Posted by: kcgadiyar | September 14, 2011

People in an elevator

Ah, elevators, gotta love them. Since my office is currently on the 19th floor and the apartment i am renting is on the 18th, i find myself in elevators for quite some time everyday. Through my lifetime of riding elevators, i have come to the conclusion that most people in the lift can be classified into distinct categories, some of them which pop to mind are:

Going Up!!!

The over sharer: This is the person who thinks “Well, i am probably never going to see the rest of the people in this lift ever again, so it doesn’t matter what i discuss loudly on the phone or with another person”. Recently, i was in a lift with a guy discussing his hernia operation on the phone (with vivid descriptions). There is something called oversharing, and i have no idea why the discussion could not wait another 30 seconds at max.

The scared dude: This is the guy who seems positively terror-stricken to be in a lift. Most probably a combination of claustrophobia and “my life is in the hands of mere cables” thinking. They are the first to rush out onto terra-firma when the lift reaches its destination

The i’m too cool for this guy: The exact opposite of the previous type, this is the guy in the corner wearing an ipod. No one actually saw him/her get on, and no one is quite sure if they have actually pressed a button for a floor. For all we know, they may just be camping out in the lift

The de-facto lift operator: This is the poor soul who decided to stand next to the buttons. This person automatically has great power (and the great responsibility that come with it) pushed onto them. They will press the floor buttons for each person, the close door button on each floor and the open door button when someone wants the elevator to be held for an extra second. If, by chance, the lift operator decides to exit before the top floor, a successor is automatically designated as the next closest person to the buttons. Strangely enough, this seems to be the one job nobody actually minds doing (guess it counts towards their good deed for the day)

The what-the-hell guy: This guy needs to go from floor 1 to floor 0 or floor 200 to floor 199. It doesn’t matter actually, but this person needs to travel exactly one floor, DOWN. But instead of taking a flight of stairs, with the assistance of gravity, they will get into the lift. Then they will complain to their doctor right after their latest check-up that they don’t seem to be getting enough exercise.

The number watchers: Most people fall into this category. For some reason the LED numbers of the lift display hold such fascination that everyone is transfixed on them. More research is needed into this phenomenon.

How much longer before companies figure out how to insert ads into that display? (Floor 5 – Brought to you by Parle G, our packs cost only 5 Rs. like the floor you are getting out on). This has to be the best captive audience ever.

The courteous (too courteous) guy: This is the person who will insist on letting everyone else exit before he/she does. The only problem – they are standing closest to the door.

Too Much Information Guy: This is the person you barely knew before getting on to the lift, but in the time it took to get to your floor, you know his name, his designation, the car he drives and the name of his 2 cats. This is the person who cannot go a lift ride without trying his best to strike up a conversation (however one-sided that conversation may be)

As an added bonus, a type of person OUTSIDE the elevator

The button masher: We all know this person. This is the person who will press the button for the lift, then upon seeing that the lift is no closer than before will continuously keep pressing the button until the lift arrives. In their mind, the lift will somehow magically speed up because of their button mashing.

That was the classification as per my observation, feel free to add to the list.



  1. “Floor 5 – Brought to you by Parle G, our packs cost only 5 Rs. like the floor you are getting out” – I believe you have a business idea here 🙂

  2. Very interesting read!!

    Another category –
    They rush to enter the elevator before everyone. They mostly have kerchiefs in hand and try profusely to control the perspiration …first thing they do after getting in is to exhale a single tired breath making abnormal sounds.

    I think you can give them an appropriate name!

  3. Brilliant Categories – I’d like to add one that is more familiar here ‘RETURN TRIP GUYS’ – those who board the lift headed to basement at the ground floor or atleast 2-3 floors above basement though their destination is actually a upper floor… coz the lift is bound to be overcrowded by the time it backs with people at basement – A MUMBAI phenomenon where people travel return from a station prior to the final destination for actual journey to the opp direction. I exactly did that during my 6 years stay at Mumbai ;)…

    There are more Indian categories like the ones who try to get in or block people trying to get out usually at ground floor/basement….

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