Growing Up

Types of people you see inside elevators/lifts

We all spend at least five minutes everyday traveling the lifts. If you are a lift operator you probably spend more than eight hours inside the lifts….but since we didn’t expect you to understand English and be reading blogs on the internet, this blog post doesn’t cater to your interest. Folks working on 30 plus floors, and those with extremely slow elevators needn’t despair…you might be spending more than five minutes inside lifts but we forgive you and still cater to your interests. Read on.

Here are the different types of people you will find inside lifts:

The Operator
This is generally a man, and the moment he steps inside the lift he has only one question for everybody inside the lift: “Which floor?” He is the type that gets upset if you have already pressed the button. Throughout the journey, he will stand next to the buttons. If you give him a chair to sit inside the lift he wouldn’t really mind. He is also the guy who presses the >< and <> buttons to close or open the lift whenever necessary.

The Evaluator
Both a man or a woman can be an evaluator. This person runs an eye over everybody in the lift. Once the first glance is cast, he or she then starts focusing on individuals and starts marking them eye to toe. There are various parameters on which such people evaluate you – which company you could be working in, single or married, how much you could earning, how much does that shiny shoe cost etc.

The Starer
This is mostly a man. His job is to stare at anybody who enters the lift. A stare back doesn’t discourage this guy. The fact that the stare is going to last only 30+ seconds helps. Mind you, he doesn’t just stare at women….men also end up being his target. These are mostly men like me – going thro’ a midlife crisis and trying to make contact with any of life form.

The Perfume Woman
In most office lifts this character is a rarity. How often do you share a lift with a girl, who is washed head-to-toe in perfume? This person is usually wearing heels, dark, tight trousers with light colored shirt, has a scarf around her neck and is holding a file or a diary against her bosom (not to mention the branded, big handbag or laptop hanging from her shoulder). She steps into the lift with a few clicks of her heels, and sets the adrenalin rush amongst the men inside. If you see a man missing the second floor in spite of pressing the second floor button of the lift…there are very high chances that there is a perfume woman inside the lift.

The back-to-the-door person
This can either be a man or a woman and is most likely to be 40+ in age. For some odd reason, they stand with their back to the door till they reach their destination floor – opening or closing of the lift doesn’t help in changing their orientation. Someday I am going to ask a back-to-the-door person to write the alphabet ‘B’ and see if he/she write it as ‘8’…just to be sure they aren’t dyslexic.

The Evader
This is an interesting character that becomes a part of our lift life very often. They avoid all eye contact when inside the lift. If you notice, they will take out their handkerchief and play with it, then stare at the fan or AC vent on top, then look at the buttons, stare at the floor indicator at the top of the lift etc. They will do anything to avoid eye contact with you – even looking at their own shoes.

The Mobile Manager
This can both be a man or a woman. For some odd reason, they always get emails when they are in the lift. And when they don’t have emails to read, they would snap out the mobiles from their pockets and send out a few SMSes. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are just some sms forwards. Most often, the mobile that’s involved here is a smartphone – a Blackberry, an iPhone, an HTC or a high end Nokia device.

The Handler
This is almost always a man. He takes it upon himself to trigger the lift door’s sensitivity by placing his hand next to the door till everybody isn’t inside completely or hasn’t gone out completely. He is the fatherly figure to every lift traveler. There is no specific age group for this character – they range from 16 year old boys to 50 year old men.

Any other characters you can think of?

By Jamshed V Rajan

Jammy, as Jamshed V Rajan is affectionately called, is a wannabe stand up comedian. He has a funny take on most things but documents only some of them. If you are interested in chatting up with him, do drop him an email at or message him at +919650080255.

8 replies on “Types of people you see inside elevators/lifts”

In India especially there are some more categories:

The property dealer: gets in a lift talking, asks the other person on the call to call back as he is in the lift. Presses 4th floor and keeps on going outside lift at whichever floor the lift stops. only then he realizes he on the wrong floor and gets back and starts again.

Petrified lady: always looking at her watch and never makes eye contact with any body as if all the other ppl in the lift will cast a spell on her

The Boss

A man in his 40s and is on a high position in his company. Looks around as if the rest of the people in the lift can not be sharing it with him, because well, they are not bosses. Will tch everytime anybody makes the smallest of mistakes.

No, I am not a sexist. But somehow the woman bosses don’t act rudely.

Don’t hurt lift operator by ur harsh comments, English is not rocket science even he can learn buddy….be careful

Amrith & Senthil: Thanks for the link guys. Wish it was inspired by that article on….the guy has done a tremendous job.

And Amrith if you paste 2 links in your comments, it will go for moderation again. 🙂

Very nice post.
I must say you are a very good observer. I fall under different categories at different times but most often, i would say i behave like an evader.
I am able to recall, long ago, when i use lifts daily in Gurgaon.

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