Tuesday, December 11, 2012

So that's how those work, and an elevator rant

Every now and then I do stuff to my blog. A while ago, almost by accident, I added those tiny little buttons at the bottom of each post, just underneath the "You might also like" pictures. Then I never thought about them again. They've been there for a while, a year at least. I've never used them, and as far as I can tell, neither has anyone else.

When I got a Twitter account I decided to tweet the URL of each new post. Silly me. I'd publish the blog, open it up again, copy the the URL, open Twitter, paste the URL into the text window, add some teaser text, and tweet it. At least Twitter copies it to Facebook, and thus many of my fans get the news, and come to my blog, breathless with anticipation, or maybe more likely a tough workout, to read my undying prose.

Then I read a rant by a blogger talking about Blogger needing to put a Tweet This button at the bottom of every blog. That got me thinking. What in fact does that button do? Tested it earlier today, and it totally revises my workflow. Two clicks after publishing, plus a bit of teaser text, and it's gone to Twitter. No muss, no fuss. There are so many things in this world that I'm still figuring out. Keeps me young.

Now what I'd like to do is see what happens if someone ELSE clicks that button. So please and thank you, could one of my Twitter buddies hit the Tweet button (the tiny wee one with the t) and one of my Facebook friends hit the Facebook button?

I've been shaking my head at our societal elevator conventions, especially in our office, given the "security" setup. We have to wave our card keys at a gate just to get into the elevator lobby. Then again at the elevator controls to go to the floor we want. Then again on the floor to get out of the elevator lobby. It's a bit tedious.

In a rational society, people would get in and out of an elevator in the order of their closeness to the door, and out happening before in. So much for rationality.

I've been watching elevator behavior, and trying to deduce the rules, and the exceptions.

  1. Women before men. Fine, if they are equally close. But the contortions some men go through to let a woman get out first are just amazing. One stood IN THE DOORWAY, holding it open with his body, motioning women to get out. Two problems. His big fat sweaty gut took up a significant fraction of door space, and the way he was waving his arms one could believe he had every intention of groping every butt that went out the door.
  2. People carrying lots of stuff, or a cart full of stuff. This sort of makes sense. The elevator lets us push as many buttons as we want, so if someone has their arms full, it's common to ask what floor they want to go to. This is nice. Provided the guy with the cart isn't going to 10, and can't get out of the doorway to let other people in and out.
  3. The person going to the lowest floor is the one that got on first, and is trapped at the back. The efficient way is for everyone to do the LRT line dance. There is a little Conga line of people that snake out and stand outside, holding the door while the people that want off follow and then get out of the way. Then ones waiting outside are the first ones back on and the line heads inward. Instead, people shuffle around in the elevator to let someone out, trying to avoid touching anyone. Or the person that knows they need to get off at 3, and is trying to stay near the door. They get funny looks. Until we reach 3.
  4. Handicapped first, even before women. Which is fine, except when they don't want to be going out first so they have a bit more space. And for another reason I'll cover in a  minute.
  5. People that don't understand out before in. One guy stands with his nose to the door, ready to barge in, except half the time someone is there trying to get out. There he goes, oozing past the person getting out, reaching for the door close button. No matter if someone is coming. 
  6. Then there is the opposite of the door close guy. It's nice to hold the elevator for someone a few steps from getting there as the door would close. SomeONE or at most, someTWO. Not a sequential series of people, each of whom is lunging for the door, prying it open, and then holding it for someone behind THEM. I saw this happen, x8 one day, as my coffee was cooling down, and my temper was rising. I hadn't known our elevators would make those noises about wanting to close the doors. Enough already, another elevator will be along in a minute. You can't be that eager to get to your desk, can you? (There is a related rant about idiots not letting the LRT doors close. My solution is to install sharp overlapping plates on the doors, sort of like giant scissors, powered by  giant hydraulic rams. Nuff said.)
  7. If you remember a photo from a few weeks back, our elevators have mirrors. Not shiny metal, but actual mirrors. Many people check their hair. Some of the guys that wear ties straighten them after unzipping their jackets. One woman was touching up her lipstick. Pretty sure that wasn't a chapstick. One guy was full on styling his weird upswept hair style. I didn't think it had been that windy out, but no, that was the intended effect. One woman dives into her top and starts adjusting her bra. That one stopped all conversation.
  8. The people at work are a pretty friendly bunch. Lots of elevator chat, which is nice. Even when the ultimate top big dog gets on the elevator. He introduces himself to people. "Hi, I'm Murray, I haven't met you yet." I had a perfectly nice chat with him, that he was in no hurry to end, even as we were walking out the front door. Sometimes though, normal graveyard elevator behavior takes over. Not sure why.
  9. One of the downsides about women out of the elevator first, is that with rare exceptions, they walk slower. Slower out the door and to the security gates. Slower to the front door. Slower down the sidewalk. The gate timing, revolving door timing, and obstacles in the sidewalk, make it really hard to get past someone till well out of the building. I like to walk faster than most people walk, and being behind someone that's dawdling along when I want to stretch out my legs is very aggravating. But there is no way to tell who walks fast and who doesn't in the context of ordering people for elevator departure. Don't get me started on people that just stand there in the direct path between from and to. 
  10. The milk run. Why do healthy people take the elevator one flight DOWN? One coworker of mine walks with a limp and doesn't do stairs. Fair enough. But most people need more activity, and the stairs is a good way to get more of it.
  11. Related to the milk run, why are elevators not smart enough to know about how many people are on board, and not stop for outside calls when full? At certain times of the day the elevator fills up near the top, and then people on lower floors look at the crowd, and say they'll take the next one. And the next one, and the next one, because they don't want to cuddle in.
  12. The one that just kills me, and even more now that I'm trying to be more fit, is smokers. I swear some of them deliberately take that last big puff, and hold their breath till they get in the elevator. Bastards. I think there is a bylaw that says smokers have to be 3 meters from a doorway. Screw that. The smoking areas should 100 m from any occupied building, and littering cigarette butts should be a major fine. And yes, I'm sure that it's not possible to be more than 100 m from an occupied building in the downtown core. I don't understand why tobacco is still available as a legal product. It should be like methadone, available only to junkies, gradually weaning society off it. We should be doing anything possible to keep kids from starting the habit.
Well, I think that's enough for now.

One hour spin session. My back is feeling better, I can almost touch my toes again. My right hip is still a bit cranky so I didn't push the workout too much.

Now, somebody, please go press the Twitter and Facebook button!

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