Elevator Etiquette

Strangest thing. There are three elevators that service all floors in my office block. Two on one side of the wall and one on the other. For my first interview I went into one of the two but for my second meeting I used the singular one. I soon realized the one on its own was in fact, the service elevator reserved for ‘service’ staff and deliveries.

Now I don’t care which elevator I use, I am only concerned with which one opens first. The service elevator doesn’t have mirrors and isn’t as posh, but who really cares right?

Wrong. The service elevator transports kitchen staff, cleaners, postal delivery service men, builders and the like. They find it incredibly disturbing if I get in. They assume I am new or lost.  One lady just gave me a little shove in the back while pointing at the opposite lift, urging me to get out. I smiled and stood my ground. She then packed out into a fit of nervous giggles and as we stopped on various floors to pick up other cleaning staff, she spoke in Thai to them while they stared and giggled. They were highly amused and hugely embarrassed at my presence.

Thai people are massively class sensitive and I have noticed that my colleagues will rather stand and wait while the service elevator opens and closes behind them. The foreign staff don’t give a hoot and continue to provide the cleaning ladies with endless comedy and friendly gossip 😉


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