A Well Tempered Elevator

One read an interesting paper, “The experience of no experience: Elevator UX and the role of unconscious experience” (Rebekah Rousi, 2013). It construes that people should not consciously experience elevator interaction. It is a sentiment with which one assumes most people agree. It just so happens that one goes into an elevator which has got a temper.

Yes, the elevator has got a temper.

It was quite uncanny how one encountered quite a lot of temper today. As one tried to listen to unplayed podcasts, one had an unusualy long morning walk. One of those podcasts was The Forum‘s episode “Temperament”, in which psychologist Brian R. Little explained lemon drop test. It is a simple test to determine someone’s introversion and extroversion —one must say, just hearing the word lemon drop sent one salivating and one’s eye twitching in anticipation of the acid taste. The morning walk somehow took one to the very building of the temperamental elevator.

There is a guideline next to the external control buttons that reads, “please press gently.” Of course, such guidelines invite people to do the opposite. Once, another fellow passenger-to-be, who was apparently in a hurry, pressed those buttons repeatedly and with increasing pressure. When the doors finally opened and did so with wobble, one decided to use the stairs instead. One dreaded the “temper tantrum” that was to follow had one got into the elevator.

Most of the times, whenever one stepped in and out of it, the doors would slide to close ever so slowly and then, at that last couple of centimeters, slammed bam! This behaviour, to one’s dismay as one observed, often manifested when one was alone. How rude! One had simply complained, silently. Of course, one refuses to believe in any supernatural intervention.

This time though, as one stared longer at the elevator doors, one thought about the long morning walk. One had heard various vehicle horns along the way. One often wonders how we should differentiate the meaning of the sound of those horns —are they honked to vent out their driver’s frustration, simply declare their existance, or show an appreciation for a particularly good-looking pedestrian?— and now one wondered about the elevator, whether those slams were meant to be something else.

The doors slammed, as usual. But one decided to interpret it differently.

“And good day to you too, thank you!” One replied loudly.


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