How Not To Be a D**k In a Lift

I thought I'd start a new series on 'how not to be a d**k...'

I'm sure you can fill in the starred out blanks. Yes, that's right it's' duck'.
 What a duck!
Like all my series, it may only last a week or two until I get distracted by something else. Though I do encounter my fair share of ducks in day to day life, so who knows maybe it'll be the start of something. It may be ducking awesome.

So lifts eh? Let's get started on how to be the perfect lift partner (if you are American, I am talking about elevators and trying to not be condescending when I say that) with lift etiquette, then maybe the world will be a happier place.

How To Queue For The Lift

Remember, you are British (if you are not, just humour me); the queuing system is sacred to your cultural roots. Here the normal rules of queuing apply:

  • If you are at the front, you get to press the button and be first in.
  • If you are anywhere behind the person in front, you can assume they are waiting for the lift, hence enter the lift behind them.
  • If you want to create intra-lift tension (general huffing and puffing from your lift comrades without actually addressing the issue), then you push in front, by just blindly wading in front of the person waiting for the lift when the doors open. However, just be aware if you do this, you have simply shot yourself in the foot as you are now in the back of the lift to exit. Ah-ha, got you there, you little queue-jumper!
I just had a flashback here of the lifts at Covent Garden tube station -you know the ones.
Possibly THE best place to see huffy-puffy British lift rage. If you haven't had the pleasure of this station's lift system, imagine taking a herd of wandering cows (tourists), interspersed with feral cats (Londoners) , then try to funnel them all into moving box. I'll just leave you with that.
By the way, do NOT take the stairs here, you will only spite yourself. Trust me I have tried the stairs here, where I found that I am very unfit and that I have a fear of heights. Of course take the stairs if there is a fire, I don't want you all jumping into a burning lift like lemmings.

What To Do When the Lift Doors Open

To summarise this point - HANG BACK!
Where's the fire guys? (It's not at Covent garden tube station, see above point)
  • When the lift doors open, expect people to exit the lift. For some, it appears to be a shock that people are IN the lift. How inconsiderate.
  • Given that there are people inside a lift, in polite unduckish society, one would let them exit first before scrumming in. This is not the tube, you do not need to do that whole contraflow traffic shoving in thing.
  • Do not panic, the lift will not leave without you. Handy tip here: If you simply hold the door with one hand from the side or activate the sensor by walking through the door, the door will not close. Clever thing, technology.

Getting Into The Lift

Sometimes, just sometimes, not all of you can fit in (hopefully all of yourself, you should never have to lose a limb to fit into a lift).
Take this example:
The other day I got into one of those box sized lifts, just marginally bigger than the average hatchback's boot. The buggy was wall to door and I sucked my mum-tum in and slithered down the side.
Just then, "Room for one more?!!!" was hollered from behind me and a woman lift bombed (the lift equivalent of photobombing) in beside me.
The cat/duck/sofa equivalent of lift bombing

My head said, "NOOOOOOOO!"

My mouth said....well it said nothing as it was practically making out with the wall, I was squashed in so far.

The lift went down one floor, she skipped off out of there. I uncrumpled my origami form and did an 11 point turn to get the buggy out.
In cases such as these, there is not room for one more. There are stairs for this instance.
Remember the laws of physics apply. A lift cannot be made bigger, just by someone squeezing their large derrière into it.

How To Close The Lift Doors  

Now this is a key moment. The moment that may divide a nation. The moment when you decide to close the lift door.
Now I confess here, I can be a duck who swings both ways. If I'm feeling particularly ducky - it's been a long shopping day, the pre-schooler is demanding to sit in the buggy, the baby is refusing to sit in the buggy and I forgot the carrier bags so the buggy itself is about to give up being overstuffed with shopping - I may, just may, press the lift close button just as a lift bomber approaches.
If I'm having a karma moment and feeling like I need a lift buddy after being socially starved all week, then I'll press that door open button.
What do you do? Wait for that person painstakingly ambling over?
Do you pretend not to see them? Is the lift already packed and they can just take the stairs?
Do you take a little pleasure in those doors shutting?
Or do you hold the door open for every Tom, Duck and Harry while the lift emits a group tut?

How Operate The Lift

Assign your lift operator. This is usually the person nearest the buttons and the least distracted.
Bet you want to press the yellow one now
Again I probably come across on the duck side here as I hesitate over the buttons, almost always failing to have scoped out what floor I want to be on... and then I bring a child into the lift...
DO NOT put a child next to the buttons. Your child's finger will automatically stick to the button with the big yellow bell on it and failing that, it will poke every floor you do not wish to frequent.
Other lift goers will smile through gritted teeth..."Isn't that sweet?" They say, willing the lift to spit you and your children out.

How To Be Social In The Lift

Basically don't. This is most peoples' 45 seconds of quiet contemplation.
There are some more don'ts:
  • Do NOT fart in a lift. Never, ever, ever. Even if there has been a zombie apocalypse. Someone will always (possibly a zombie) join you in the lift as soon as you let one go. The only time it's fine to fart is if you have a child with you as you can blame them. It is considered an assault in most countries to fart in a lift.
  • Sneezing/coughing/scratching (anything that makes you look infectious) is generally frowned upon in a confined space. If you do one of these, look around at everyone silently holding their breath until they can escape whilst mentally alcohol gelling themselves.
  • Absolutely NO HEAVY PETTING. Cripes the last time I saw that written it was at swimming pool in 1996. You may think you're having a Halls Soother in a lift moment, but actually you are just dry humping in public, I suppose you could call it, lift-dogging.

