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10 Weird Elevator Etiquette Rules


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When in Doubt, Spread Out
When it's just two of you inside, the law of proxemics says each takes the opposite side of the car. Photodisc/Thinkstock
When it's just two of you inside, the law of proxemics says each takes the opposite side of the car. Photodisc/Thinkstock

Let's revisit proxemics for a second, the study of human behavior as it relates to public and private space. If you're a man, then you are already a student of the urinal theory of proxemics, which states:

  • If you enter a bathroom and someone is using one of the urinals, use the urinal the farthest away from that person
  • If multiple urinals are occupied, make sure there is at least one empty urinal between you and the next person
  • If all urinals are occupied, take the next available one, but look directly at the wall in front of you at all times

The elevator, it turns out, has similarly strict spacing rules [source: Driver]:

  • Two people on an elevator should stand on opposite sides of the car.
  • Three to four should gravitate to the corners.
  • Five or more should space themselves evenly, face forward, keeping hands and arms straight down to avoid contact.
  • More than 10 should check the posted weight limit.

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