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Pushes My Button

Speaking of this, you know what I think they should do? I think they should make it so if you press an elevator button that's already lit, it goes off. This would serve two purposes.

First, it would allow a rider to cancel a button pressed in error.

Second, it would thwart those A-personality types who enter the elevator and press the button for their floor even when it's already lit. This would obviously be the greatest boon of the technology, because, as we all know, those people are totally fucking annoying.

Posted on August 04, 2005 to Great Ideas


The koreans have thought of everything.

I live in Korea, and the elevators in my building do exactly that.

Might I direct you to this:

(She lives in the same building.)

Posted by: Brittanie on August 5, 2005 12:32 AM

As I work on the top floor of a 6 storey building this idea of being able to overide the calls of other floors and get all the way up or down is a godsend. Not least because it is highly amusing to hear snatches of conversation along the lines of ".....the f*****g lift just missed our floor again!" as I glide to my intended destination with no interruptions. By the way I've only just had a chance to check your most recent postings and would like to ask what an 'assclown' is. Are they available for childrens parties?

Posted by: Duncan on August 5, 2005 1:28 AM

Where do we submit our ideas to elevator manufactures. I like your button idea better.

Posted by: James on August 5, 2005 1:28 AM

Yes butů.

If an elevator is already on its way up to, lets say, the tenth floor with no other buttons lit up, what happens if you switch off the tenth floor button? There are several possibilities:

1. It returns to the floor on which it last stopped.
2. It goes to the tenth floor anyway, for want of any other instructions.
3. It stops dead in its tracks and awaits further instructions.
4. Stops, hesitates, moves up a little, stops, hesitates, moves down a little, bursts into tears of indecision.
5. You can only switch off a lit up button when the lift is stationary.

Posted by: Lung the Younger on August 5, 2005 1:28 AM

What if the bulb (or whatever lighing system it uses) breaks? You may think that your button press didn't register, so you press it again. And again. Pretty soon you lose count. Then you don't know whether it's on or off. Panic.

Posted by: Rory Parle on August 5, 2005 3:41 AM

Along with your post about lemming-style people rushing onto an elevator without letting people off, this is one of my favorites. I vote Matthew Baldwin for President in 2008!

Posted by: Kristen on August 5, 2005 5:02 AM

Now can you please fix the people who press both the up and down button when they call an elevator? If I'm going up and you're not, then I don't want to stop for you.

Posted by: Miss Weeze on August 5, 2005 5:30 AM

You're a genius -- and this is a trackback of sorts.

Posted by: sennoma on August 5, 2005 8:05 AM

There is also, reportedly, a crosswalk "hack" that allows you to change the Don't Walk signal at will.

"The most popular hack, which works on most models, is the "Instant Walk." Three short clicks, followed by two long, one short, two long, and three short; turn any crosswalk signal from "don't walk" to "walk" with a matching change in the traffic signals."

My one horse town doesn't have any crosswalks so someone in the big city will have to test this one out.

Via TigerHawk

Posted by: Duane on August 5, 2005 8:59 AM

The reason why people press an already lit button when they get onto the elevator is to tell the elevator to close the doors, not to reiterate the floor selection. I've worked in a handful of buildings where they only have a "open door" button, but if you press a floor the door closes immediately thinking that everyone is on.

Posted by: Kimberly on August 5, 2005 9:11 AM

Doesn't work that way in my building. People obsessively peck at the floor button until the door closes. But the door doesn't close any faster than if they did nothing.

I hate that. It reminds me of those experiment boxes where a pigeon pecks at a red dot to get food. If you're in such a friggin' hurry, leave five minutes earlier.

Posted by: Keith on August 5, 2005 10:23 AM

The other day I headed to the elevators, pressed the down button, and waited. A few seconds later a man walking by veers over to the buttons, presses the already lit down button, and continues on to his original destination. I was puzzled, but clearly this must be the compulsive extreme of the afforementioned annoying A-personality type.

Posted by: David on August 5, 2005 10:48 AM

This functionality exists actually - Well, at least it does in the elevators in the building I work in. Two taps on the button of your choice in rapid succession and the floor is canceled. Now, if they could invent something that didn't allow people to take the elevator to go one sticking floor I would be one happy camper.

