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I realize that there are some instances when people need to take the elevator to only go a couple floors — like, if they are in wheelchairs or have some sort of foot/ankle/knee injury. Taking the elevator is also acceptable if there are no nearby stairs. However …

About a week ago I was on the sixth floor of Baker getting some papers I printed off on Bricks, and on the way back down two girls got on at the fifth floor and off at the fourth. I don’t care if you live right next to the elevator … the stairs are not that far, and a normal healthy person never needs to take an elevator to go down one story! Later that same day, I saw my friend crutch up three flights of stairs because she didn’t want to go all the way down the hall to the elevator. It shouldn’t be possible to live in a world where an injured person is willing to rough it up the stairs for three floors and two completely normal people need an elevator to get down one.

One of my latest elevator experience takes the cake, though. I normally don’t take the elevator up to my room because I only live on the third floor … but I was coming back from helping my friends move into their new apartment, so I felt justified in taking the elevator after having hauled boxes and mattresses and whatnot from the UHaul upstairs to the apartment. Usually I hate taking the elevator with other people, because invariably they live on the fifth or sixth floors, and I feel like a jerk being on the elevator to only go up to the third. So, when another girl got on the elevator with me, I was preparing for my inward cringe of guilt when the girl leaned over and pressed number one. She was taking the elevator from the lobby to the first floor. What the hell??

For those of you not familiar with my dormitory, the ground floor, lobby, and first floors are split levels. That is, the ground floor is directly beneath the first floor, and the lobby is in between. There are something like seven stairs between the lobby and the first floor … it’s half a freaking flight, you can see the first floor from the lobby. This girl was not in a wheelchair or on crutches or injured or disabled in any visible manner. She walked normally. She was not carrying anything heavy or unwieldy. She had what appeared to be a mostly empty backpack, and that was it. She didn’t even so much as limp for my benefit! I didn’t say anything, although I very much wish I had … I didn’t recover from the shock quickly enough to get any words out before she stepped off the elevator. I don’t think the elevator even had time to reach its cruising velocity before it had to slow to a stop.

I tried to think of a scenario that could explain this girl’s behavior. Maybe she’s a freshman and didn’t know … only the freshmen have been here for ages, and anyway if you’re an MIT student, you should be able to figure out that the first floor is pretty close to ground. Maybe she was visiting someone … I mean, she piggybacked behind me on the way in: there was no card-swipage. But if you were visiting someone who lived on the first floor … why would you head to the elevator? So the only conclusion I could possibly come to was that this girl is, in fact, the laziest person in the history of the universe. Or, possibly, insane.

In summation, seriously, stairs won’t kill you. Take them if you’re only going up a floor. It should go without saying that going down stairs takes very little effort at all … and if you are going to decide to be ridiculously lazy and end up sharing the elevator with other, less lazy people, fake a limp or something for our benefit. Even if we probably will realize that you faked it, it shows that you are conscious of your actions and perhaps feel a little guilty for having taken up our time.

—Clara Bennett ’10

Are you angry or pleased with something you see around you? Write to “Rants & Raves” at cl@tech.mit.edu.