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Riding the elevator every day would be so much more pleasant if everyone followed these few simple procedures.

Press up or down button to call the elevator to your current location. Press the button once. If the button is already lit, do not press it again. If multiple call buttons are available (as on a middle floor), press only the appropriate button for the direction you are heading (up or down). If you are in a hurry, do not press the "other" button to make the opposite-traveling elevator arrive. While waiting for the elevator, stand to one side, away from the doors. Do not stand in front of the buttons.

When the elevator arrives, wait for all passengers to disembark before you enter the elevator car. If you have clear access to the buttons, press the button for the floor you wish to travel to, then move toward the back of the elevator. If the elevator is crowded and you cannot reach the buttons, ask someone nearer to press your floor's button, as in "Seven, please."

Stand away from the doors as the elevator moves. If the doors are closing, and another person is moving toward the doors as if to enter the elevator, you may press the "open" button to delay closing the doors IF and ONLY IF:
- You are standing closest to the "open" button; AND
- The approaching passenger is within five steps of the elevator; AND
- You are the only passenger currently on the elevator, OR you know that the approaching passenger's floor is further from your current location than the furthest floor already selected; AND
- The elevator is less than 3/4 full. If there is less than 25% available floor space in the elevator, you must not impede the closing of the doors.

While traveling in the moving elevator, face forward. Choose a spot to stand that distributes personal space evenly among all elevator passengers. If there are three passengers, and the one furthest from you exits the elevator, the remaining passenger that is closest to the doors must relocate to evenly distribute personal space.

Fix your gaze on a neutral item, such as the buttons or numbers over the door. If the doors are mirrored, look down to avoid staring at the other passengers' reflections.

Keep conversation to a minimum. If you are traveling with companions, you may continue a conversation that was started outside the elevator, provided that:
- You lower your voice to a generally accepted "hushed" level;
- Your topic of conversation covers neutral, socially acceptable topics such as sports or vacation spots. Avoid inflammatory topics such as dates, bodily functions, religion, politics, or your boss's totalitarian leanings.

When you reach your floor, exit the elevator quickly and completely. Do not linger to finish conversations with remaining passengers. Under no circumstances should you block the doors from re-closing, even if you have exited to the wrong floor (in this case, wait until the elevator departs, then press the call button again).

I am forced to admit that upon first thought, all that came to mind regarding elevator mores and social standards I have gleaned from my own personal experience: I have best learned what is and is not acceptable in elevators by doing the unacceptable thing and getting negative response. Generally, the best policy regarding the behavior of elevator patrons is to respect each other’s personal space and remain silent.

For example, the fastest way to break an accepted social more in an elevator is to stand as close to other people as possible if there is ample space for everyone to keep a comfortable distance. Walking into an elevator car occupied by only one other person and standing very close to them infringes on their personal space and generally makes them feel very uneasy; it is for this reason that there is an unspoken rule that personal space, especially in American society, is very important.

In elevators, it is generally a good idea to remain relatively quiet. The fastest way to annoy others, especially in an enclosed area, is to talk incessantly about nothing in particular or act at all out of the ordinary (i.e.: feign mental illness, talk to oneself, make rude noises, twitch, etc.) Perhaps this, “Do not speak, do not move, do not even breathe loudly” general ‘suggestion’ is gleaned from the fact that people in general have a distrust of strangers and want to remain anonymous and invisible in situations with which they are not familiar.

Lastly, behavior in elevators can be largely dictated by the personal appearances of the people in it, and their responses to their fellow patrons. For example, if a teenager garbed in black with a ring through his nose and a tattoo that says “Krush” gets onto an elevator, a double-breasted-suited businessman may fidget more vigorously and profusely than he would if an elderly lady with a potted geranium boarded the same elevator car.

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