I think there’s a link between the way we use elevators and how gracious our society is. Allow me to explain.
For modern elevators, the “door close” button is a lie
I recently traveled to Germany for work. In the hotel elevator, I noticed that there was no “door close” button.
Curious, I thought.
Instead, the “alarm” button was where the “door close” button usually is.
Intrigued by the missing “door close” button, I looked it up on the Internet.
An interesting discovery: In elevators built after the early 1990s, the “door close” button doesn’t work unless it’s enabled in emergency situations using a special key.
In other words, when you press the “door close” button, you’re not actually doing anything.
Having the button there just gives you a false sense of control, because you feel like you’re actively shortening your trip by a second or two by pressing the button.
A story about an angry elevator traveler
I thought about another elevator incident that had happened to me three weeks earlier.
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