Am I The Asshole for Asking Somebody Else in My Apartment Block Not to Get in The Elevator with Me?

On my way out of my apartment block this evening, the lift stopped on the floor below me where there was another resident waiting.

My girlfriend and I asked this person if they would be okay to wait for us to send the lift back up (5 floors, probably 40 seconds wait in total).

The person tried to barge into the lift saying "for god's sake are you serious?" before changing their mind, telling us to "B*****r off" and then they took the stairs.

Is this a reasonable request on my part? Would you do the same in this situation? I'm not a hypochondriac but I have been pretty careful in keeping my distance and reducing the risk. It'd be daft to then enter a confined space with someone.

Context - lift is approx 1.5m x 1.5m, space enough for about 4 people pre social distancing.

Poll Options

  • 72
    Unreasonable Request, Let Them In
  • 6
    Let Them In But Go Back To Back
  • 298
    Fair Request, Ask Them Politely To Wait
  • 841
    You Should Get Out, Let Them Go Down and Ask They Send It Back Up

Comments

  • +2

    Typical Australian aggressive rage reaction by person trying to enter.

    Probably on way to get grog or cigarettes so was a big ask.

    Any reasonable person would have said " no problem" and waited.

  • +4

    I am with you OP. Luckily, our strata is very active and occupants are reasonable.
    There is a notice in the lift to state that please wait for the lift to return in case it is already occupied.
    The lifts are reasonably big.
    Also, the strata are also located on the ground floor, and are usually very responsive.

  • +2

    Tell them you've just gotten off a cruise ship, see if they still want to get on the lift with you.

  • +2

    Gatherings are restricted to no more than 2 people so the person trying to get into the lift was acting illegally by trying to create a gathering of more than 2. Nothing wrong with just saying "Sorry lift is full, already 2 people here." The message should be reinforced by the building managers putting a sign on the lift stating "Max 2 people in the lift." Then everyone is made aware of the rule and there's no argument.

  • -1

    Spray them in the face with hand sanitizer, then continue to use the elevator without them.

  • +8

    Strange poll results, had to log in just to vote, seems like a completely reasonable request and also your building manager/strata are remiss. Some really dumb comments in this thread, calculating probabilities etc, if everyone had those attitudes we would be screwed.

    • +1

      I agree.. I reckon people have just been voting based off the first few comments they read without bothering to properly understand the OP.

      How is someone who requests someone else do something but is rejected aggressively the (profanity)?

  • +2

    I don't get it. I see signs saying "No more than 2 people to use lifts at once" at heaps of lifts, even large ones. Does the sign then make it okay for me to stay on the lift and ask others trying to get on from other floors (if number is exceeded) to take the next one, whereas if there's no sign then I'm overreacting and I should get off since I'm the one who's so concerned?

  • In our apt block someone put a poster in the elevator that there can only be 3 people in the elevator at the same time.
    Saying that our elevator is probably smaller somewhere around 1.5 x 1.2m and there is no way 3 people can to be in there and follow current distancing rule.
    If you are worried, just hang a poster (with a sigh that has number of people, you can download those from various health websites) inside the elevator and some people would understand.
    Of course there would always be others who wouldn’t care :)

  • You should wear some gloves and a mask and yell “I’m in quarantine don’t come any closer”. See if they still want to enter that lift (happened to someone I know).

    On a serious note you did the right thing - the lift had its max number of occupancy as per governments current social distancing rules - which means they have to wait. But for future your lift needs a sign so you should bring this up with those in charge to organise it as you can’t argue logic with some and it’s not worth the trouble

    • Wear a mask, and if the lift stops and opens, just let off a cough at that time … problem solved!

  • +2

    OP can make a request but can't force anyone.

    • -1

      He can probably (couldn't be arsed looking at the social-distancing legislation around the country to see if powers of arrest are confined to police) make a citizen's arrest. He'd need to deploy reasonable force though, and inform any lift-invader of the reason s/he is being detained.

      • OK neggers, I'm a lawyer. Are either of you?

        • +1

          That's at least one "no", then.

  • +2

    you were in it before them, you get to stay. Seriously they shouldnt even want to be in that small lift with anyone outside their bubble.
    noone in my apartment want to be in the same lift and they are kind enough to wait for the next lift.

    maybe ask building manager to put up a sign?

