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Elevator Awkward

I work on the 4th floor. Riding the elevator is just a part of my life.

Fairly often, I'm arriving at the same time as other worker bees are entering the hive -and a fair number of them are vaguely familiar to me because we work at the same company, but not very familiar since we rarely or never interact. Someone who was relentlessly or effortlessly gregarious could just strike up any ol' conversation while in the elevator - but I find the experience moderately torturous.

Do I start up a conversation? We only have a few seconds, so nothing of consequence can be said. Do I stare at my shoes in awkward silence? That's so uncomfortable. Do I make inane small-talk about traffic, the weather, or the proximity of the day at hand to the weekend; and silently loathe myself for being so banal?

I need an elevator strategy. Anyone got a brilliant idea?


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 10th, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
Make your hand dance while in your pocket.
Nov. 10th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)
I sometimes (read almost always) dance in elevators when I'm in them alone - I don't see why something similar couldn't work with fellow riders - it's only 4 floors after all.
Nov. 10th, 2006 08:06 pm (UTC)
lol.. If I'm in the elevator by myself, I'll do a lil dance, or jump around.
Nov. 10th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)
every day as you get in and the door close, mace one of them while shouting "stop molesting children! stop molesting children or i'm gonna turn you in to the @#$@$ing police!"

soon the waters will part to allow you to ride the elevator in peaceful silence by yourself.
Nov. 10th, 2006 09:20 pm (UTC)
i was going to suggest something similar with (hopefully) the same end result, involving breakfast burritos and natural bodily functions, but your way sounds MUCH more effective. and you don't have to stand in your own stink after, except metaphorically speaking.
Nov. 20th, 2006 10:42 pm (UTC)
Ahahahaha! God, I'm glad no one else was around, because that water went right up my nose.
Nov. 10th, 2006 07:08 pm (UTC)
Smile at poeple. You'll guilt them into starting the convo ;)
Nov. 10th, 2006 08:10 pm (UTC)
  • People always talk to me on the elevator. However sometimes when I dont want to talk back.. I'll text a friend.. while I'm texting I'll have a serious look on my face..
  • If the worker bees tell you a joke, laugh at thier joke for an extra ten seconds..
  • Talk to yourself, or to the elevator..
  • Spin around..
  • wing_angel
    Nov. 10th, 2006 09:00 pm (UTC)
    Just be outgoing and say hi, or just smile. or do both. :)
    Nov. 10th, 2006 09:07 pm (UTC)
    Yeah, smile and be like "Hello! How are you? What's your name?" etc. Which, when you get more friendly it goes to "OMG I NEED MORE COFFEE...you?".

    Talking to yourself with or without one of those cell phone borg things for your ear works. Make sure it's absurd like "Yeah I KNOW, I can't BELIEVE she ate a whole large meat lovers by HERSELF last night, she can't weigh more than 80 lbs at 4"4", midgets are amazing! No, no, a gentleman never talks about that."

    However, I vote for the mace-ing thing, cause that's effing awesome.

    Nov. 10th, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC)
    Wow, excellent but strange suggestions. I kind of like the earphone one - I might even use that.
    Nov. 10th, 2006 09:22 pm (UTC)
    hell, you don't even need a cell phone for that one. if you want people to think you're nuts, just have a convo without a headset. if you want to amuse people (but still have them think you're relatively sane), just pop a headset in your ear and tuck the end in your pocket. >:) you could have a lot of fun with that, without running up minutes...
    Nov. 10th, 2006 09:26 pm (UTC)
    well see, I don't want them to think i'm nuts. i work here, after all.
    Nov. 10th, 2006 10:12 pm (UTC)
    "So yeah, thats why my brother always said leave your condoms in the car."

    *As people get on* "And thats how I cleaned the blood out of my clown suit. Yep. No stains this time."
    Nov. 10th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
    "So I said to him, if you think you're going to stick that thing in me, you're deluding yourself!"

    "No, no - the Swiss have no business there. How did they even find out, anyway? Look, just relocate to the Dakaa house, and lay low."

    "Yes sir, yes sir, two bags full. No, it's a song. Yeah, I mean kilos, ok?"
    Nov. 10th, 2006 11:19 pm (UTC)
    Sing along to something on your IPod.
    Nov. 11th, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)
    If you see the same people to the point you recognize them and feel a bit of camaraderie, just smile and nod.

    Personally I hate it when strangers talk to me. A smile and nod, however, is nice. I will occasionally strike up conversation, and conversely will not mind if conversation is struck, if there's some sort of conversation starter. Like, sometimes I'll ask someone on the train about their odd commute contraptions-- little scooters and collapsible bikes and such. And sometimes a random conversation won't bother me-- usually if it's someone asking me about a book I'm reading. In most cases though, I get rather suspicious when random strangers start trying to make conversation. It might be different if they were coworkers, but all I have to compare your situation to is the crazy homeless people on BART who sometimes tell me about their lord Jesus Christ. *shudder*
    Nov. 11th, 2006 02:39 am (UTC)
    May I please point out, while it may be different in your elevator, the second the doors close on my own twenty-floor stretch of awkward silence, all cell phone reception abruptly dies...?

    So, if you go with the cell phone ideas, people may not believe you. Which may work to your advantage, if you want to broadcast loudly and clearly "DO NOT TALK TO ME". *shrug* I'm not saying that's the impression you want to give, just that it's the impression that may be perceived.

    As for me, I usually just continue reading the paperback that I was reading when I walked from my desk to the elevator and ignore everyone who gets on. People usually get the hint and I don't have to suffer the awkward smiles and nods and crap. :-)
    Nov. 11th, 2006 08:30 am (UTC)
    I'm a big fan of screaming FIRE, myself.
    Nov. 13th, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC)
    Why not just ask in what department they work? How long they've been with the company? How do they like it?

    Personally, I hate being around people I see all the time and not knowing their names, what they do, etc. I introduce myself to anyone I can.
    Nov. 13th, 2006 06:21 pm (UTC)
    I just don't always have the energy to be that outgoing - least of all first thing in the morning, or after a long day at work...which naturally is when I'm on the elevator.

    Plus, at this point I've worked here long enough that it's a little embarassing that I don't know people's names - and .. well, they usually know who I am.
    ( 21 comments — Leave a comment )