Elevator Etiquette: You Are Being Polite Enough?

There are many rules for proper behavior, but not many of us are aware of the fact that they apply to riding in the elevator as well. Here are a couple of tips on elevator etiquette.

Calling the Elevator

To spare yourself and others the trouble, try to be aware of the direction you want to take and press the right button. Keep in mind that if you call an elevator that is going down, board it and then press the button for going up, you will get some disapproving looks from the other passengers.


A few seconds of patience will go a long way. Before you even start approaching the elevator door, wait for them to open. There is always a chance that the elevator is crowded and you wouldn’t want to look like you are pushing your way inside.

After you have let all the other passengers exit the elevator, take a look around to see if there is anyone who should be allowed to board first, such as disabled people and pregnant women.

Standing in the Elevator

Yes, you can choose the wrong place to stand. Whenever it is possible, leave enough room between the other passengers and yourself. This is why it is recommended to stand as close to the elevator walls as possible. Also, if you want to avoid having to press the buttons for the passengers that can’t reach them, you should try to get to the back of the elevator.

Even eating and talking on the phone are considered impolite, since by doing that, you give the passengers no other choice but to watch you eat and listen to your conversation.

Every time someone needs to get out of the elevator, you should make sure that you are not blocking their way. It is allowed to step out of the elevator to let the other passengers exit.

Although many would say otherwise, holding the door for someone who is trying to board the elevator is not required of you. You can do it if there is enough room for another person, and if you think that the other passengers wouldn’t mind. However, keep in mind that holding the elevator door can cause an accident and put the passengers at risk.


Yes, you should have an exit strategy in case you get stuck. If the elevator is crowded, there is only so much you can do to avoid getting into other people’s personal space. This is why you should choose a way to announce that you are exiting. A simple “excuse me,” or even a subtle cough will do the trick. By doing this, you will make it easier not only for the other passengers, but for yourself as well.

Whatever you do after the elevator stops, never try to push your way out of it. Apart from being rude, this is also an unnecessary action, since most people will do their best to stay out of your way, and you won’t miss your stop that easily.

5 Fascinating Books That Will Change Your Mind About Elevators

Can you imagine yourself starting an interesting conversation about elevators? Although most of us don’t give them a second thought, plenty of intriguing books have been written that may have you rethinking this common method of transportation.

“Going Up: An Informal History of the Elevator from the Pyramids to the Present”

This “modern” invention appears to have a much longer history than you would have ever thought. If you are eager to find out more about its ancient origins, look no further. As the name of the book itself suggests, you’ll delve into the history of the elevator that can be traced back to the Egyptian times.

“A History of Passenger Elevator in the 19th Century”

This book shares focuses on the birth of modern elevators—those developed in the 1800s. It will help you understand what was crucial for making both elevators and skyscrapers a part of today’s world. Beginning with British and American freight hoists from the 1850s and covering the skyscrapers built in the 1880s, the overview will provide you with plenty of interesting facts and a fresh insight.

“Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator”

Although to most people elevators are nothing more than useful inventions, the author of this book has managed to prove that they are much more than that. Not only will the book give you an overview of their architectural and technological history, but it will also make you understand the role elevators ended up playing in both literature and cinema. If you want to know how the birth of elevators has changed our notions of urban space, then this is the right book for you.

“Up, Down, Across: Elevators, Escalators and Moving Sidewalks”

This is another fascinating read on the impact of the elevator on our culture. Ever since its invention, few parts of the urban landscape have stayed the same. Modern elevators enabled the construction of skyscrapers and ended up being used in a wide range of different buildings, including apartment buildings, retail spaces, offices and airports. Using a variety of image sources, ranging from historical prints and film stills to modern computer renderings, the author of this fascinating cultural study manages to show you the role the elevator played in the transformation of our cities into what they are today.

“Elevators 101”

Are you less interested in the history and cultural impacts of elevators, and more in the way they work? Do you want to know how they are powered and what types of equipment are involved in constructing and maintaining an elevator? If the answer is yes, then this is the right book for you. Elevators 101 is exactly what the name suggests: an introduction to the elevator technology, as well as a basic overview of elevator systems and equipment.

Stairs vs. Elevators: Which Is Considered the Safest Way to the Top?

Anywhere you go, at some point you will be faced with the decision to use an elevator or a flight of stairs to reach your destination. Many factors are considered when deciding which method to use. At times, stairs are the common choice when trying to incorporate fitness into your daily routine. Other times, elevators are the prime selection due to the time saved by choosing the quicker route. The last thing on the minds of the masses of people utilizing either method is safety.

When it comes to stairs, there are many factors that can contribute to unsafe conditions. The volume of probability for accidents is much higher when choosing to use the stairs. Stairs have a surface area that can easily be manipulated. Indoor and outdoor stairs can have slippery surfaces, broken handrails, or uneven depth and height within the structure. There are thousands of deaths a year relating to stairway accidents and even more injuries.

