Sunday, October 18, 2009

Is your finger really that much more special than mine?

Dear people of America (and probably the world):

I have a general complaint I would like to voice in hopes that some people share my thoughts and others change their ways...
I was leaving my friend's building the other day and I had to use the elevator to go down to my car. So I pressed the down button, the elevator doors opened and I stepped inside. I then pressed the garage button in the elevator with my pointer finger and the garage button lit up with excitement. I then leaned against the back wall and fished around my purse for my car keys. As the doors were closing a woman ran and forced her way into the elevator with me. She looks at the buttons, noting the already glowing and prepared G1 button, and proceeds to press it.

The floor was obviously already chosen. The down arrow at the top of the elevator was already glowing as well, ready to go, and the only floor below us was the garage floor. It was as if she felt that the elevator would be confused thinking that there were two passengers and only one destintation. Thank you for clearing that up and letting it know that two people want to go down, maybe now it will hurry. Did she really not trust that I knew how to properly push a button?

This happens all too often. I was biking to the store just two days ago and had to stop at a crosswalk. I hopped off my bike and approached the crosswalk button. As I did, I noticed a man was also headed toward the crosswalk button. I pressed the button firmly, making sure the yellow sphere went all the way into it's box and popped all the way out and then I stepped away to await the light. Then the man, who stood next to me as I pressed the button, approached the very same crosswalk button and pressed it not once but twice after I had already pressed it.
It was as if he said, 'I see your bet and I raise you.' Was it really neccessary? When the crosswalk signal did come on he proudly walked across the street as if he had accomplished something.
I just don't understand this at all. I have a possible theory though. In America it seems every medium of communication informs us of how stupid we are as a people. There are hundreds of shows, websites, videos and magazines dedicated to proving and spreading the word about how stupid people can be. It's pretty much shoved down our throats. Many Americans are just plain idiots. So we probably don't expect the average stranger to be any different. But not trusting that most American's comprehend how to push a button correctly? Do we really expect so little of each other?

I bet everyone's come across this at sometime in their life. You've been waiting outside a locked door for a bit waiting for someone with a key to come by and open it, and several people are there with you, each of which have had their shot at opening the door, when down the hall comes a man with a mission, to get inside that room. He zeros in on the door and glares at the people blocking his way. He is met with several:

"Don't bother, it's locked", "Someone is getting a key now", "We all already tried it," "It's locked but will be open in five minutes" or various other ways of saying the same thing.

And what does that guy do? He might respond with an "oh" or "really?" but there is no stopping him. He will walk to the door and try to open it. He will fail. And then he will either say, "you're right" which everyone already knew damn well they were right, or just silently turn and join the waiting group. I don't think I've ever seen a case where person #5 to turn the handle of a locked door will actually open what all the others couldn't. But they always try.

I know this is a fairly random post, but it really bugs me. 
Is your finger really that much more special than mine? Do you really have a 'magic' touch?
Maybe I can understand the need for control and self assurance. Or in the case of the door situation, the "maybe I can do it" mentality. But it just bugs me.

What bothers me even more is when I observe people standing at the crosswalk of a busy street rapidly pressing the crosswalk button nonstop.
Arrgh! You people! Why?!
Do you not understand that the first time you pressed it is the only time that matters to the machine and that the rest is wasted energy? The crosswalk is not going to say to the streetlight:

"Hey buddy, I know you just started letting them go but would you mind stopping the cars now? It seems this person really wants to cross right now." Observing this is about as painful to me as if I was the button being prodded over and over again.

So all in all, please learn to trust that we aren't ALL stupid and think about this next time you are in an elevator and catch yourself reaching to press an already lit button. That's all I ask for you to make me happy.



  1. Hi Lissa!

    Finally someone does a rant that addresses an issue that is so universally aggravating. Well done! I don't know if it will change the world right away, but like any light in the darkness the glow will no doubt radiate a great deal. Thank you for saying what needed to be said! Awesome!

  2. lol i havent had to deal with a elevator issue yet. cant wait... I really cant wait until im in a elevator and a kid pushes all the buttons, likes its a game. then i gotta freakin travel to every freakin floor until i get to mine. God bless america. lol

  3. i saw someone basically beating in the crosswalk button on etiwanda and vanowen a few days ago and thought of you.

  4. Lissa,

    How glad I am that a friend recommended me to your blog. I enjoy how you are able to take the most commonplace annoyances and expand on them like good jazz!

    In fact, I have mentioned you on my site, since you inspired my December 1 post. I will continue to visit here...and you are invited over to my page as well.

    Great writing!