  • +5

    The reason we don't have a thousand people dying of coronavirus every day is because most decent people try to follow the social distancing laws.

    However, there's always a few…. "not my problem mate"… "she'll be right mate" types who think they know better.

    • +8

      Bondi Millennial ?

      • Probably still sat on the beach

  • +17

    Oh good. Only maybe 20% of Ozbargainers understand how social distancing works.

    Only one at a time in the elevator at many workplaces and in shopping centers etc. Social distancing means you can't have people crammed into tight quarters if there is another option.

    Clearly we're beating this pandemic (so far) in Australia with dumb luck.

  • +8

    I don't get into the elevator if someone else is already in it and I don't expect others to get in when I'm in it. That's my view and I'm sticking to it.

  • +2

    How come we can't down vote forum posts?

  • +13

    Hoarders, Bondi beach-goers, coughing and spitting at police, medical practitioners etc…the result of this survey doesn't surprise me. There is a virus out there, and it's called "self-interest".

  • +4

    The poll needs a fifth option.

    Seeing two people already in the lift, the neighbour should have stood back and just asked that you send it back for him.

  • +6

    My apartment building already enforced a 2 person per lift rule, it's sensible.

  • +3

    You did the right thing, if it's the size you say only 1 person can be in it unless from the same household.

  • +1

    If there would be at least 1.5m of space between each lift passenger, then you're in the wrong as that's a reasonable amount of space.

    If there wouldn't be 1.5m of space between each lift passenger, then you're in the right and it'd also be unlawful and dangerous.

    There's not much else to it.

  • -2

    Why can't you take the stairs?

    • +5

      Answered this a couple of times. We have used the stairs on all other occasions. This time we were carrying to much stuff to take the stairs, so used the lift

  • Covid-19 can last for 72 hours on stainless steel. If someone in your building has it, then you have it.

    • +2

      Not if you wash your hands with soap and hot water

  • +6

    The Government has requested that we all try to maintain social distancing wherever possible. OP's neighbour is the A/H for acting against the Government's wishes and expecting the OP to be OK with this rather than waiting 30 seconds for the elevator to go down, let the OP out then come back up.

  • Spiderman would not concern too much as he would stick to the ceiling of the lift to comply with 1.5m distance. I guess the height of the lifet inside should be more than 2 metres.

    BTW the other person's reaction could be seen as neutral - a lot of people would react this way. No hard feelings bro.

    • -1

      Bruce Willis wouldn't be concerned either, he'd just be standing on top in the elevator shaft.

  • +6

    I think it's a fair request; a scenario that I had not thought of, probably because I don't live in an apartment block. These are government directives so neither party is the arsehole. These are strange times for all of us, so some understanding and respect is required from everyone. It's not clear cut so you're not an arsehole, provided you were polite, respectful and tactful about it.

    I don't think you should have to get out and let them in; it should be first in first served.
    However if the other person fails to comply with your request (then they are the arsehole), what else can you do but vacate to maintain the distancing.

    I disagree with the probabilities argument invalidating your concern for social distancing. Like others have said, if its just a small probability and everyone disregarded distancing, it would most surely become a high probability very quickly.

  • +1

    Local Westfield literally has signs saying maximum 1 person per elevator at a time (Although I'm sure if you're in the same household it'll be fine).

  • +4

    I think it's a fair request given the current situation. We are not in normal times

    • +5

      This pseudo medical babble is dangerous.

      It was a simple question he asked, not inviting amateur medical advice.

  • +3

    Just remind complacent assholes when stuff like this happens
    https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/12/nba-player-mocked-coronavirus...

    • +2

      Yes the government of Morrison and Dutton certainly look like they have the intelligence to pull off such an evil scheme

  • +1

    I dont want to scare you. Even if you are 5 meter away from the infected person, you might have a chance to catch the virus.

  • +4

    These aren’t normal circumstances, you’re asking him to abide by government issued social distancing policies.

    He inevitably would be aware of this and his initial reaction would have been a reflex

    • +6

      Yet it's worrying the majority of people on here think it's unreasonable

      • +4

        OzBargain showing that it's no different to the majority of Australians. She'll be right mate.

