10 Fail to hold doors
With towering skyscrapers and fancy hotels frequently passing the 50 storey mark, it’s inevitable that we spend more time in lifts in Dubai than in other cities. While we’re not particularly claustrophobic or agoraphobic, there is basic lift etiquette that should be followed. If you see somebody coming towards a closing door, for example, press the button to open it up and let them in. It is a common courtesy and the small gesture is appreciated. Pretending not to see them coming or, even worse, acknowledging them and faking an attempt to open the doors while secretly just pushing the close button means they’re entitled to shove you out of the lift if they do get there in time.
If the “door open” button is a force for good, then “door close” is pure evil. How busy could you possibly be that you can’t wait three seconds for doors to close on their own? Press it and you’re probably the kind of person who beeps when traffic lights turn green, pushes into queues and breaks the unwritten first-come-first-served rule of a bar. As for pressing it before the door has even finished opening to let us out, realise that this will make us want to stay in the lift and press every single button until your planned exit, to really waste your time.
Pressing more than one button because you’re not sure where you’re going, getting out at the wrong floor and then leaping back in again, or just procrastinating over pressing your button, are, in the grand scheme of things, not even problems. And we’re fully aware that we have already preached patience in elevators. But know that when you slow the whole process down because of your indecisiveness, it makes us want to cry real tears of despair and frustration.
To strangers, friends or yourself – it doesn’t matter where your conversation is directed, just be quiet. Things are awkward enough without elevator chat. A vague nod of acknowledgement, avoidance of eye contact (try studiously examining the buttons) and awkward shuffling of feet are all preferable to small talk. Unless you’re asking us to press a number for you, just shut it.
6 High jinks
If talking is frowned upon then “hilarious banter” such as jumping heavily on the spot, pressing the alarm button or trying to get a sing-song or Mexican wave started are forbidden. We’re not sure if it is lift-based nervousness or you are equally insufferable all the time, but just because we’re in enforced proximity for a few seconds, doesn’t mean we will ever be friends.
While an excess of personality can be annoying in a confined space, displaying signs of genuine peculiarity is plain terrifying. As a rule, it is not a good idea to raise your hands to the ceiling and say loudly, “I have them with me now, Dark Lord, and will deliver them to the fifth floor as you asked.” Facing the opposite direction to a crowd, loudly guessing what button passengers are about to press and giving yourself an aggressive pep talk in the mirror are also frowned upon.
Just, no. Confined spaces are stressful enough without the added unpleasantness of gas.
Same goes for eating. It doesn’t really matter if it’s an odourless food, you will arrive at your destination in half a minute, so hold on. Make the 30 seconds more enjoyable for everybody by not stuffing fistfuls of food into your slobbering pie hole and noisily chomping away with total disregard for the passengers glaring at the back of your head and hoping you’re about to choke.
2 Sound effects
Making a loud “BING” noise every time the elevator doors open isn’t as cute as you think it is. In fact, if you do it at every one of the seven stops before we get out, there is a chance we’ll try to prise open the doors and push you down the shaft.
What do you think? That’s right, obviously not. If somebody thinks it is acceptable to inflict their private conversation on people in a space not much larger than a wardrobe, think nothing of breaking all the above rules until they stop.
Will Milner is a regular contributor. He usually takes the stairs.