An elderly couple in Greater Manchester both died after accidentally falling down the stairs. When Mary Murphy reached to stop her partner John Wood from slipping, she likely also fell. A senior at UCC Ireland died tragically when he fell down campus stairs. The odds are stacked against your safety when it comes to stairs.

Elevators are not without its risk. Although the variables are significantly lower for an accident, there are several cases in which someone has died or been injured as a result of simply choosing to ride an elevator. With the population increasing, high-rises are constantly on the rise. Using an elevator is more of a necessity than using stairs. For some it is the only option. More people use elevators than stairs, yet an elevator accident is less common.

While using the stairs has an array of possible problems, the elevator’s main cause of death is mechanical. Elevators are machines. Like any machine, an elevator can malfunction. For example, a woman in New York was killed when she stepped into a malfunctioning elevator that suddenly thrust upward. That’s why it’s so imperative to have a quality elevator company service elevators regularly to ensure they’re in working order.

Whether or not you are riding an elevator or running up a flight of stairs, the advice is the same: be careful.

Watch the YouTube Elevator Show

We all know how tense it can get in an elevator with even one other person in there with us. This YouTube channel takes nearly absurd situations and makes its point by making us feel uneasy. From discussing serious topics like eating disorders to poking fun at rap as “elevator music“, they producers of the video shorts don’t have many taboo subjects.

One particularly amusing short has a man and a woman get on an elevator with a bespectacled schlub who seems to be extremely tired for some reason that turns out to be sort of creepy. Another spoofs annoying Bluetooth conversations to good effect.

An Ancient Elevator to a Modern Thrill Ride

At a remote monastery in the Egyptian desert, there exists, even to this day, a small box with two ropes, each connected to a pulley, running through it. People wishing to enter the monastery must pull themselves up hand-over-hand. It’s been that way since the sixth century.

In Taiwan, the Taipei 101 tower now has elevators that whiz along at almost 40 mph. Plans exist for a tower in China that will have elevators approaching 45 mph. Such elevators must be pressure-controlled to prevent vertigo-inducing ear popping as they rocket skyward.

A Home Away From Home for Families Fighting Cancer

Ronald McDonald House began in 1978 to help the families of sick children. The goal was to provide a place where the families could live while their child, or children, received treatment at area hospitals. More than 30,000 people, who arrived in fear and confusion, found hope, caring staff members and the ability to function and remain a family. Ronald McDonald House is much more a place to stay.

The organization provides transportation to and from New York for families that need its help. There are full-time tutors on staff that can provide first-rate education for both the sick children and their siblings. Ronald McDonald House also gives its inhabitants the opportunity to visit museums, attend musical and theater performances and go to sporting events throughout the tri-state area. Budding musicians can take lessons in their chosen instrument, including voice, and artists-to-be can get instruction too. Ronald McDonald House also throws birthday parties, various holiday celebrations and other camaraderie-building events designed for both children and parents.

The organization also makes psychological help available for everyone involved, whether it’s clinical psychiatry or just someone to talk to when the burden seems overwhelming. Several different faiths maintain ministry partnerships with Ronald McDonald House to provide spiritual guidance and regular worship opportunities for those who desire it. All of this is available to families for a mere $35 a day, which is roughly 12 percent of what it costs to house a family for a day.

The charity operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and it has been recognized in the past as one of the top charities in the United States. Charity Navigator, for example, awards it four out of four stars. In fact, nearly 90 percent of all donated funds go toward operations, with only 1.7 percent going to administration. Despite Ronald McDonald House’s numerous fundraising activities, they only account for 9.1 percent of incoming funds. The organization only spends $0.09 to raise $1 of donations, which is among the most efficient programs in the country.

Donors can help in many ways. Here are a few:

  • Frequent fliers can donate their collected miles.
  • People of little means can “share a night,” and defray the $35 cost for one family for one night.
  • Car owners who are upgrading can donate their car.
  • Anyone can donate nonperishable food items and clothing.
  • Anyone can collect pop tabs from soda cans, which will not only help raise funds but also contribute to a greener planet for everyone.

Donors could also attend and support any one of a dozen major fundraising events, such as masquerade balls, Skate With the Greats, which involves former New York Rangers from the NHL, large-scale fun runs, golf tournaments and much more. Well-to-do people, or any business, looking for a bigger way to help might even host their own fundraising event. There are so many ways to become involved that charitable folks need not look far to be able to help.

Brooklyn Organization Helps Boost College Graduation Rates

Bottom Line is dedicated to the premise that everyone, regardless of privilege or advantage, should be able to be successful in college. To that end, the organization helps between 3,000 and 5,000 students annually, and these efforts yield tangible results.

Of all the students they help, 78 percent graduate within six years. That might not seem like much until one considers that many of these students go part-time and work part-time to pay their own way. One student remarked that Bottom Line proved that there was someone in the world who cared about her success other than her.

Disadvantaged young people have a much tougher time getting colleges to notice and accept them. Most of the time, they don’t have anything close to the money necessary to go to college, even community college, and a lot of them don’t have the required grades either. They must spend most of their time working to help their families make ends meet. Studies become secondary in importance to just eating and having a roof over their heads. Bottom Line helps students balance their studies with their other activities and shows them the value of doing well in school despite their hardships. The organization provides one-on-one counseling by professional staff members and volunteers who are intimately familiar with the college application process.

