Has this ever happened to you?
It is 9.45 am, and you have just arrived at the AB for your first class. The crowd on Line 2 was crazy, and you are already in a bad mood because you have been borderline physically assaulted at the metro gates by old people carrying handcarts. You rush into the building, almost falling at the turnstiles, then pop into one of the low-rise elevators, and press 5. You might not be late from class after all. But you are wrong. As the doors of the elevator would close, from out of nowhere, another student gets in, and without a second thought presses the number 2 button. You stand there, frozen into a statue of yourself, not believing your eyes. The elevator arrives at the second floor and the other person walks out without even looking at you, presumably to kick around and munch on sandwiches in the café. The doors close again and you continue your journey upwards. Obviously, you are going to be late now.
If yes, you have been through situations like this, you are not alone. With an ever rising number of students, the use of our elevators have become more ridden with moral dilemmas than your average GPS lecture. Is it okay to press 4 when someone has already pressed 5? Can I call the elevator in basement one, knowing very well that other people will have definitely called it on the first floor? These questions are well worth pondering. There is one though, to which the answer is painstakingly easy and self-evident, but even like this there is a number of students at our school who continues not to give a flying crap about: DO NOT CALL AN ELEVATOR IF YOU WANT TO TRAVEL ONLY ONE FLOOR.
(I would like to emphasize that this message, therefore this article does not pertain to students with disabilities. It only considers some dimwits who have a body without serious impairments, and a functioning pair of legs.)
And now for you, you monsters. You lazy-bones. You good-for-not-much, one-floor-riding, blisslessly ignorant, time-wasting, annoying little ding-dongs. Please stop it. Please just stop. You don’t need to do this. No one needs you to do this. You are wasting time, you are wasting electricity, you are wasting my remaining nerve endings. Your foolish, witless buffoonery has not benefited anyone. It has cost seconds of lost time to others, and cumulatively possibly hours and days. Valuable time, that we could have spent with calculus, or with having a three course meal in one of the Mac labs.
Because listen, here is the thing: Walking one floor could actually save time for you, without robbing anyone of their time. I did the research: taking the elevator for one floor takes 22 seconds, while walking one floor takes approximately 12. That’s ten whole seconds shorter. And what’s more, it is actually possible to walk one floor in a solid, but safe haste, that can reduce your commute time and can make you arrive at the desired destination within only 9 seconds. Holy cow, isn’t that radical?
It is clear, that in this issue the moral and the practical clearly align: the a priori imperative and the utilitarian a posteriori create a constellation when you both help yourself end up being better off, and help others end up being better off. To put it in a simpler way: Kant and Bentham would both agree that you should just take the damn stairs.
And by doing so, you will also make sure that you won’t rub anyone in the wrong way. Because some of us are really pissed at this point.
“Are you legs broken? Did you forget what floor you were on? Do you have a condition that is invisible to others but truly does not allow you to use the stairs?” asks senior Sonia Alvarez the most important rhetorical questions.
“If none of these things apply to you, yet you insist on not using your limbs, at least hide in the secret elevator,” she adds.
“Good luck taking the elevators when the building is on fire,” a person who asked us to refer to them as Anonymous Asshat also weighs in.
Some people are willing to take an even more radical way. When a few weeks ago someone decided to take the elevator from the first floor to the second, 4th floor-bound senior Sunčica Bruck, who was also present in the elevator, simply unpressed their button in a second when they wasn’t paying attention. The attempted offender then was awarded with an unwanted trip to the library, where they might have had the opportunity to borrow some books on basic etiquette.
“It was more than deserved,” Bruck reflects on the experience.
And before you accuse this article of condoning a hostile behaviour towards people who take an elevator for one floor, I’m way ahead of you: it is exactly the admitted purpose of this article to condone a hostile behaviour towards people who take an elevator for one floor. Unpressing their buttons is fair. Every hissed “No, you didn’t” at their presence is justified. Giving a short lecture on the subject – an elevator pitch, if you will – is okay.
This issue is not new in any way, it has been a nuisance since the beginning of my freshman year. But it needs to be addressed now, that we are not a small, touchy-feely community of merely a few hundred people, but a massive educational institution that is getting more and more robust with each year. Sadly, a lot of times more people means more rules, but this time, looking into yourself and thinking about your wicked ways might just be enough to ease the stress of college life of yourself and others.
This article was written by Mate Mohos. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
Photo Credit: Allison Chesky