A little elevator etiquette directed at the douche who closed the elevator on me yesterday–

It’s bad enough that you’re not going to hold the elevator for me. You could be in a rush, you could have complete indifference to the my plight. We’ve all been a second too late to miss the elevator, the subway, the bus, whatever it is. I understand a refusal to hold the door in a subway because it causes delays for everyone else, but when you’re the only person standing in the elevator and I’m running up, you’ve lost that “greater good for society” justification. Sure, we all derive a sickening pleasure at the schadenfreude of watching the doors close on the luckless individual. Perhaps that person is carrying boxes or is too fat to get to the elevator in time. All I ask is that you enjoy this self-satisfaction without letting me know. Please don’t smile at me and shrug as you press the close door button.

When I close the door on people, whether through apathy or when I’m just in a rush, I at least make the effort to avoid giving the impression that I’m doing so spitefully. I’ll never look at the person as I’m closing the door. It’s just like jay-walking in front of oncoming traffic. If you make eye-contact with the driver, he’s going to be less inclined to politely let you cut him off.

I’ll hide behind the wall of the elevator, pretending like I didn’t see the mom with stroller in tow or the obnoxious fella on his bluetooth headset. I’ll even signal that I’m pressing the open button and it just isn’t working. “Sorry dude, it just keeps closing.” But if I’m letting the door close intentionally, I wait at least until the victim is out of sight to chuckle to myself. I can feel good at myself without making the other person feel bad.

Not holding the door for me because you don’t see me–that’s fine. Seeing me and still letting it close–I’ll let it slide. But don’t smile contently while closing the elevator on me. That just crosses the line.

Whatever the origins of this belabored phrase, it’s wholly unnecessary. As the same for gesundheit or anything else you’re supposed to say when someone sneezes. Okay, there’s a sneeze, so what? Why bother pointing out someone’s sneeze? Whatever spiritual significance that may have been an issue in antiquity should no longer hold our bodily function hostage. I want to sneeze without anyone paying any attention. You don’t say anything when I cough, yawn, or fart. If anything, I should be the one saying something, hopefully an apology (or doorknob) for the last one, when one of those events occurs. But sneezes seem to be unique in that the audience is the first to react.

Now if you can’t shake the need to acknowledge a semi-autonomous, convulsive expulsion of air through my nose and mouth, please don’t expect me to say “thank you.” Is your self-worth so dependent on my validation that you noticed I sneezed? Now instead of wasting one breath by saying “bless you,” I also have to waste a breath in receipt of your blessing? Please, save your breath and let me sneeze in peace.