GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY NYCKOLE LOPEZ/THE OBSERVER
We’ve all been there. A person comes in, and you think: “Here we go. Again.” Or maybe you were the person who came in and made everyone breathe a collective sigh of resignation. For your consideration, here are the five types of people in an elevator that you have either definitely met or unapologetically were.
You live on the 22nd floor in McKeon. You just had an evening class, and you enter the dorm from the plaza side, tired and alone. You finally board the infuriatingly slow elevator. It starts to pick up speed. You move past floors 11, 12, 13. Suddenly the motion stops, and you let out a barely audible groan of despair. Another person enters with a couple of friends. They’re returning to their respective rooms after a long and tiring study session. You watch several hands press 19, then 21, then 17 and, finally, 15. You conclude that if God exists, then he must certainly hate you.
Alternative Situation: You’re late for class in Lowenstein and someone presses floors two or three and you’re supposed to be on 11.
The Large Backpack
It gives you middle school nostalgia. It makes its owner look like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. It weighs more than your supermodel roommate. It has a 2-liter water bottle sticking out of its side pocket. It is a Jansport, a Swiss Gear, a North Face, a 15-inch Kanken, a Gucci. You start wondering if its size is overcompensating for the lack of something else. But more importantly, you wonder what infinite knowledge it contains within. All this while your stomach gets squeezed into your backbone by the monstrosity inside a rush-hour Lowenstein elevator.
Word of Advice: With great power comes great responsibility. If you are this person, please take your backpack off your shoulders while in an overloaded elevator car.
The Gabelli Guy
He’s wearing a suit because he had an interview. Seven hours ago. He just kept the suit on kept to look important. He has a messenger bag slung over his shoulder, and somehow it annoys you more than the turtle-like backpack (see above). He’s talking business to people who very evidently don’t want to talk about business. Or he tries to pitch his new profit-turning project to everyone in the elevator. In any case, his voice is too highly penetrative for the enclosed space, and by the end of the ride he’s given you tinnitus.
Post Scriptum: If you’re this guy, my parents would like to adopt you to replace my useless Film major self. Please direct message me for more info.
It’s 11 p.m. on a Friday night. You’re wearing gym shorts and a T-shirt with holes in weird places, as well as the essential element of dorm style — socks with slippers. At your feet are three bulky bags with all the dirty clothes you’ve accumulated since the semester’s beginning. You’re getting mentally ready to spend the next few hours staring into the spinning void of a working washing machine, just as a group of nicely dressed pretty people enters the elevator. They maybe wave, maybe smile, maybe ignore you. In either case, their demeanor and conversation make you feel inferior. As you exit the elevator and head towards the quiet abode of the laundry room, you ponder the futility of life.
Consolation: Everyone does laundry, and, according to NYC Fashion Week, socks with slippers are a fashion statement.
Your friends think you’re insane, but you once saw them in the library and pretended to be really interested in the sedimentary rock studies section just to be able to observe them from afar. One beautiful day, you share a ride. If it’s an elevator full of people, it becomes relatively easy to observe anything but them: a girl choking on her Schmeltzer’s sandwich, a guy coming up with a deep dating app bio, a lost and confused kid from Rose Hill. But when it’s just you and them … you instantly get sweat stains under your armpits, your eyes frantically search for a different object to focus on, and your heart rate skyrockets.
Even worse if: They know you, try to start a conversation with you, but all that can escape from your mouth is incomprehensible gurgling.
“But wait a minute. Those aren’t all the types I’ve met. And your perspective is kind of narrow and uninformed!” you may say. There is a simple explanation to that. Look at the title. It says, “Five types.” Five. I’m a Film major, not a quantum physicist. So please stop judging me. I’m just another type of person you’ll meet in an elevator: The Troubled Artist.