Special Case: How to use a Hospital Lift  

This deserves a special mention because it seems like roughly half of the population has no idea that a hospital lift is in, you've guessed it, a hospital.
Here, the patient is king. So beds/patients/general emergencies take precedent.
I have been completely gobsmacked before when taking an incubator with a premature ventilated baby up in the lift and a member of the public peered over at the baby and muttered, "oooh that one looks small" and then proceeded to request which floor they would like.
That is an example of a complete lift duck.
Similarly, on the letters page of the local paper, a man was so outraged and sickened that he had to share the lift with...wait for it... a patient....who had a catheter full view. He felt so enraged that he felt the need to write a letter. What a duck.
If you too are sickened by er, sick people, in hospital lifts, I urge you to avoid hospitals. Place is full of 'em.

Who Can Use a Lift (in my Opinion)

Despite the graphic, it's not only men than can use a lift
Now I don't want people to go all 'child and family car parking space' on me with this one, so I'm not going to go through the ins and outs of who should be 'alllowed' to use a lift...
If you're interested lifts are open to all.
BUT, if there are elderly/infirm/disabled/buggy users/small children with little legs/generally those who CANNOT actually take the stairs, then they do take precedent. It's not that you can't use the lift if you are fit and able (heck, I do love a lift, even without my kids in tow), but maybe just you, know, step back and try not to squish yourself into the lift if there is a bundle of these people waiting and if there is a viable stair option.
Just saying.
Totally in my opinion though *stands back from flame thrower*

Anyone else have ducking lift issues?
Feel free to spread the lift love by sharing, commenting, LOL'ing and then pressing all the lift buttons to make a perdy pattern in the total joy you feel at reading this.
I'm also on faceybook, Twitter and have just started with Instagram (documenting blurry photos at their best) - just click one of my social media icons. I promise you won't end up on some dodgy site.

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  1. I'm going to print this and hand it out in Debenhams. I don't want to judge so I always assume anyone using a lift without an obvious reason for doing so has an invisible disability. In my town many, many people have invisible disabilities particularly gaggles of teenage girls :/

    1. Haha...the main offenders round here are middle ages women. Not that long before I am one, so looking forward to my lift privileges.

  2. I avoid button pressing if possible as I find I get stage fright and press the one I know I am not supposed to press! I also had a similar experience with covent garden stairs. There are lots. ;-)

    1. Yeah, stage that whole button stage fright thing - I get that too.
      Honestly, if there's one reason to avoid covent garden, its that stairs/lift combo.

  3. Lol the same applies to getting onto the tube! And the poor people trying to get off and the people pushing their way in. It's insanity! x

    1. Id write about the tube if I wouldn't get lynched by Londoners!

  4. I had major issues in Spain! They do not let pushchairs go first even when I was at the front! I had a few incidents where people pushed my pram out the way to get in first!

    1. Woah! That would definitely induce pram rage in me...that's ridiculous! Queues just aren't the same in the rest of Europe.

  5. Oh yes as cuddle fairy says there is a similar problem with tube etiquette! Here I struggle with my double pram to get the lift and every one barges past me even though there are clear escalators! Thanks for linking with #effitfriday

    1. Mother duckers! It's at times like these you need to pimp your pram with James Bond style wheel spikes. That's for bringing #effitfriday to my life!

  6. Absolutely brilliant!! I love this. So funny. People really can be suck ducks. #effitfriday lucy@bottlefor2

    1. Thanks...I'm still enjoying using lots of duck puns or subbing duck for swear words (and my spell check is loving it too)

  7. I love this! I felt myself nodding all the way through it :) #effitfriday

    1. Ha, great! You can now silently seethe in the knowledge someone else shares your lift qualms next time you ride the lift

  8. Hahaha, I love this 'How not to be a dick' should definitely be a book. Your part about hospital lifts in particular just reminded me of being wheeled off for an ultrasound when I had my appendix out last winter. I clearly offended an older couple who barged past the chair I was sat on...people are funny things. Amazing stuff. #effitfriday

    1. Ha, the 'how to be a d**k' series - the perfect passive aggressive gift for all the ducks in your life! She says hoping no-one bought it for her.

  9. Hilarious. I need to translate a few parts so American "ducks" will understand. Same rules apply over here across the pond!

    1. Love it - across the pond ducks - so many puns in one sentence. Seems you can be a duck wherever you live.

  10. Brilliant post, really made me chuckle. Definitely agree with your point about hospital lifts and people lift bombing and trying to squeeze in when there really isn't enough room. It does frustrate me when I'm out with the buggy and a load of people who could take the stairs fill up the lift so I can't get in. Definitely agree with you that Covent Garden is a prime place to witness huffy-puffy British lift rage!

    1. I think lifts are the vertically moving equivalent to the child and family car parking space. I don't think the etiqueet quite bothered me until I had children and found how difficult it is to do anything in a building that only has stairs (take note Clarks shoe shops). Glad you enjoyed the post!

  11. 😂😂😂. I should probably write a more profound comment but that says it all! I totally have the fear of the yellow bell button anywhere near my children!

    1. No amount of 'don't touch that!' will stop them, that button is way too tempting! Glad you enjoyed it!