The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

April 30, 2007

Alibi post for April, pretending I still write blog entries every once in a while

Lifts (or elevators, for those from across the big blue sea) generally have two buttons to make them come to your floor. One with an arrow pointing upwards, which you press if you want to go up, and another one with an arrow pointing downwards, which you press if you want to go down. Consequently, on the top floor you will find only one button, pointing downwards and on the bottom floor you will find only one button, pointing upwards.

So much for a quick introduction to lift buttons.

Oddly enough, most people tend to misunderstand the lift buttons in a major way. They try to determine where the lift actually is (sometimes a floor indicator helps), and then they press the button in which they want the lift to move. So if they are standing on the second floor and if the lift is on the eighth floor they press the "down" button even though they really want to go up.

Which means that you stand in front of the lift door on the bottom floor, and it opend, and you politely wait for people to get out, but they won't because they never wanted to go down in the first place, and then all the way up you have to listen to their angry complaints about the stupid lift and how they are going to have the janitor fired one of these days for not fixing it.

And it's like you want to tell them how the buttons really work, but somehow you know it's probably not a good idea.

Posted by Horst on April 30, 2007 02:28 PM to creatures great & small | Tell-a-friend
nora said on April 30, 2007 08:59 PM:

must be a problem LIFT users have ...

anyway, we have developed a fun elevator game in our family, which works only when there's more than one (elevator). you press the button, and then everybody stands in front of the door they think will open. one could keep score, i guess, and define a prize for the person with the most hits.

glad you're back, horst.

Klaus said on May 1, 2007 12:07 AM:

People who want to annoy me press both buttons ...

Jann said on May 1, 2007 08:14 AM:

Pushing both buttons starts to make sense when waiting on the sixth floor of a fourteen story government office building at closing time and the first three down elevators stop, but are so jam-packed that even a 50 kg woman like me couldn't get halfway in on a bet. It seems reasonable to get on the empty up elevator to secure a place for the down trip. Of course on the way down the elevator stops at every floor and no one gets on; either there's no room, and/or there's no one there; at least some have done what I did. But writing this started me thinking about how efficient this really is ... there's definitely more wear and tear on the elevators, and I don't think the building is emptied any more quickly, just in a different order.

You're kidding about LIFT users not knowing which button they're supposed to push, right?

nora said on May 1, 2007 01:58 PM:

kidding - absolutely! however, there is, you know, the first floor vs ground floor dilemma ... 6 years in elevator land and now hesitating when in lift countries.
the younger members in my family love to push all buttons - especially inside!

Jann said on May 1, 2007 03:18 PM:

Yes, I remember from ninth grade German class, "der erste Stock" was actually what we here in America consider to be the second floor.

nora said on May 1, 2007 04:03 PM:

and it actually makes sense, it being the first "floor". now, would the first floor also be the first story? and then there's "halbstock" and mezzanine, and you end up climbing 5 flights of stairs for somebody who loves on 'dritter stock.',
wishing for either elevator or lift.

nora said on May 1, 2007 04:09 PM:

well, wether you live or love on the 3rd floor, an elevator can lift you up either which way.

nora said on May 1, 2007 04:09 PM:


dieter said on May 2, 2007 09:55 AM:

When I tried to explain about the up and down buttons to a fellow student in my first year at the university, I lost quite a few illusions about intelligence and academia.

I am also glad that Horst is finally back.

Jann said on May 2, 2007 03:08 PM:

I haven't come across anyone in the US who doesn't know how to use elevator buttons, but then they might teach it in school here. "The Correct Use of Elevators" might replace, say, fourth grade geography in some schools; but since there is (or was) at least one geography book in use in some US schools that showed the Equator going through Tennesee, that might not be as bad an idea as it sounds.

Jann said on May 2, 2007 07:09 PM:

Oh, and in an effort to avoid belaboring the obvious, I won't say that I too am glad you're back, Horst.

laura said on May 8, 2007 07:53 AM:

I'm glad horst is back. He gives me a lift.

gamecheats said on May 14, 2007 05:59 PM:


nora said on May 16, 2007 01:20 AM:

re gamecheat dude: i can fix my own typos thank you.
re lift games: there's this lift in linz. when it goes down and somebody were to press the buttons on each floor, it would stop. but when it goes up, it doesn't. (that is, with somebody inside who actually wants to go up. when you call the lift and it is, like, three floors below you, it will of course stop at your floor. unless my kids broke it.)so my kids ran up six flights to make it stop at each floor, but it didn't.

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