Social Etiquette and Good Manners/Elevator Etiquette


Hello Jay,
I have some questions on elevator etiquette. I am not native to the United States culture and since this is my first time working in an office, I will be dealing with elevators a lot, and I would like to make friendly/kind impressions.
When two or more people are in an elevator, does going straight to the back imply kindness that you would like to allow them to exit first once the elevator reaches its destination?
Does staying in the front, closest to the doors imply that you want to get off before other people can and is therefore rude?
When you are with many people on the elevator and the elevator stops on a floor that someone gets off on, is it polite to press the "door close" button again after they exit instead of waiting for the doors to automatically close, in order to speed things up for everyone else on the elevator?
Is it rude to do things like fix your hair or fix your suit in front of someone or doing anything thay might get attention while waiting for the elevator to reach its destination?
I know when getting on an elevator, holding the door for the person behind you to get in is polite. Any other do's and don'ts you might know of regarding elevator etiquette would be appreciated.
Thanks for your time.

Dear Dee,
Elevator etiquette is basically universal. People generally move to the rear of the car unless they need to get off at a floor before others. It is not rude to want to get off first as long as one does not shove or push. Today, loading and unloading is done more from an efficiency perspective than in the old days when women were always allowed off first. I always press the door close button if the doors linger, as long as everyone is safely in. Space is tight and public in an elevator. Don't infringe on others' limited space. I would discourage combing one's hair or tucking in one's shirt, but minor adjustments, if there is space, is not an issue. In general, it's a short ride, stand facing the front, speak quietly if at all. Remember this is not your private space, so be respectful of all other riders. I hope this helps,

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

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Jay Remer


I am happy to answer any questions about social or corporate etiquette as well as questions regarding international protocol. It is important to practice civility. It is contagious.


I am certified by the Protocol School of Washington as a consultant for corporate etiquette and international protocol. I have been entertaining and giving advise on entertaining for over 40 years.

Weekly column in Telegraph Journal

Graduate of Protocol School of Washington

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