Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: A question of elevator etiquette

By Jamie Lauren Sutton  | September 12, 2012 - 10:39AM

Dear Ms. Demeanor,

How long is too long to hold an elevator?  I swear some people in my building jump out and say, "Whoops forgot to shave my legs!  Hold it for me!" and come back 10 minutes later. 

When is okay to just let the door close and be done with it?

Holden Vader
Dear Holden,

Building elevator etiquette can be tricky because the faces you see outside while the door closes will be faces you see again and again.  

In the newer elevators, when door beeps because you have been holding it too long (about 30 seconds to one minute), it is time to let it go.  Obviously use your judgement and menschlichkeit if the person has a disability that prevents them from moving more quickly. 

In the older models, I think the 30 to one minute rule stands as well.

Elevate your etiquette,
Ms. Demeanor

Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to [email protected] and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.

See all of Ms. Demeanor's advice here

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