Trigger Happy People in Elevators

indi's picture

If you ask me how many elevators I have ever been in with how many different people since nearly four years ago (when I arrived in Singapore), I must say that I would like to divert the question into something more interesting than that.

I'd like to suggest this question, instead:

If you are in an elevator in Singapore with at least one/two other passengers, what is the likelihood that the "close door" button will be pressed before the elevator makes it move up/downward?

Based on my observation, the answer is: High.

I'd say nine times out of ten the other passenger who is with me inside the elevator cab will appoint himself as the "close door" button operator. No, not as a full-time job like those handsome men with white suits you see in fancy hotels, but merely, as a super-ultra-term-temporary volunteer.

Bygolly! A temporary volunteer? Don't they know that an elevator is equipped with a sophisticated fuzzy logic control system that will make the doors close automatically within 5 seconds after you press the last destination buttons? yes, they know but they'd rather ignore that fact. Just go ask Mr. Kone, Mr. Dong Yang and Mr. Schindler for more info on this fuzzy logic thingy.

For some people in Singapore, having to wait for 5 seconds is way too long. That's why they like to reach out from 2 meters away to press the "close button" at 1/100th of a second when the last passenger's left foot gets across the floor gap (please mind the gap by the way). *5 seconds does not seem to too long for them, but rather, it is an enjoyable moment. especially when they stick their nostrils with their middle fingers while staring at themselves in the elevator mirror (if any).

That's, my friends, how efficient people have become when they live in Singapore. You press the "close button" quickly so you have more time to look at your face in the mirror.

Additional note:
Never in my previous life, in the US between 1992-2002, have I seen people doing this kind of behavior.

Extra note:
My big brother makes and sells German elevators in Jakarta. I mean, if he's got himself registered under US Patent for some nifty elevator parts, why not invent a "press button" equipped with an 5000 volt electric shock system for Singapore market.

Super Duper Note:
I have always been tempted to stick my booger on those "close door" buttons. Have I done it? You bet I have :)


You know what is another

You know what is another interesting fact I found about riding lift in Singapore? Most people in Singapore think that if they press the CLOSE button repeatedly and as fast as the could, it will help the doors to close sooner! Bwahahahahhaaa...

Press Press Press

I think it makes them feel pow(d)erful when they seem to be in control of the lift.

ah yes, (post?)modernity

Interesting observation--although, I'd like to think that the elevator phenomenon is part and parcel of the greater peril of the digital era, the era of living instantaneously. I've had my share of nearly getting run over numerous times on the road just cuz other cyclists think I don't cycle fast enough. None of us here wear bike helmets, mind you. And how many of you lose patience waiting for a webpage to load once and awhile, even when you're already running a 384 kbps connection and a P4 system? I say this whole obsession with the concept of speed and time has become the norm in the developed world and not necessarily a S'porean phenomenon.

Di jakarta juga biasa kok

Di mana-mana kayaknya gitu deh. Di gedung2, di pabrik2, di rumah sakit, dll. Di kampus aja gitu .

5 detik memang lama rasanya

not only in singapore...

hey, people in NYC does that too. it's a second nature that as soon as you enter an elevator, your hand reaches the "close" button. their hands reaches the "close" button even faster if they see someone running towards the elevator!

and i agree with Judhi. pressing button repeatedly is something very common. not only in elevators, but also on traffic/crossing light buttons, as if it makes the light turn green faster... but i digress... :P

The elevator in my office

The elevator in my office building is the coolest.
Somehow, if I press the "close door" button continuously while the elevator cab is in motion, it will take me EXPRESS to my destination floor. Yup... it will bypass all other floors regardless of how many stops are being requested throughout the building.
I usually do this when I'm alone in order not to let this secret out to other people. Could you ask Anggi if this is what the "close door" button is actually designed for?

aiee Indi! I am staying away

aiee Indi! I am staying away from that close door button now!!
actually, I never press it.. never occured to me. hmm???

Yes they do it all the time...

Yes, they do it all the time, not only in Singapore but elsewhere in the world. There will always be at least one person to voluntarily stand near the buttons, not only to press the "close door" button to make the door close faster, but also to be ready to press the "open door" button, to prevent the door to close when there are still people entering the elevator.

Not all elevators are equipped with sensors to prevent the door to close when people are still entering the elevator.

it's becoz those selfish

it's becoz those selfish certain race of singaporean that not keen on having or waiting for anyobody else coming on board.

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