Of course, Bottom Line cannot do everything for everyone, even if that is a dream the organization has. In reality, the organization focuses on helping students qualify for and apply to a select group of “target colleges” in New York, Massachusetts and Illinois. Many of the schools on this list are state colleges, which are more cost-effective than expensive private universities, although there are some private institutions on the list. Bottom Line partners with these schools because not only do a large percentage of the students they help choose to attend them but also because the schools themselves need help retaining students.

Bottom Line works both ends of the spectrum to achieve its impressive results. Students involved in the program are 43 percent more likely to graduate than those who are not involved. This success stems from the fact that Bottom Line continues to provide its students support throughout their college tenure. The organization specializes in helping students solve any problems that arise, such as financial aid woes, work-study issues and changing majors.

Bottom Line’s approach to helping students also serves as an example of how to build relationships and networks. By accessing all the Bottom Line has to offer, the students learn how to interact with important people in their lives. By always striving for excellence in its own doings, Bottom Line also imparts a desire in students to do the same. Perhaps most important of all, Bottom Line teaches responsibility and accountability; students who hold themselves accountable show themselves to be trustworthy to their peers, professors and prospective employers down the line. By preparing students for college, Bottom line is also preparing them for the rest of their lives.

Local Charity Gets Help From Unexpected Source

According to its website, Ronald McDonald House’s primary mission is to provide a “a temporary ‘home-away-from-home’ for pediatric cancer patients and their families.” Throughout its 36 years of existence, it has striven to ease the shock, pain and suffering of families facing the prospect of losing a child.

Ronald McDonald House, with the help of contributors like Start Elevator, has assisted more than 30,000 people, as well, and does so for a price of only $35 a night. For that affordable price, parents and siblings of sick children have access to tutors, music classes, art workshops and other fun activities. Ronald McDonald House also arranges for transportation to and from its location. Family members struggling with their own health issues, whether mental, physical or both, can avail themselves of treatment as part of their stay.

Being a not-for-profit organization, Ronald McDonald House relies on its fundraising activities and on charitable donations for all of its operating expenses. The organization runs dog walks, golf tournaments, parties, including Christmas parties with international themes, masquerade balls and even skating with former NHL stars, such as Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers.

The House also sponsors donation-matching programs; one of those is called Share-a-Night, where donors contribute $35 to offset the cost of staying a night for a single family. Generous donors can also contribute old automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and even RVs and boats so that they can either be sold or used by visiting families or by the staff of Ronald McDonald House itself. Such donations are fully tax deductible at the vehicle’s fair market value.

Other fundraising efforts include the Pop Tab Program, which helps the city stay greener through recycling, and the Parents Pantry Program, in which students in area schools collect and donate nonperishable foods and other necessities, such as toiletries and paper goods.

Donors have several other options when it comes to supporting Ronald McDonald House. Frequent travelers can donate their collected air miles, which helps defray the costs of families who must fly to be with their sick child and cannot afford the tickets. As part of the House Seats Program, sick children and their families can make use of donated tickets to theaters, sporting events and other activities outside the House. Families can make good use of these tickets to get away from the uncertainty and other rigors of dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

Many area businesses match donations in kind, which doesn’t necessarily mean money. For example, if a donor were to give 20 cases of toothpaste, an area grocery store would match it with 20 cases of its own.

Ronald McDonald House partners with the following 19 area hospitals and medical centers:

  • Hospital for Special Surgery
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore
  • Bellevue Hospital Center
  • Kings County Hospital Center
  • Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York Presbyterian
  • New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical
  • Lenox Hill Hospital
  • Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital
  • Tisch Hospital
  • Hassenfeld Pediatric Center
  • Hospital for Joint Diseases
  • Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine
  • The Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai
  • Mount Sinai Beth Israel
  • Mount Sinai Roosevelt
  • Mount Sinai St. Luke’s
  • New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai

Building upkeep is a never-ending battle, especially because of the heavy use to which the East 73rd Street edifice is put. When the elevators conked out, a local businessman named John O’Shea called together the staff of his company, Start Elevator, and installed two, sparkling-new elevators free-of-charge. Mr. O’Shea is a frequent donor to Ronald McDonald House in other ways, too, and the charity is quite grateful for his help. In keeping with his desire to help those who suffer with sickness of any type, Mr. O’Shea also offered to repair an elevator in a Bronx apartment building so that a young boy with cerebral palsy could easily get out to go to all of his appointments. Start Elevator also did that job for nothing.

Start Elevator is a 22-year-old company based in the Bronx. It performs work on elevators throughout the tri-state area and, with annual sales of roughly $18 million and a workforce of 85 employees, it is classified as a larger-than-usual small business. The company has received awards in the past for its high-spirited entrepreneurial outlook, and it also belongs to several professional organizations in the industry, most notable among these being the National Association of Elevator Contractors.