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Friday, July 29, 2016

Lift etiquette: What not to do in an elevator

Lift etiquette: are you the button monitor?
Lift etiquette has bothered people since the first commercial lift – or elevator, for our American friends – was put into operation by Elisha Graves Otis in a New York department store in 1857.

Since then, there have been countless commentaries published to explain to the unwary how to act in a lift.

Rules can be obvious: no farting, burping, violent sneezing or coughing fits. Basically, don't be anti-social and disgusting, especially if you are at work and the boss is in the same lift. (Unless you hate them and want to drop one silently and run).

Other rules are less obvious. These include:

Button Monitor
If you are by the buttons, you are ‘button monitor’. This is an unofficial rule. It becomes your responsibility to push the button for other people. Don’t let this responsibility go to your head. Do not ask for tips. Do not pretend you’re in the Science Museum and make noises for each floor number you press.

Coffee King
People do have to bring coffee into lifts if they’ve bought it outside of the office. Keep it close to you. Nobody wants your latte down their best suit.

Phone calls
Most lifts do not have cellphone reception but if yours does, please don’t regale your lift buddies with your previous night’s exploits. It doesn’t make you look cool. It makes you look like a Neolithic jerk.

Let people out first
This is something that should not need to be explained. Yet every time I step to the right to allow people to leave the lift when it arrives, colleagues stand right in front – and then act surprised when people try to get out of the lift. It’s simple manners and every day I see morons forgetting the simple fact: people get out of lifts, as well as into them.

Two-floor rule
If you only work on floors 1 and 2, and have no medical, baggage, or age-related reason for not walking, walk up the stairs instead of being a lazy nuisance. All you do is make your lift colleagues going to floors 4 and above resent you for stopping the lift and delaying them getting to their desks.

If I am having a quiet conversation with someone and continue this in the lift, I expect to carry on this conversation in low, hushed tones, with that person. I do not expect people I do not know to join in. If you know me, fine, I’m in a shared space with you, but for the sake of a few seconds’ space-sharing, please do not butt into something to which you have not been invited. If we wanted your opinion, we’d ask for it.

This has happened twice today at work, in fact. People I’ve never seen before felt comfortable offering their thoughts and opinions quite freely. One didn't join the conversation but dropped a passive-aggressive 'aside' to me, before running out of the lift before I could respond. The other just blithely gave a running commentary on What'sApp to two people who were not interested. Lady, I don’t care to hear your commentary. 

With both these interruptions happening at work today, I felt it worth double-checking with colleagues and online-based etiquette gurus. William Hanson was kind enough to respond to my tweet:

Apparently, it IS rude when you don't know the person, at least in England, although as Mr Hanson says, it could vary from culture to culture.

So, when in the office lift, please stop butting into other people's conversations. I don’t interpose in other people’s conversations so don’t feel free to blunderbuss your way into mine.

However it is also worth mentioning it could be best and more polite to put all conversations on hold in the lift to avoid giving someone else the opportunity to barge in uninvited, and bear in mind the lift is a shared space.

It goes without saying this all only applies if there is anyone else in the lift with you.

If you are alone, or with one other like-minded individual, and there is no camera in the lift, you are quite welcome to play ‘Lift Chicken’.

Lift Chicken: The Rules

Lift Chicken: Solo
If you are on your own, and the lift slows to stop at a floor other than the one you’ve chosen, the Game of Lift Chicken is officially on.
Strike a ludicrous, exaggerated pose right by the doors.
See how long you can wait in that position as the doors open.
If you bail out before the doors even slightly part, you’re a chicken.
Don’t get caught by the boss.

Lift Chicken: Two people
As before, but the winner is the last one to cave in to decorum before the doors open.

The other is the ‘chicken’.

Don't be chicken - play Lift Chicken to win!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Entertainment on a budget

This year has been pretty tough, physically and mentally and emotionally.

One could also suggest financially, as we are spending so much money on IVF treatment and associated costs that we have not had much chance to take a couple of long holidays and two or three short domestic breaks as we would usually. 

We have also curbed food and entertainment spending drastically. First world problems, right? Some people can't even take a short domestic break so I accept we have been really blessed.

However we have been able to meet all our bills this year thanks to wise storing in the good years, and even with the cutbacks, we have been able to enjoy several low-cost or even free outings to give us a break from the stresses of work and my treatment.

For example we walked over the O2 dome and saw Bryan Adams for free with loyalty points.

Star Wars Celebration - we paid for these tickets but mostly brought our own food to avoid the costly concession stands.

Lambeth County Fair - free to enter, only cost was food on the day. Too hot to bring a packed lunch all the way via church!

A few restaurant evenings and lunches with my gal pals (some meals using discount vouchers)

CountryFile Live at Blenheim Palace ... A free ticket plus one! Hoorah! What a bonus.

Films we have seen at Cinema using Groupon vouchers (Batch of 5 tickets for £20 - bargain)
X-Men Apocalypse
Tarzan remake
Independence Day sequel - George went by himself

Bourne - again, George went with our friend Geoff on a freebie jolly so nobody paid anything!

Films I would like to see:
The Jungle Book 2016 remake
Ghostbusters 2016 remake with all-female cast. 
Captain America - Civil War
Star Trek - whatever it is called. I lose track at my age.
Through the Looking Glass.
Independence Day II. But maybe not at the Cinema. Apparently it is not worth a full-price ticket. Or paying for. But George said he "didn't hate it". So that's alright then