  • +2

    Put a notice in the lift to allow only 2 people at a time, we have done it and it works

  • +3

    NTA

    Completely reasonable request at this time

  • +5

    Wrong forum to post they don’t get it on Ozbargain and just jump down your throat. Seeing the votes and some comments, most don’t understand why you are asking - social distancing. It was a fair request!!

  • +5

    NTA. You're first. They should wait. One covid sneeze in a lift and it's over for everyone inside.

  • +8

    what I learned today is most people on ozbargin are selfish

    This is a rule now. Max two people per lift.

    The op was already first. Why should he get out? The person getting in is disobeying. Why is the OP at fault

    Get a grip

    • +3

      The first commenter has more than 300 net positive votes. Crazy stuff!

      On the other hand, Option 3's tally was at one stage less than 25% of Option 4's tally. Now more than 37%. There is hope.

    • I think it's a bit more nuanced going by the poll options. The topic basically asked separate questions (one being "am I the a-hole", and the other "what should I have done") in a way that's muddied things a bit. Those voting for the winning poll option may agree that the OP should have got out of the lift, but disagree on the reason for doing so.

      • +1

        The OP and his girlfriend should definately get out so I don't have to wait. I would rather have the 1.5m x 1.5m space all to myself.

        However if I was in the elevator first "sorry OP, no room" he'd have to wait.

        If the poll question was "what would you do…"

        Let them in.
        Ask them to wait.
        or
        Get out.

        It would be a different result, I don't think 2/3 of people would get out of an elevator at the next floor on the way down for someone else to get in.

    • OP didn't need to take his Mrs with him to take rubbish out when your using a lift that your other neighbours will most likely be using as it's garbage night.
      He and his partner were being selfish taking up the lift so they could take rubbish out together.
      Like your passion about the rules but most should have common sense.

  • why dont you just use the stairs or wear mask in elevator?

    • +1

      Similar to asking a gunman not to shoot you and he replies "why don't you wear a bloody bullet proof vest if you don't wanna die mate, ya flamin' galah"

  • +2

    How dare you deny the Laymen access to the elevator - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXB3Hj1k8js

  • +2

    Next time take some large furniture or a bunch of boxes up and down the elevator with you so there is no room in there for anyone else.

  • +6

    They are bloody stupid. Well done op

  • +11

    Wow. Incredibly disappointing results of the poll. You did absolutely the right thing OP, can’t believe the top comment on this forum is so ridiculous. This is why I’m self isolating, the general public are absolute morons.

  • +3

    Many buildings have determined this as a COVID-19 rule… Like one or two passengers maximum, families excepted. I think that's not only reasonable but should be a rule if we have official social distancing rules saying we should be 1.5m distant… There is no point in being distant all the time and then you share the lift with 1+ people… That'd be ridiculous.

  • +2

    That's an $11000 fine and a threat to National Bio-security, you did the right thing.

  • -1

    Poll option 5: take the rubbish out by yourself and the other person can enter the lift and take their rubbish out also.

  • -2

    LoL, evertyhing you touched is infected anyway.

  • -3

    Yes that is pathetic. Use the stairs or let them take the elevator and wait for the next one if you want to be an obnoxious snob.

  • -2

    Imo.

    It was inconsiderate of you to take the garbage out with your girlfriend. You have hogged the lift.

    You should have taken two trips if you had more garbage than one person can carry.

    • +1

      Please read other replies for more context. We were taking it out on the way to do grocery shopping

        • +3

          I think you would benefit from a reality check if politely requesting something makes somebody a tosser

      • Why do you both need to go grocery shopping?

  • OP, what do you on the stairs of someone is coming the other way? Run away? Pass them? What?

    Why didn't you take the rubbish down the stairs? Or do 2 or 3 trips?

    We also do not know how you said what you said, but only what you are claiming you said and in what manner after the fact.

    • If someone was coming on the stairs, I'd try and pass quickly on a landing where there's more space.

      Not practical to split into multiple trips - its one big bin bag and one big recycling box. Also hadn't anticipated the situation in a quiet apartment block.

      Fair point, it's my rendition of the story. Done my best to portray things accurately and reasonably confident it was said in a polite tone in a non confrontational manner.

  • Did you and/or your girlfriend position yourselves or alter your stances to make it difficult for the resident to enter the lift?

    Or did you simply hold your ground?