Exiting elevators is an interesting experience for the dynamics of crowds. As weird as it may seem I just ride in elevators. Up then down, especially when it is busy because that is when the most crowd watching can happen.
You can find out who the polite people are and who the uninterested are. I still find a lot of chivalry within elevator etiquette. Men will still put their hand in front of the door so women and children can enter or exit. All will move around to make room for more if possible and someone will ALWAYS push the floor button when asked by someone buried in the crowd.
The Venetian Hotel and Casino is the world’s largest hotel/entertainment complex. It has over 8000 rooms which are all suites, millions of square feet in conventions space, more than twenty restaurants, a shopping mall, 5 major theaters for shows, a dozen small ones, and hundreds of thousands of square feet dedicated to slot machines. The problem is that it was built in three separate sections and is extremely confusing if you don’t know where you are going. Who would guess that the canal with gondola rides is ABOVE the casino or that they swimming pool is on the 10th floor and the main entrance is on the 3rd floor from the parking ramp. All this makes for great crowd watching.
I stand in the back of the elevator listening to some Phantom of the Opera music playing when people enter the elevator and see that the 3rd floor is pushed and I listen as they debate whether they need to go to the 1st or not to get to the casino. The push the 1st just in case. The doors open on the 3rd but it just looks like another parking floor. They ignore the signs that say “Hotel and Casino” with an arrow pointing the way and go down to the 1st floor and find another parking garage. Frustrated now they exit and disappear and I don’t know if they ever find what they are looking for.
OR: I stand in the back of a FULL elevator and wait. The 3rd floor opens up to the crowd and those in front exit, take a quick look right at the parking ramp and immediately turn left and the crowd follows them to the left as they exit the elevator. I follow too until they reach the dead end with more elevators. They all turn around en masse and look like lost sheep without a shepherd. The signs are everywhere pointing them to the hotel/casino but they just don’t trust them because they lead to the parking ramp. One adventurous couple will walk out of the elevator hallway and see a carpeted entrance and head up the ramp to the entrance. Soon the rest follow after they see the adventurous ones don’t come back. The crowd moves again.
I look at the signs again and wonder how they could be any clearer than they are. Crowds are crowds and they will blindly follow the one in front of them even though it ends in a dead end. You probably see where I am going here don’t you? I want to know if you just follow the crowds or if you actually pause and read the signs?
As the elevator door opens to this New Year and everything in front of you is new again I want to challenge you to read the signs and not just follow the crowd. I want to challenge you to be different and to make a difference. BE THE ONE people will watch to see if it works instead of being the one of many. Step out, step apart, step forward and make a difference.