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Pride and (Elevator) Prejudice

Justin Natale takes up only his allotted space on the elevator, and he thinks that you should too.

I would describe myself as a rather considerate person.  I offer my seat to elderly passengers on a crowded train, I give pedestrians the right-of-way when driving, and I avoid talking on my cell phone at inappropriate volumes.  Perhaps it is because of this that I feel obligated to identify a situation plaguing the Michigan Avenue building and testing the limits of my sanity—elevator offenders. 

It makes complete sense that there should be crowds amassed in the lobby at particular times each day; especially in the minutes immediately preceding and following 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.  This I have no problem with.  It is simply a case of supply and demand.  I, like my peers, procrastinate my scholastic arrival from time to time, for which I must pay the price.  I have even conceded that I will inevitably be crammed into elevators between those having just chain-smoked a pack of Marlboro reds, breathing wretchedness into the limited air supply, and boisterously discussing their latest video project.  Hot. 

This is what I signed up for by attending an art school, I know this. 

What I cannot suppress for another day, however, is my rage directed at the proud laziness that is running rampant through the elevator shafts of SAIC.  Specifically, I am talking about the 3rd floor riders…you know who you are!  In the chaos of waiting, watching, plotting, and making a move for an available elevator, there are some among us exerting this effort for a ride up three flights of stairs!  Are you kidding me?  Worse, still, is the offenders’ apparent lack of shame. 

I am sure I am not the only person who has noticed this.  You are crammed into a 9:06 a.m. elevator, finally en route to class on the 8th floor when, seconds into the lift, you stop at the 3rd floor.  “Well,” you think, “maybe someone on the 3rd floor is naively hoping to fit on an elevator at this hour…silly art students.”  But you’re wrong.  There is no one waiting to be denied elevator entry on the 3rd floor.  This stop came from someone among you.  Someone just waited 11 minutes to ride the elevator to the 3rd floor.  Seriously.

Not to stereotype, but let me paint the picture of who this ‘someone’ most often is:  a 19 year old female dressed to the nines in tight jeans worth more than my available line of credit, boots with heels higher than my GPA, and toting next season’s Louis Vuitton bag. Something tells me she’s a fashion student. 

To be honest, I have no basis for by belief that fashion students are responsible for this epidemic.  I suppose if I knew what was housed on the 3rd floor, I could solve this riddle, but it’s more fun to stay bitter.  I will say, however, that based on their over-styled appearance and blatant disregard for others’ morning commutes, these are definitely fashion girls.  I saw The Devil Wears Prada, after all. 

What really does it for me, though, is their ever-present Starbucks cup.  This is just adding insult to injury.  Not only are they taking up precious elevator space unnecessarily, but they are also flaunting the fact that their tardiness was intentional.  Think critically for a minute:  when it came down to it, the fashionistas chose their venti non-fat sugar free vanilla latte over being on time.  You would think that the calories in such a beverage would need to be burned off (via exercises such as climbing three flights of stairs!).  No such luck.  These girls want to have their latte and drink it, too. 

Before closing with some sort of contemptuous comments for those disinclined toward consideration, I should admit my own occasional guilt in this undertaking.  For the sake of full disclosure, I have taken the elevator to the 3rd floor…but only in those off-hours when no one was looking (including the “security” guards, whose job descriptions I would like to see in writing). 

And perhaps that is the lesson to be learned here.  While we all have our moments of laziness, selfishness, and bitchiness, they are best left out of the public eye.  If your ego dictates that you flat iron your hair and squeeze into second-skin designer denim every morning, why not try saving some face by taking the stairs to the 3rd floor?