10 Weird Elevator Etiquette Rules

Save a Life, Step Out
If you're at the front of an elevator, step out to let the people at the back exit. © Chuck Savage/Corbis

An overpacked elevator can be a scary place, especially if you're squeezed against the back wall of the car. Claustrophobia aside, there's the issue of successfully exiting the elevator when it gets to your floor. If your fellow passengers are ignorant of basic elevator etiquette, you might have to fight your way out with a mix of elbow jabs and clench-toothed exclamations of "Excuse me!"

Here's the rule. The two people standing closest to the door of the elevator should step out of the car at each requested stop and hold the doors open with one hand so passengers can exit without resorting to trampling.

Maralee McKee, the Manners Mentor, has another tip for extricating yourself from the back of a crowded elevator. When the car is approaching your destination, announce in a calm, friendly voice, "My floor is next" [source: McKee]. Most decent people will make room for you leave. For the rest, say hello to Mr. Elbow!

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