What do People REALLY do in Elevators?
By Tobi Schwartz-Cassell
The question, “What do people really do in elevators?” is…
- A provocative question
- The headline of an award-winning brochure I wrote for a client several years ago
So, “What do people really do in elevators?”…
I’m guessing you’ve experienced this.
As many of you know, my husband and I recently downsized and moved into an apartment. It’s a new community, so our building is only half occupied. That means that I either ride the elevator with him, alone, or with my dog Fred. When it’s just Fred and me in the elevator, the conversation is typically one-sided with me telling him what a good and handsome boy he is and how much I love him.
Once in a while, as he and I wait for the elevator to arrive, the doors open, and there’s another rider in there. You can tell who the dog lovers are and aren’t.
When the doors open and a dog person sees him, he or she will light up. They will tell him what a good and handsome boy he is. Needless to say, Fred is developing quite the ego.
When the elevator doors open, and the first thing to cross the threshold is Fred’s nose, the ones who are not dog people will jump back. I feel terrible about this, but Fred needs to take a potty break, so we get in anyway. By the end of the ride, that person is hopefully not still up against the wall on tippy toes.
When I enter the elevator alone, either the passenger who’s already inside will strike up a conversation, or I will. It begins with, “which floor are you on?” or “when did you move in?” The Q & A is just long enough to take one of us to our destination floor and say a quick goodbye.
But there is one guy who lives in my building who rides the elevator in silence. He doesn’t smile either. He’s silent when I’m alone or with Fred. It’s uncomfortable. And though I am a social person, I can’t seem to bring myself to strike up a conversation with him, making the trip up or down even more awkward.
So I am asking you for your help. What would you say to this man if you were to get onto the elevator with him?
What have you said when you’ve ridden elevators with others? Please use the Comment section below.
Your responses will really help me out!
With lots of ♥,
PS: We bid a sad farewell to Jules Thin Crust. They will soon be closing. We are looking forward to partying at our next destination, The Silver Diner. All the details are here.
August 26, 2017 @ 10:05 pm
Let your smile and hello greeting light up the elevator! You haven’t any clue what is on the man’s mind. And always wish him a great day in any language you choose. I love telling someone that I hope they have an even better day than me like when a sales person tells me to have a great day during check out, my typical response is, “you have a better one”. It nearly always takes them by surprise! So even if he doesn’t respond or initiate any conversation you still may have given him something he needed!
August 27, 2017 @ 11:27 am
What lovely advice! Thank you, Suzanne!
August 22, 2017 @ 9:53 pm
I’d behave as if he were friendly:
Greet him, commence small talk, bid him goodbye. He’ll either find it annoying or a relief!
August 22, 2017 @ 10:46 pm
Thanks so much, Terry!
August 22, 2017 @ 8:48 pm
I’m not sure what you should say to the silent guy because your essay reminded me of what I always do the second I step into an elevator, provided there are other people inside: I immediately size up each one, estimating size and agility, in case one of them needs to climb through the emergency hatch on the ceiling. When I’m the only one there, I mentally hasten the climb between floors. (Keeps me from noticing conversations, or the absence thereof. 🙂
August 22, 2017 @ 10:46 pm
Great comment, Amy! Thank you 🙂
August 22, 2017 @ 6:53 pm
After the ride in the elevator, just say “have a good day” when leaving!
August 22, 2017 @ 7:37 pm
I like it! Thanks, Dee!
August 22, 2017 @ 4:43 pm
I agree, say hello and smile. This will eventually wear him down and he’ll come over to the bright side. At the very least you and Fred will have a great day.
August 22, 2017 @ 5:43 pm
Thank you, Audrey! I like the way you think!
August 22, 2017 @ 3:50 pm
I would continue to say hello and smile. You will slowly chip away at the wall & hopefully he’ll begin to look forward to your greetings…or…maybe he’s really a serial killer who promised himself to do away with the next person who says hello to him in the elevator….Oh wait, laughing out loud!!!! that’s a prompt for a short story that I’m writing. I couldn’t help myself, Tobi. I love you.
August 22, 2017 @ 4:06 pm
Hahaha! I love you too, Marie! And best of luck with the short story. Tell us the name of your newest book and where our readers can purchase it!
August 21, 2017 @ 9:22 pm
Maybe you need to tell home what a good and handsome boy he is, lol!
August 21, 2017 @ 9:54 pm
OMG, Jayne! That is so, so funny! Thank you!
August 21, 2017 @ 9:21 pm
Wear him down with a smile and a good morning. Either he’ll get on the same page or start taking the stairs and either is a win.
August 21, 2017 @ 9:53 pm
I love it! Thank you, Shaina! 🙂