The Lift Phenomenon: Part II

So I spoke about the irritating button pushers yesterday. There’s another Lift Phenomenon I need to get out. It’s also to do with human nature, I think, and is (in my mind at least), equally as intriguing. It’s the phenomenon of In Lift Behaviour.

There seems to be something about being in a lift that makes people go all quiet and squirmy. And look up, at that little lit up box that would, in normal lifts, say G, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 but, in our, slightly eccentric and very old lifts, says E, F, G, H, J, K. There’s another wonder – why do our floors have letters, instead of numbers? And, why did they skip out I? Initially I thought maybe they had something against vowels but then I (rather embarassingly) realised that E is a vowel too… I’d also like to do a survey to see how many people, per day, get out on G (aka 2) thinking it’s the ground floor, and wander around aimlessly looking for the door outside. It could be dangerous you know – someone could walk out onto a balcony, not paying attention, and tumble over, thinking they’re on the ground floor. Perhaps I should write to somebody about it…

I digress. I came up with a theory this morning, as to why people in lifts seem only able to mumble unintelligably at each other, look at their watches, dig in their bags, watch the little screen etc. I think it’s because they’re in a small tin box, hurtling into the sky above (okay, maybe I’ve read too much Roald Dahl), and it feels like there is only a certain amount of air in there, so it’s probably wise not to use too much of it up doing things like, say, exchanging pleasantries with the woman you’ve shared this very same lift with fairly regularly. For over ten years. God forbid that you should profer up anything more than a mumbled “morning” to my cheerful greeting this time – we might run out of air.

Ooo, did you see how my general musings whittled their way down to a very specific personal encounter? It just amazes me really. The way I think (and I’m starting to realise, finally, that perhaps it isn’t how everybody else thinks, after all, despite my mother’s reassurances when I was a child), that I should, by this stage, know all my fellow lift partner’s names, kid’s names and ages and where they’re going on their next holiday. If they knew the wild stories I’ve made up in my head about their lives, they might be more ready to spill the truthful beans on our shared lift rides into the sky.

Maybe I’m just too curious?

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