There are some folk who don't see the gem inside my rough exterior who might consider me a hot head. To which I say a hearty "bite me". But let this opinion be a caution that within this blog may lurk items of a venting nature or perhaps those which might be considered a rant. So be it. Proceed with caution. You have been warned.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Personal Space

My office is on the ninth floor. I'm on the elevator an average of eight times a day. In the morning the bank of six elevators gets busy and the load at ground level can be up to twelve people per car. It's fascinating to watch these twelve continually adjust their positions in the car as the car stops at each floor and passengers depart. Similarly to the molecules of compressed gas in a container, as each passenger exits, the remaining passengers execute a little shuffle to insure that the space in the elevator is equally divided among the remaining molecules riders. (unlike molecules, they don't actually bounce off each other - it would be more entertaining if they did). In the evening the reverse occurs, as each rider enters, the people on the elevator shuffle to accommodate the incoming bodies.

There seems to be no demographic for this. Young and old, male and female, the equal distribution of elevator real estate must be maintained. This behavior seems to be somehow automatic. No one looks around as if surveying the amount of space and mentally calculating how much they are allowed. They all stare fixedly at the front of the car (another peculiar elevator behavior) and shuffle to their new positions as if remotely controlled.

Surely there is a study here for a graduate student in sociology or possibly anthropology. Was equal distribution of space important when we lived in caves? Is this a leftover behavior from lizards sharing a den?

Along with pressing the up, down, or floor buttons when they have clearly already been pressed this is another seemingly inexplicable elevator behavior. I find it oddly irritating. Sometimes I have the almost irresistible urge to scream "WAKE UP."

Just sayin'

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