you are in an elevator riding to the 20th floor from the ground floor. Suddenly as the doors are about to close, you see a guy sprinting down the lobby as if his life depended on catching the lift. You, in all your politeness, thinking he might have to get to the 14th floor in a jiffy, hold the door open for him. He rushes in, gives you an all important nod and royally presses the button for... the FIRST floor!
WTF? Why don't people who have to go to the nearest floors take the stairs?? The dude could have probably reached the first floor spending half of the energy he spent running to the door and/or a fraction of the time he spent in waiting for the lift to arrive. I guess people are so possessive of their hard-earned fat deposits that they dread the thought of burning them off, or they might be afraid that their quadriceps extensors might fall off if they climbed a flight of 30 stairs. Or is it just cool and "upwardly mobile" or "elite" to take the elevator instead of the stairs? Hell yeah. Stairs are for losers and poor people! However, it will not be so cool once you land up in Cardiac care. Unless you want to brag about that as well.
4. Do Not Block The Door
Then there are the types who after entering the lift, plonk themselves right in the front and in the middle of the doorway, refusing to budge no matter that their floor is and no matter where it stops, or how many people have to get in or out. You can shout, push, pull all you want but they will stand steadfast not bothering to move their behinds for they fear that the elevator is a transport bus or a subway train, which will speed off the minute you get off. You will be caught in a deadly timer game to get out of the elevator before the doors close and whack you in the side of your head.
In reality, these people suffer from the dreaded malaise called Missingthebusophobia. Deep down, they have the fear of being stranded alone on a dark, damp floor surrounded by closed elevator doors with a lone bulb flickering away at a corner, waiting forever for the elevator to arrive... Sometimes all it requires is a well placed Karate kick to the middle of their back to cure these types of their phobia and clear the doorway as well.
3. Pressing Buttons
"How to summon an elevator to your floor" is among the simplest rules mankind has devised. If you want to go up (away from the ground floor, towards the top of the building), press the UP button (↑ or Λ or variations thereof) and if you want to go down ( towards the ground floor, or ground level), press the DOWN button, (↓ or V or variations thereof). It is as. simple. as. that. The elevator will know to stop at your floor to open its doors and let your royal behind inside.
But no, people refuse to acknowledge that designers of these systems are way smarter than they are, and decide to overuse their sorry brains instead. Thinking "out of the box", they improvise: "If the lift is above my floor, I should press "Down" to bring it to my floor, and then press the floor I want to go", and vice versa. Dear everybody, this makes zero sense and does not work, since the lift can unfortunately not read your thoughts. No, even if you press the button 100 times in succession, it will not speed it up either. Waste your brains for something more productive.
2. Shut Your Trap
Then there are the loud, obnoxious, ignorant megalomaniacs who make optimum use of the confined space, a mobile phone and/or a similar minded individual to make his hapless trapped co-passengers aware of how he made mincemeat out of the competition, how his dogs bowel movements affect the global economy, how his multi-talented kid is the next Einstein, how he partied hard last night with cool chicks and consumed liters of alcohol, how he told his boss/coworkers to screw off and generally how awesome he is, in a high-pitched voice which if resonates any harder in the closed space will snap the elevator cables and send everyone hurtling towards their death from which even Keanu Reeves will not be able to rescue them. These people need to be chain-whipped and taught "how-to-live-among-humans-101" classes.
Fortunately, mobile phone signals will not be available in closed elevators, no matter what Tata Indicom and Kajol claim. But sometimes it does come through, and these people, unfortunately rank only next to the farters in sucking at everyday human life. You can see these types in public transport and other closed spaces, and as I have experienced, will be sometimes Karthik-Calling-Karthik types. And these types are the same ones who voraciously argue for mobile phones to be made legal in Airliners. Be very afraid.
1. Do. Not. FART!
Some people suck so much at the "how to live in among other humans" thing that they are not troubled in the least to enter an enclosed space they share with 10 other human beings and blast a barrage of assorted methane and fecal matter accumulated in their bowels from their backside (sometimes even accompanied by an audible alert) right into the faces of trapped co-passengers who have no choice but either choke to death or inhale said matter. Farting in a lift should be included in the Geneva Conventions and those letting go in the elevator should be tried for crimes against humanity.
If you really have a problem holding it in you should probably get medical attention. Or let go before you enter the elevator. There is nothing more gross than forcibly making other people smell your shit. No, really. The same goes for buses and trains. In case things like this happens, I usually get off on the nearest floor, while the culprit continues his/her journey unabated. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do other than wash your face and hands. Yuck.
I hope the day won't come when we will have to paste signs like this outside elevator doors....