I’ve been reading an article today about the reasons why we behave so oddly in lifts.
Many of us use them several times a day without really noticing. And yet the way we behave in lifts, or elevators as they are known in the US, reveals a hidden anxiety. Most of us sort of shut down. We walk in. We press the button. We stand perfectly still.
So why are we so awkward in lifts?
It is probably because you don’t have enough space. Usually when we meet other people we have about an arm’s length of distance between us but that’s not possible in most lifts so it’s a very unusual setting. It’s unnatural. In such a small, enclosed space it becomes vital to act in a way that cannot be construed as threatening, odd or in any way ambiguous. The easiest way to do this is to avoid eye-contact completely.
But perhaps there is more to it than just social awkwardness. Perhaps it is more about being trapped inside this small enclosed space if the lift breaks down. Regular Twitter followers will remember Stephen Fry’s amusing tweet when he got stuck in a lift at Centre Point in London in 2009 – it made the national news! The reality of course is far from amusing as you have no idea how long it will be before you are set free from your incarceration and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably be desperate to go to the toilet as well!
One thing I always do now when entering a lift is to read the name of the manufacturer which is usually displayed on the plaque where you find the buttons to operate the darn thing. This goes back to when I worked on the 4th floor of a building in Edinburgh and each time I got in, I smiled inwardly, saying to myself “Schindler’s Lift”! Not very mature I know, but it always made me smile [and colleagues groan!].
For what it’s worth, if the thought of travelling in a machine that’s moving and over which you have no control, you can’t see its engine and you don’t know how it’s working fills you with dread – err on the side of caution and take the stairs!
Football -v- Sperm Whales?
Last night there was a huge, foootball-shaped hole in my evening. For the first time since 8th June there was no Euro2012 action and the TV schedulers failed to take advantage of this fact and give us anything else worth watching!
At least tonight things are “back to normal” with the quarter-final match between the Czech Republic and Portugal kicking off at 19.45.
Czech Republic captain (and Arsenal player) Tomas Rosicky is still nursing the Achilles injury he picked up against Greece in the second group match but is hoping to still play and the Portuguese don’t appear to have any injury worries and are expected to name an unchanged side from the 11 that defeated the Dutch in the last game. The same starting line-up incidentally that Portugal used in each match during the group stage – the only team to do this!
At the pre-match press conference today, Rosicky, sporting a beard along with the rest of the Czech squad, said he and his team mates would continue to grow their facial hair for as long as they remained at the tournament.
“We look scary as a team. Hopefully they (the beards) will get worse and worse,” he joked.
Of course, if you don’t like football, you could always watch Ocean Giants on BBC2. The last in the series, this documentary (narrated by Stephen Fry) explores the vocal ranges of marine mammals. Failing that, there is always Emmerdale and Lewis!!!