Today I was thinking about the kinds of people I’d never want to be stuck in an elevator with and in order to make my list for this, I needed to work backwards from specific personality flaws (not including the obvious things like racist or homophobic or smelly).
Ultimately I realized that there’s five types of people that I absolutely cannot stand and that I don’t want to be anywhere with, let alone an elevator and I think you’ll agree that these are the types of folks you want to avoid at all costs.
We’re adults and adults plan for their day. I know that I keep extra hair ties and cigarettes and hand lotion in my car and purse because sometimes you need those things and it’s good to have them. I know when I make myself a sandwich that I need to make enough to keep full. I know to keep a bag of almonds nearby because sometimes I’m hungry and it’s a big surprise. But sometimes life sneaks up on you! You forget things once in awhile, you get your period at the moment you least expected it, you didn’t anticipate needing sunblock because you were told you were staying inside all day. I’m all for giving up a tampon or a smoke or whatever it may be in situations like that, no problem. But there are some people who never have anything they need. Ever.
It’s the person who smokes but never brings their own pack. The chick in your office who gets her period on Monday and by Friday has wiped out your tampon stash because she has somehow forgotten that blood is coming out of her vagina every single day for a week. It’s the dude who watches you walk into the kitchen, prepare yourself a snack, and when you return, says, “Oh, I want some of that,” and helps himself.
Guys? Plan ahead, accept that you’re broke and can’t afford something at this time or go without. But do not — I’m serious about this, guys — come to me and ask me for the same thing every single time I see you. It shows that you don’t respect me. It shows that you’re a lazy motherfucker who feels entitled to another person’s property because you don’t take the time to do the thing we all have to do: think before we leave the house. And in an elevator scenario, you do not want to be with a mooch because by the end of it, they will have eaten your Clif Bar, taken all your bobby pins, and bummed a cig for when we all finally get out.
2. The needy
You know what’s disgusting? People who tell you that they love you after the first time you’ve hung out or that they miss you when they’ve only met you once. No, you fucking don’t. You don’t love me, you don’t miss me, you just want to be loved and you want to be missed and you’re taking that out on me. Co-dependence is a disease and I feel sorry for those that live in that state. I’m sure it’s not easy to spend your waking hours texting people you barely know inside jokes and offering to bring them soup because they mentioned they had the sniffles. That sounds exhausting, and like you don’t know how to take care of yourself but instead of learning to do so, you’ll just run around taking care of everybody else. Or maybe you’re just an insincere social climber who is so afraid that your lack of talent will be your downfall that you glom on to those that possess the qualities you wish you had. Being stuck in an elevator with this type of human garbage would be hell because not only would you have to pee, you’d have to deal with an overly vocal people-pleaser who wants your phone number and email so you can all keep in touch once you’re rescued. No thanks.
3. People in their 20s who don’t get that they’re in their 20s
I haven’t been out of my 20s for even an entire year so I’m not an embittered old lady who thinks “the kids” have no respect for the years I’ve lived, but what’s even more obnoxious than a teen who thinks they know everything is a 20-something who thinks they do. Even when I was in my 20s, I knew I had no business writing a memoir. I had no business being the boss. It was not my place to tell anyone who had more practical life experience than me what the deal was. Obviously, I’m perfect, but a lot of people don’t have my sense of self-awareness. I don’t know why more 22 year-olds who complain to the people at work in their 30s and 40s about how hard something is or how they don’t understand why they have to do this menial task that everybody has to do aren’t being backhanded. Just straight up slapped into waking the fuck up and realizing that you are a student of this earth for the rest of your life. If you’ve worn pool shoes to take a shower within a decade of these pointless fucking pieces of wisdom leaving your mouth, they probably shouldn’t be leaving your mouth. Shut up and learn. Read a book. Don’t argue back unless someone is undeniably, without a shadow of the doubt, in the wrong. Save that shit for your fucking Tumblr, not for when the people with the most life experience are trying to get your high, tight little ass out of an elevator.
