Here’s a typical elevator scenario in the building I work in at EMU, Pray-Harrold Hall, one I just experienced a few minutes ago:
- I arrive and enter the building on the second floor, which I realize is confusing because the basement is actually the first floor. No one is really around, I’m with my wife (who is carrying a bunch of school stuff), I’m not in a hurry, and I’m feeling lazy, so we go to the elevators. Despite the fact that my office is on the sixth floor, I often take the stairs. A perfectly able-bodied person is also waiting in the lobby area for the elevator.
- The elevators are very slow and often barely functioning, so after an inevitable wait, one arrives. We get on and select floors. I select 6, another person selects 7 (the top floor), another 5. Able-bodied person selects 3.
- People who actually have a reason to use the elevator look at each other and then at able-bodied person, who has inexplicably waited several minutes for an elevator to go up one flight of stairs and subsequently slowed the rest of us down. Able-bodied person disembarks on the third floor. We discuss able-bodied person on our ride to the higher floors.
I don’t know what the deal is here, but this happens all the time. What is all the more amazing is that there are many times– between classes, for example- when the elevators are very busy and crowded and able-bodied peoples will still wait around for ten minutes or longer and then cram themselves into an already crowded elevator to go up (or even down!) a single floor.
I’m not in charge here (and I think all of us, including myself, are thankful about that), but if I were in charge, I would make a rule. Unless you are pushing around something on a cart, have an enourmous amount of stuff that would be difficult to carry up a flight of stairs, you have a valid medical excuse and/or disability:
- You are not allowed to take the elevator up a single floor, particularly the second to the third floor.
- You are not allowed to take the elevator down a single floor, again, particularly from the third to the second floor.
- There are four stairwells in the building, and while it is kind of confusing that only two of these sets of stairs actually goes to the seventh floor, you should use them.
There– that is my effort this week at public service announcement and education all in one post.