My English Journal 006: close-door button
In business high-rises, at rush hour, commuters line up to squeeze into elevators, hurrying for work. They get in, press the indicators of their floors, the door closes, and shoo, they are gone, or rather, they are thrown into another day of chores.
There is always a man or sometimes a woman WHO would press the close-door button inside the elevator cabin, not letting go of his/her finger until the door shuts people rushing toward it outside. What are you doing?! I would silently yell out every time I saw this happened. Slamming the elevator door on someone’s face instead of holding the door open for them to catch up? I feel so shameful to see that young, sleek and manicured finger and nail on the button. I call this the ‘China-featured closing door’ in an elevator (中国式电梯关门).
An article on sciencealert.com reveals the ‘close-door’ button in elevators are actually not functional at all, meaning, the door will close at its own tempo, pressed or not, in other words, the door won’t be closed faster with a press. I am not sure if this is true, or at least if it is the same with elevators in China, but it seems to be the case that nearly all elevators in Europe has not such buttons installed. I don’t recall having seeing any of them in Germany or the States any way.
Mechanical functionality aside, are we really that hurried that we have to shut others out? Or are they taking some joy in seeing the anxious faces of the late comers through the merciless crack of the closing door? I can’t make it out but I know with every press on the button, we are pushing ourselves further away from civility. Every finger, male or female, is knocking on our feeble conscience.