June 22, 2011

Waiting for the Elevator Makes Me Anxious

Photograph from Flickr, by Jeff Tabaco

While some people may have anxiety about being trapped on an elevator, sometimes I have anxiety about waiting for an elevator by myself.

I noticed, while at the HLAA Convention in DC, that I have this anxiety. I never really noticed it before. It has been a while since I was required to take the elevator several times a day, as I went back and forth to my room and the events being held at the hotel.

When there are several elevators, on both sides of the foyer (like in the picture above), it is hard for me to know which one will open if I can't see all of them, because I have trouble hearing the high pitch 'ding.' Sometimes I can hear it, but I worry that I will not hear it and will miss the elevator. I know I can't hear the doors opening, unless I was concentrating super hard. Listening for the little 'ding' sound and perhaps the door opening is stressful. Me constantly looking around at the elevators, looking for the light to come on and to see which one will open is annoying.

What I usually end up doing is wait at the end of the hall of elevators, so that I am able to see all of them. This way I don't have to look around for the light and doors opening.

Anyone else feel the same? Or is it just me?


*By the way, I will be writing about my experiences at the HLAA Convention when I get back home from visiting my family in Virginia. I still have not fully recovered from all of the excitement. You can read about my experiences at the HLAA Convention blog.


  1. don't they have lights and arrows? I can always tell which one will open. I look at the arrows to see which is going up or going down. if the elevator signal have floor numbers and it is going down tiward near my floor..it is more likely that elvator.If not it is the other next "going down" elevator.

    when in a doubt, i take the stairs. good exercise

  2. Yes, they have lights and arrows, but my problem is, if I am standing within the hallway of elevators, I don't have a good view of everything. I will have to constantly look around for the lights or arrows. Instead, I stand at the end of the hallway, to have a better view.

    Stairs can be a good option, but I can be pretty clumsy, so I have anxiety about taking stairs as well.

  3. must be a huge hallway

  4. I can remember approaching an elevator in a small building, pressing the button, which lights up, then getting frustrated when it turned off without the elevator doors opening. I did this several times before turning around to look for the stairs. Lo and behold there was one right behind me that had apparently been opening each time! Oops!

  5. 12:05 Anonymous: LOL. I have done that before! Now, I don't feel so stupid or crazy anymore.

  6. nah, you are not crazy, I am saying it must be a huge hallway (or have so many elevators) for you to try to keep up with so many of them visually. around here, the average elevators in hospitals is six (three on each side) and they typically show which floor level the elevator is on and if it is going up or down.

  7. (e I do exactly the same - position myself so I can watch all the indicator lights at once. And then worry that the one furtherest away will open and I might not reach it in time...

  8. This made me crazy at work, too, when it was in a building with elevators on both sides of the foyer. I would watch the button intently and when it went off, quickly look around and sprint for it. Sometimes it was a dizzy-making moment. Watching from the end doesn't work because the far doors were out of view, being deep-set.

    The ADA accessibility guidelines hasn't made rules for elevators yet. They could work for more than just Deaf people--the elderly, mothers with strollers, wheelchair riders, people with heavy carts--that aren't quick enough even though they can hear the beep.

  9. Judy, No one should have to try and sprint and make it before the doors close. I find myself doing the same when it is the furthest door! Not very safe.

    Dinarez, it can be a dizzy-making moment. And you are right that watching from the end is not always effective.

    I hope we can come up with some ideas of how to make elevators more accessible for all.

  10. On both sides of the foyer--good way to describe it. Was trying to find the words to describe this. Thanks, Dianrez.

  11. I HAD THIS SAME PROBLEM! I thought i was loosing my mind for the first time but then I realized It was my first time away with my implant and I was able to hear the Ding without anyone AROUND though.

  12. by the way it was such a big hallway!

  13. I'm not deaf myself, but I do have some hearing loss in the upper registers, where those -ding!- sounds are usually located. I always stare at the elevator call button - when its' light goes out, I know an elevator has opened!


Keep it civil.