Many of us feel the need to be overly cordial with old coworkers we encounter in the elevator, and it's usually out of guilt. It's harsh to say, but it's doubtful we'd even notice if they croaked over unless we read it in the obituaries. It's not necessary to guilt yourself into pointless small talk. Just smile and say hello.
* * * Peter Mandel is the author of the read-aloud bestseller Jackhammer Sam (Macmillan/Roaring Brook) and other books for
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Stop the insanity. There are other elevators. Wait for the next one, just like we waited for this one. Or climb out of bed a little earlier. Spend a little less time in front of the mirror. Lay out your clothes the night before. Stop staring at the Internet and get moving. Whatever it takes to arrive at this elevator before the doors begin to close.
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Anyone who visits department stores, shopping malls or lives in a metropolitan city encounters the ups and downs of elevators and escalators in office buildings, subways, and the like. Refresh yourself with these rules of common courtesy.