This evening, circa 7 p.m. EDT, I got into the slow-as-molasses elevator in my office building and began my post-work descent. There was already one woman in there, and on the fourth floor, a perfectly reasonable-looking gentleman joined us. He looked at us, smiled, nodded, then pressed the ground floor button, even though its illuminated appearance indicated it had already been pressed.
I have seen other eleavtor riders do this and always find it chuckle-worthy. What was going through this guy’s head? Does some random OCD force him to apply pressure to every surface that bears the image of a 1? If I followed him to the subway, would I see him pushing the sign for the 1 train? Does he molest all 2-in-1 packages at the supermarket? Maybe he thought we had forgotten to press the button ourselves, and that the 1 button just happened to be brighter than the others. Did he think we had pressed it, but had not done so properly? Was it really possible to screw up that task? Was he demonstrating a special button-pressing technique? Perhaps he had appeared on “Elevating With the Stars” or was about to compete in a press-off or press-a-thon. Bottom line, it was weird and mockable.