Posted by: Booze Monkey on August 5, 2005 11:31 AM

Gather 'round guys, and listen carefully...I read somewhere that if you press 2 buttons at the same time (pretty sure its you desired floor, and the close door button), the 'vator will go to yours first, ignoring all others...let me know if it works.

PS - fuck you TigerHawk, you made me look like a fool!

Posted by: Lance Uppercut on August 5, 2005 11:36 AM

I heartily agree and have thought this for a long time. Clearly a usability oversight by that Otis fellow.

Posted by: ap on August 5, 2005 2:09 PM

i'm new to this site, but will come back often. a book suggestion: "the contortionist's handbook" by craig clevenger. it's no house of leaves, but it will do...

Posted by: urs on August 5, 2005 2:30 PM

"I hate that. It reminds me of those experiment boxes where a pigeon pecks at a red dot to get food. If you're in such a friggin' hurry, leave five minutes earlier." - Keith

That's a great idea, but as alluded to with the pigeon story, this kind of behavior is hard-wired. Leaving 5 minutes early is a great, logical idea - but it runs counter to human nature. Especially in the "5 minutes late to everything" PNW.

Posted by: Jake Brake on August 5, 2005 3:08 PM

It would be more fun if the elevator first stopped on the floor whose button had been pressed the most times since the doors closed.

Posted by: JP on August 5, 2005 9:14 PM

It would be more fun if the elevator first stopped on the floor whose button had been pressed the most times since the doors closed.

Posted by: JP on August 5, 2005 9:15 PM

It would be more fun if the elevator first stopped on the floor whose button had been pressed the most times since the doors closed.

Posted by: JP on August 5, 2005 9:16 PM

JP, triple posting is not cool.

Posted by: Allison on August 5, 2005 10:00 PM

no no, we need to replace all elevators with paternosters

Posted by: nick on August 5, 2005 11:43 PM

see also paternoster - wikipedia

Posted by: nick on August 5, 2005 11:45 PM

The word for repeatedly pressing the elevator button to "hurry it up" is

Posted by: RussH on August 6, 2005 6:02 AM

Actually, some of my high school friends who managed to make good on the promise to go into Biology or med school are working on a type A solution: a disease that can only be contracted by multiple pressings of elevator buttons. Okay, maybe it was a silly high school joke, but the thought of it cured me from a life as a lit-button abuser.

Posted by: happeningfish on August 8, 2005 12:30 AM

I don't think you should have revealed that to all the world!

I know I'm going to be waiting a lot longer for elevators now...

I'd try it but being a person prone to guilt I fear the elevator would immediately stall between floors or drop or something.

Posted by: miel on August 8, 2005 12:59 AM

People that press the elevator button after it's already lit up really piss me off. It's even worse when they hit it over and over when the elevator doesn't start moving instantly.

Yes, beating the hell out of the button will make the elevator go faster. Why don't you get out a whip and get it moving?

Idiots. ;)

Posted by: Josh on August 8, 2005 10:00 AM

My work elevators already have cancellable buttons (is that a word?). My real beef is with people who take the elevators to go one floor up - or worse, DOWN.

Posted by: Sarah on August 8, 2005 12:47 PM

I was going to mention the existence of this very function in Korean elevators but I see other folks have already beat me to it. I was super excited when caught in a hotel elevator with another American who cancelled his floor and didn't notice. The expression on his face when he insistent jabbing didn't pay off was near priceless.

Jeez. Not only better elevators but quicker on the response too.

Posted by: goneaway on August 8, 2005 9:40 PM

One of the buildings I occasionally work in at Northwestern University has 2 "close door" buttons. As far as I can tell, this just means that the "open door" button is mislabeled. But it is also possible that it means that I will be trapped and eaten if I get in and then can't open the doors to get out (this is the biology building after all -- who knows what these fellas have been up to). So now I take the stairs in that building.

Posted by: JPed on August 9, 2005 1:48 PM

My company is on three floors: 4th, 5th and 6th. I constantly have to travel up and down between floors and I am forced to take the elevator because the stairwell doors in my building lock. I wish I could walk between floors, but I cannot. The people who annoy me are the ones who push the close door button immediately after entering the elevator. Not only will these people look you smugly in the eye as the door slams in your face, if you manage to catch the door, they'll roll their eyes or passive-aggressively sigh, as if you have ruined their morning by extending their elevator trip by five or ten seconds.

Posted by: mike on August 16, 2005 9:49 AM