4. The slow-paced
I don’t know if it’s because I’m from the Northeast or because I worked in news for many years or because I’m a psychopath, but I have no patience for people who cannot keep up. I went to the supermarket to get milk and quarters for laundry a couple weeks ago and by the time I got home, I was ripshit. You see, I went to the Express Lane because I just had the milk, right? And I just wanted quarters, which the cashier usually has a couple rolls of under the drawer. I don’t know about you, but when I’m in the express lane, I feel responsible to the people behind me to move with a certain type of quickness. So I tell him when I put my milk down that I need quarters and he doesn’t really acknowledge this and takes a solid two minutes to pick up my milk, roll it over the scanner and put it on the other side of the conveyer belt. I pay for the milk with my debit card and hand him a 10 for the quarters and he says, “Alright, just one thing at a time now.” And I’m looking at him with my mouth agape like, “What do you mean? We’re done with the milk. I need the quarters. There are six people waiting behind me with frozen dinners and wine and their lives are hard enough, man. Just get the quarters.” So he starts out behind his cashier stand and walks — no, he strolls — over to another cashier and asks for quarters then once she’s retrieved them, hands her my 10 and he starts strolling on back and at this point I’ve broken a sweat. Because no effort is being put in to keep the Express Lane express and that’s just rude to everyone else in line. And he comes over to me and slowly puts the quarters on the little tray in front of me and I’m mortified at this point and he says, “Would you like a bag?” And I’m like, “No no no no no. I’m good, thank you.” And I rush out of the grocery store because what should have been a three-minute errand was now a 10-minute errand and there’s no reason why it needed to be. And this was not a fluke.
There are so many people who find all sorts of ways to burn up time and it drives me nuts. Why? Because I do my best to be as respectful as possible to others. I am aware that my time is not just my time, it’s the world’s time. And the reason why you can’t be trapped in an elevator with a person like this is the same reason why you wouldn’t want to be a firefighter with a person like this. You don’t want you and the rest of your station busting into a burning building, barging through brick and flame to try and save people and put the fire out to be slowed by one dude who’s walking behind the rest of you like, “Okay, let’s just breathe and look at this. We just want to take our time and really figure out what’s going on here.” What’s going on is we’re stuck in an elevator and you need to be on your game.
Much like mooches and the slow-paced, the narcissist doesn’t care about you at all. All they think about is how the situation in affects them. Narcissists (the specific kind I’m talking about) are the type who, upon hearing your bad news, will wait a beat and then say, “But that’s not going to happen to me, right?” In the elevator scenario, you might say, “Shoot, I had a meeting at 4 today across town. I’m probably going to miss it.” To that they would probably reply with something like, “I have a meeting at 5 and it’s next door, but it’s like, the biggest meeting I’ve had in a couple weeks so, that sucks.” Or maybe you’d say, “This blows. My mom just got into town and I don’t have cell reception and she won’t know where I am.” And the narcissist would say, “Well my mom doesn’t even have a cell phone if that makes you feel any better.” It always comes back around to them. No one else is allowed to share a thought or share a feeling because once that narcissist had a thought and had a feeling and surely whatever thought you have or feeling you’re experiencing couldn’t be as bad as it was for them.
Some narcissists know they are narcissists, though. They’ve been told by therapists that they’re self-involved or someone at some point screamed at them during an argument, “You only think about yourself!” and by the third or fourth time that happened, the narcissist has started to put together that there’s a pattern here (because it’s been affecting them, not the people they’ve hurt) so they start to adapt, and find ways to be a narcissist that are slightly less obvious. “If it makes you feel any better” and a quick “That sucks. I know how you feel” are often tagged on to the front or back of their statements to make it seem like it’s not about them but of course it is. Everything is about the narcissist. Being around a person like this is exactly the kind of thing that could break you in a high-stress situation like waiting for help as you’re trapped in an elevator. And you know if they had to save you one-by-one, the narcissist would naturally assume that it should be them that goes first. Well, The Needy can go first to make sure it’s safe, but then them. You were over that 4 o’clock meeting anyway, right?