lift etiquette

Yes, I’m British and we say lift. For any persnickety Americans or wherever else-ians, I’m talking about elevators. 

This isn’t so much an investigation as it is me wondering why traveling in lifts is more complicated than it needs to be. 

The most irritating part is people not letting those inside the lift get out before they shove their way in. 

And then they have the nerve to look at you like you’ve gotten in their way. Are they stupid? 

Rhetorical question.

What’s wrong with WAITING three seconds to see if anyone is in the damn thing. This isn’t Sabrina the Teenage Witch. No one is about to cast a magic spell that will take the lift away from you. It’s not going anywhere. Why are you walking into me? I now hang back before I get off because I’m tired of people knocking into me. 

(On a side note people who do this on trains wind me up. Why do I have to push past you to get off the train? Or why are you pushing past me? It’s always someone that smells funky doing it as well. Okay, fine, so that might be my imagination but still. Don’t touch me. Thank you.)

Second irritating thing being in a lift with strangers. Well, I suppose it can’t be helped but it would be nice if people gaged my mood. Sometimes I don’t feel like making awkward small talk. On the other hand, you get those people who STARE like you have six heads and you’re compelled to start talking lest you press the emergency button and demand that someone get you out of there. 

Third thing is loud conversations, both the ones I am forced to witness and participate in. I don’t need you spreading my or your own business across the lift, thanks. I am just trying to get from A to B in near silence. Thank you. 

Four, funky smells. Cigarette smoke. Wafting perfume. Fart. Can’t you people just take the damn stairs? Or air yourself out, damn.

To conclude: people continue to be the worst. 


  1. The lift business where people insist on going in before letting people out reminds me of the NYC subway system I deal with. Some people just basically hover as close as they can at the doors before they open and then refuse to budge as the people getting off have to squeeze their way through to move past. I hate those people because they so obviously do that just to grab the few empty seats now vacant on the subway car. And come on, is it that bad to stand for a few stops? Unless the person has a health problem or condition, it’s rude. The second worst thing is people putting their phones on speaker. I’m sorry, and maybe it’s commonplace to do that while on a call, but I cannot stand people who can’t not subject everyone to hearing their whole conversation in a public place.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My brother always farts when he is in a lift/elevator/whatever. He never seems to have any problem with people letting him off before they get on. They may take one step forward when the doors open, but then they are definitely at least 3 steps backwards.


    1. Flatulence as standard procedure strikes me as a tad unkind, but a retaliatory assblast after someone has pushed in before he can exit would be effective retaliation. Let the miscreant be sealed in with the aroma all the way to his destination floor.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was going to suggest bubble wrap, earphones and nosegays along with a perpetually evil glare — but, apparently, PaulSeesTheWorld’s brother has it all figured out. Damn, why am I starting to feel claustrophobic? I. can’t. breathe.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Some people are just oblivious, period. Not surprising that the ones who are oblivious about elevator etiquette are also oblivious about things like regular showers.


  5. I fully support that conclusion. Man I will never forget the day an 80 year old held back (quite forcefully might I add) a 14 year old, eager to get on the bus and go home after a shitty day at school me. “You let the people get off THEN you get on.” She made me feel crap and about yay big 👌🏼 infront of onlookers but I have basically followed that instruction when boarding public transport like its the law ever since.



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