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10 great reasons to avoid lifts and elevators

The swish of the doors! The ping of bell! The shine on the brass buttons of the lift attendant!  Yes, like smoking, riding in a lift or elevator used to have a certain Hollywood glamour about it.

But the modern reality could not be more different. Here are 10 great reasons to ditch the lift:

1. It’s awkward. The CEO is just as uncomfortable with small talk as you. You wish! Chances are he’s just made a mental note to put you on the next reorg list. Was it your breath, your tone, the idea you floated? You’ll never know.

                                                              awkward elevator scene with man and woman

2. Mirror, mirror on the wall.... Designed to make that tiny cab feel less oppressive, they are more likely to expose your vanity than anything else. Don’t be that person caught preening. It’s a terrible look.

3. There goes my lunch break. US office workers lose 92 years every year waiting for elevators, according to IBM. In many offices people waste an average of 15 minutes a day just waiting for lifts. Get ahead fast and take the stairs.

4. One-floor riders. There’s a special place in hell devoted to these lowlife. A place where every step forward is interrupted by an agonising 30 second pause. DO NOT BE THAT PERSON!

                                                              pressing buttons randomly

5. Emissions. Whether it’s a pungent underarm, SBDF or cheap cologne you can almost guarantee that a ride in a lift won’t be an olfactory delight. And the worse thing? The attachment of blame is random.

6. Smart lifts. The industry's answer to dumb lifts. You pick your floor in the lobby rather than inside the cab. Trouble is they’re not very smart - just push your floor number multiple times and it will think there’s a crowd waiting there. Don’t feel bad, everyone else is doing it.

7. Lift love. Generally, though not entirely, confined to hotel lifts. There you are heading for your room after a long day when an amorous couple step in. You could tell them to get a room but wait...

                                                              couple making out in lift passionately

8. Agoraphobia. Lifts are confined spaces and around 7 in 1,000 people may have the anxiety disorder agoraphobia. Fortunately treatment for agoraphobia is available. Mostly it does not involve lifts.

9. Getting stuck. Tens of thousands of people get stuck in lifts or elevators each year. The vast majority get out and the average waiting time for rescue is no more than… er…  40 bladder-testing minutes. This poor chap waited 40 hours. If you work in a building with well maintained elevators your risk of getting stuck once during your career is about 1/17, say these lift experts. Cross fingers it’s not a Friday evening.

10. Getting squished. A very rare event and fueled by horror stories like this, this and this. About 27 people are killed in lift accidents each year in the US. Injuries affect 10,200 people per year, most caused by people running in through closing doors or climbing out when stuck between floors. In the super rare event of an elevator cable snapping, prepare by watching this short survival video from Business Insider magazine.  

                                                                 lift accident and lift phobia

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