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While there are certainly plenty of things I love about China, more and more, the elevator etiquette that I deal with daily in my office building gets to me. I work in a 46-storey building, and the 2 sets of elevators on either side of the lobby go to floors 1-23 and 24-46.

The morning line for the elevators at my job in Chongqing.

The morning line for the elevators at my job in Chongqing.

The minor things.


Not my office building’s elevator.


  • Crowded Elevators: So this one is completely unavoidable with the number of people going up and down all day, particularly in the morning and lunch. But there usually will be at least 2 people making physical contact with you.
  • Excessive Button Pushing: No, pushing the open button or the close button 5 extra times will not make it go faster.
  • Conversations Across the Elevator: 2 or more people take their positions on opposite sides of the elevator and then proceed to shout over everyone else in between to have their conversation.

More irritating things.

  • Rushing the Elevator: Should we wait until there’s space in the elevator for us to fit? No. Form a 3-person thick wall around the door and force your way in before anyone else gets off.
  • Phone in Hand: Phone flat in hand is poking the person in front of me in the back or hitting their head? But..I need to play Candy Crush during this brief ride.
  • Talking on Phone: Or more precisely, yelling on the phone. You’re stuffed in with 12 other people and decide this is the best time to make your call. “Wei? Wei? WEI? WEI?” Not only does the volume become obscenely loud and echoes off the walls or is yelled right into someone else’s ear, but it never dawns that this metal box isn’t the best place for a signal…


Pressing UP & DOWN to Go ONE Direction

This one annoys me to no end because of the sheer amount of time it wastes. It seems every person on every floor pushes the up and down buttons when they want to board the elevator. And then they board the elevator going in the opposite direction.


I’m going from Floor 1 to 19. Others are going from floor 1 to 15, 17, 18, & 22. The elevator stops at Floor 8, 3 people enter…floor 10, 5 more people enter, etc. They all push the button for floor 1 and the parking level.

Not only are we wasting time by stopping on unnecessary floors, but all the new people going down force themselves in at the door, blocking those trying to get out on the ride up. And then, the elevator begins descending again, stopping once more at all the floors the people going down had entered from when it was ascending, doubling the time any elevator ride takes.

Yes, I realize this is likely related to the overcrowding on the elevators. But, if the elevators didn’t need to stop 2x on every floor, only to open and have nobody there, they would run much more quickly and efficiently.



Benjamin Williams

Hi all, my name is Ben. I’m a native Michigander with a passion for human culture and new places, and more than that, new experiences. I have degrees in archaeology and writing, pursuing a career in the latter. However, I never quite lost that fascination for archaeological theory. For the past 11 years, I’ve been living and travelling between Asia, Europe, and North America, documenting ancient sites and the peoples who built them, and then adapting them into practical archaeological travel information at

What are your thoughts?

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