Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lady Love in an Elevator

OK so the title suggests 'lady love', but it's not about THAT type of lady love (sorry to disappoint).  Its not even about love, its just about my experience in a lift with strangers. ( I thought the title sounded better if it was based on an Aerosmith song. And be honest,  I bet you're singing "livin it up when I'm going dowwwwwwwwwwnnnnn".

OK enough of the Karaoke.
Today I broke a couple of The Ten Lift Commandments.
Though shalt not speak to strangers in lifts.
Though shalt not make make eye-contact in lifts.
Though shalt not intentionally touch strangers in lifts.

It started out as a normal work day. As usual I was wearing fabulous corporate, had my extra-large-flat-white-on-skim-with-one,  and was wheeling my stylish laptop trolley. I was feeling a bit tired, my eyes were a bit red, and I was having one of those "why do I frigging have to go to work" days. 

The lift was no fuller than usual. Only 6 people were inside. When I stepped into the lift , I tried to turn around and manoeuvre my trolley, I accidentally bumped a woman and knocked her coffee down her front. She froze and became very stiff, she had coffee dripping down her left side, including her face. Her compliance of the commandments was amazing, she made no eye contact, and did not even grunt as hot coffee removed skin from the left side of her face. I was conscious of the commandments and softly murmured "sorry" without making any eye contact whatsoever. 

Between the time it took to knock the woman and close the doors, I could feel five pairs of eyes burning into the back of my head. I was thinking they all blamed me for the coffee incident. I believed it wasn't my fault and I started to get really annoyed. My reality was, Coffee Chick was standing in the way of the door and THAT was why I bumped her!!  She shouldn't stand in the doorway when someone is trying to manoeuvre their stylish trolley bag! She deserved to have coffee stripping away her skin!! I got so pissed off I broke the commandments.

What happened next, was an out of body experience, I saw my arm rise up and my hand gripped her shoulder. I had no control. My head tilted sideways, and my eyes became angry slits as I glared at her frozen coffee stained face. I heard myself exclaim "Look! I told you I'm SORRY, but you WERE standing in the way of the door".

Coffee Chick flinched back, smacked the side of her head on the glass, spilt more coffee, and froze. She remained frozen in that position and still kept her head pressed against the glass, the only thing that moved were the drips of coffee, these were slowly dripping down her face and staining her white blouse.

After that, I felt dirty. Its difficult to recall what happened next, all I remember is Coffee Chick lurching out of the lift no doubt to cry and recount her experience of me as a 'Trolly Bitch'.

For the rest of the day I felt dirty. I was annoyed that Coffee Chick had reduced me to this level. What had I become!!?? I'd broken the commandments. It started me thinking, why do we act differently when we are in lifts? Who created these rules? In my experience here are the lift commandments.

The Ten Lift Commandments
  1. Though shalt not speak to strangers in lifts
  2. Though shalt not make make eye-contact in lifts.
  3. Though shalt not intentionally touch strangers in lifts. 
  4. Though shalt ALL face the same way and face the door.
  5. Though shalt not primp, preen nor fix hair up in mirrors unless in the lift alone.
  6. Though shalt focus on staring either at the ground or at floor numbers.
  7. Though shalt not break wind unless there are 3 or more in the lift.
  8. Though shalt refrain from conversing with acquaintances until outside the lift.
  9. Though shalt hold one's breath for the duration of the ride.
  10. Though shalt allow lift doors to close in people's faces whilst pretending to hit the [open door]button, but actually hitting the [close door] button.  


In addition to these commandments, here's some lift etiquette, that includes the Do's and Dont's of lift behaviour.

What this lady would like to know is:
Have you behaved badly in a lift? 
Have you broken any commandments?

Lady Daa Doo


  1. I must get a google account.

    So far I have broken 1,2,4,5,6,8,9,10. Look I have probably farted so just in case I will confess to 7 as well! If I ever get in a lift with Johnny Depp I shall break number 3!

  2. Thanks Anon.
    Thats a very impressive confession. No wonder you remained anonymous. Hopefully if you are ever in the lift with Johnny Depp, you will definately break number 3 and not number 7.
    Personally I would break number 3 with Sam Worthington!

  3. It was totally her fault. Not only was she standing in the door, but she was holding her coffee too close to her body. Everybody knows you hold your coffee in the hand closest to the wall, not the person next to you. It's commandment number 11. This was obviously her first time in a lift.
    I had a similar incident at a bakery in 2002. The lady behind the counter said who was next and a man started to order, and I talked over the top of him and said, 'sorry, I was next.' He followed me to the car park, and it nearly came to blows when he suggested that my reaction to his rudeness had something to do with my menstrual cycle. I really have never been able to move on. I was next! I really was!

  4. Thanks Lyss! She was hogging the doorway and the silly idiot had her coffee in the wrong hand! I agree it should be the 11th commandment1
    I can't believe a guy followed you to the car and thought it appropriate to comment on your menstrual cycle!! That makes me crazy when blokes say that!!

  5. I often break the #2 commandment.. its amusing to see the strangers in the lift look away in haste as if I were Medusa and they're about to turn into stone! LOL

    I really only wanted to comment to tell you I found your story quite hilarious!
    Thank you for sharing it :-)

  6. Thank you Amanda! It is funny to see strangers look away. They get so uncomfortable.
    I've perfected the sideways staring. I keep my head faced forward and turn my eyes to one side. That way I can stare at someone without them even knowing. The only problem it strains the eyes and hurts after a while.