Q: Are there any guidelines or rules for riding elevators in condos and apartments? What about escalators? I always feel confused and bumbling...

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Q: Are there any guidelines or rules for riding elevators in condos and apartments? What about escalators? I always feel confused and bumbling.

A: A lot of unnecessary and annoying displays of “good manners” occur in elevators. When you think about it, good manners boil down to common sense combined with kindness.

Here’s how that plays out in elevator etiquette:

• Do not maneuver around so that someone else can be the first one to get on or off.

• If you are among the first to enter on the ground floor and will be getting off soon, stand in the corner near the door and let others fill in the space behind you.

• If you are in the front and others need to exit before you, step out at stops, hold your hand on the door to prevent it from closing and reboard after others have gotten off.

• If you are at the control panel, press the hold button to keep the doors open until everyone is aboard, then ask people to call out their floors so you can press the floor buttons for them.

• Just stand there. You don’t have to make conversation. Don’t remove your hat, coat or gloves because you might bump others.

Escalator etiquette: Keep moving!

Keep to the right so others who want to move ahead of you can get by easily. If you want to pass someone, say, “excuse me” and move along. Make sure you don’t clobber others with shopping bags, backpacks, purses or other gear.

When you reach the top of the escalator, move away quickly. Passenger pile-ups are irritating and dangerous.

This is all about thinking about what it’s like to walk in the other person’s shoes. When we can train ourselves to take just a moment to think about someone other than ourselves, we make the world a far more civilized place.

Mary Mitchell is a Seattle-based corporate trainer and author. E-mail questions about home etiquette manners while enter to Mary@themitchell.org. Sorry, no personal replies.