Ladies First

March 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )


I guess I could just do this until everyone else gets off first

In my four months working in the Sears Willis Sears tallest building in Chicago, I’ve spent a good deal of time in an elevator.  My walk from the front door of the building to my cubicle sweet cubicle includes an elevator ride to the 31st floor, an escalator ride up to the 32nd and then another elevator ride up to the 51st.  So, on an average day that I don’t leave the office for lunch or any other errand, I take four separate elevator rides.  And in that time I’ve noticed something – men are still chivalrous.

9 out of 10 times I’ve been in an elevator, the men all stand aside in some unspoken rule and let the women out first.  Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about this.  It’s a very nice gesture and I certainly appreciate shortening my morning commute by 2.5 seconds but it also makes me feel a little awkward.  Especially when there’s an elevator full of men and they all stand to the side so I can make my way out from the back – seriously, at that point, just get off the damn thing already.  I’ve tried to let the men out first and it becomes a bumbling attempt that winds up with the dreaded “No, go ahead”, “No, you go ahead” game that no one wants to play, especially not before 8am.  It’s just a bit of elevator etiquette that took me by surprise once I began to notice it happening.  Again, I’m not complaining, just providing the witty and fascinating social commentary you’ve become so accustomed to.  I’ll continue to accept this gesture though and I’m sure before long I’ll be so used to it that I’ll simply take it for granted.  Actually, that probably won’t happen because living in a large city where I encounter more rude and obnoxious people on day-to-day basis than anyone else, these small acts of kindness will hopefully continue to stick out in my mine more than the rest.  Now if I could just get the guys on the elevator to start bringing me in breakfast, my working life would be complete.

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