Mind your space……But mind your manners

Mind your space

By Melina Casillas

There’s an unspoken common courtesy when riding the elevator: you stay on your side and I stay on mine. I’ll push the button for your designated level if you ask.

Aztec Press photos by Eddie Ceyala/illustrations by Nick Meyers

Elevators aren’t fun. You just want to get from the floor you’re on to your next destination, but there’s always something that goes amuck when riding an elevator.
The wait time for the actual elevator cab is horrible and the ventilation in there is awful. Then there’s always someone who wants some form of small talk, long jagged stops at each level and  dizzy spells  if the ride was too long. The actual worst,

though, is when your personal space is invaded. Don’t corner me and leave me with absolutely zero room to move in any direction.

I’m trying to get away from your rank 2 p.m. coffee breath and your rancid B.O., not get closer to it.

In middle school we learned, or at least I did, about the “volley ball space” rule, designed to keep us crazy hormonal preteens from bumping and grinding at our middle school dances.

At the time, I thought that rule was ridiculous. That all changed when I encountered the aforementioned cornering incident recently in a PCC West Campus elevator.

I just want to get from the ground level to the library to do work before my next class, dude. I don’t need anyone coming up trying to schmooze me by standing close, and I don’t like feeling your beady little eyes staring down at me.

This incident isn’t the only elevator encounter with a strange person that got a little too up-close and personal. It happens almost on a daily basis.
Personal space should not be hard to comprehend. We’re taught as young children to keep our hands and bodies to our-selves. Maybe we should also start teaching that a certain distance must be added, because some people just don’t understand how close is too close.

Since riding in the elevators at West Campus for almost a year now, the “volleyball space” rule has become golden. Push your button and drink your coffee, creepy dude. I’m not interested in you or your life.

You stay on your side of the elevator, I’ll stay on mine and it’ll be a smooth ride.

Casillas should start taking 

the stairs. 

Pg06-Opinion-Casillas, Melina








But mind your manners

By S. Paul Bryan

It might be difficult, but imagine hopping on one of the elevators here at Pima Community College and finding it wasn’t occupied by some snotty, rude little shit who clearly has no concept of manners, politeness or common courtesy.

What’s the problem with sharing simple pleasantries between each other in the elevator? We’re all human beings and, just like elevators, we are dealing with the same ups and downs in life.

Checking in with your fellow man or woman with a pleasant, “Hey, how are you doing?” just out of kindness, is the right thing to do. Or may-be try a friendly joke to lift someone’s spirits. That alone could make someone’s day.

We should be able to empathize with each other. We’re all in college and can all wrap our heads around the fact that life can be tough.

Sometimes a simple “hello” or even a nod of the head along with a smile is all it takes to help turn a bad day around.

Talking with other people is vital to our existence. Where would we be as a people if no one cared about others?

Pg05-Opinion-MelinaIf we think that the best way through life is shunning other human beings and keeping to ourselves, human existence will end miserably. Communication is key.

Engage another person with common courtesies and be polite to your fellow schoolmates. That’s the way to ride an elevator.

You’ve been taught manners. You know what it feels like to struggle through a day only to have a person lift your spirits with a simple gesture. Return the favor. Take yourself out of your own selfish head and share some love, warmth or care.

There’s always the chance that your decision to continue your ill-mannered ways and your eye-rolling attitude might just irritate the wrong person. Maybe a fellow student (not unlike myself) might take offense to your unmannerly attitude.

Perhaps, while you were acting classless and discourteous, you didn’t read the obvious signs that said your elevator-riding classmate has been to prison. Do you know what dirty looks get you in prison? Probably not. You don’t want to know, I promise.

It’s possible this other person, who you’re being rather rude to, has been getting kicked out of gym class since he or she was in grade school because he or she doesn’t play. That person (again, not unlike me on occasion) doesn’t put up with anything rude or disrespectful.

What do you do then? Now that you’re stuck in the elevator with someone who doesn’t take any impolite nonsense? You’ve just found yourself in a tight spot,

haven’t you?

I believe David Allan Coe said it best when he said, “Once the shit goes down, you can’t shake hands with a fist.”

Bryan tries to walk the line … tries really hard.

Pg05-Opinion-Bryan, Paul


3 thoughts on “Mind your space……But mind your manners

  1. I definitely see both sides. Paul did bring up very good points. Being kind is always the way to go.

  2. Ms Casillas will learn that the nicer you are to others the nicer they will be in return. Mr Bryan was right on with his feelings on the importance of communication. A nice smile and hello can be good for the giver as well as the receiver.

  3. Awkward silence on elevators aren’t fun. I agree with Paul, but I understand Melina’s take. At the very least say hello. This doesn’t require much effort. Melina, I’m bothered with those who don’t understand personal space too. You may want to start bringing some gum with to combat awful coffee breath. Thanks for the read.

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