High-Traffic Confusion Around Maloney's Elevator
Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Between referring to the different sections of campus as "Upper" and "Lower," spending a million dollars on a set of stairs, and using the nickname as a spinoff for literally every extracurricular group at this school (including this newspaper), you can only assume that there must be some truth behind Boston College’s most popular epithet, "The Heights."
Let’s face it: getting from point A to point B around this campus is no cakewalk. When making the trek to class, students are faced with a crucial decision. Take the stairs and arrive to class sweating yet attempting to act like you’re not completely winded, or take the path of least resistance and use the elevators.
Yet elevators at BC are not as simple as get in and go up. Rather, elevator riding is a science of unspoken laws and incontestable formulas. Certain situations spell disaster, while others create potential for making a new best friend within seconds, especially in Hillside.
This is arguably the most high-traffic elevator on campus, especially during interim class hours and on cold, snowy, or rainy days. More often than not, the time spent waiting in the line to enter the elevator could have been spent walking up the staircase seven feet away from it. Yet we stand there, staring at the steel threshold, anxiously awaiting the illumination of the little white light telling us it’s finally our turn to go up.
The real drama starts once inside this elevator. Going up from the Hillside lobby? Floor four. Heading down from the O’Neill staircase? Floor one. Interested in getting off at two, three, or five? You better be ready to endure some obvious eye-rolls, a-little-too-loud sighs, and even the occasional "You gotta be kidding me." That’s right, the 10 seconds it takes for the elevator to let you off at your desired floor troubles seasoned riders enough to make you seriously regret not taking the stairs.
The animosity doesn’t stop there. When entering the elevator during a less crowded time, it’s likely that riders get on, select their desired floor, and then jab, punch, smack, and poke the "Close Door" button until the doors come to a secure shut. God forbid another person trying to get from O’Neill to Hillside in as few seconds as possible stiff-arms the door and inhibits them from completing a solo ride. You got it: more eye-rolling.
The most perplexing thing about elevators is the awkward silence that can rarely be tamed. You could be having the most interesting, engrossing conversation in the universe, yet walk onto an elevator of strangers and for some reason, it’s just not the same conversation anymore. Trying to keep it going just makes it awkward for all parties not involved, so most rides come with a complementary and creepy quietness.
Contrary to all of this, the Hillside elevator is not always a warzone. No two elevator rides are the same and anything can happen in that 16 second journey, even a friendly experience. Sometimes, a caring co-ed will hold open the door or even strike up some small talk. Often, riders will bond over their mutual frustration with the daring kid who pressed floor two during primetime. Yes, the infamous elevator may be a little edgy at times, but not so much that we suspend our gratitude or give up our devotion to its stair-eliminating services.
All in all, elevator etiquette should be sandwiched between the Tech Support and Study Abroad presentations at Freshman Orientation. But the harsh reality is that it’s not, and some of us have to learn the hard way. Here’s hoping it’s not you.