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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dear Patent: How do I handle small talk with people in the elevator?

Small talk is hard sometimes. You get in an elevator with someone, and instead of riding in comfortable silence, the other person feels the need to flap their mouth at you and create an awkward situation.

How do you handle this??

Well, you could go the usual way and respond to their questions politely, talking about the weather and what day of the week it is until you reach your floor. 


If they say "good morning!", respond with "WHAT'S SO GOOD ABOUT IT"

Make sure you say it in a really aggressive tone. This will throw them off and put them on the defensive, giving you the upper hand.

It's important to establish dominance in all elevator conversations, and this surefire knock-em-on-their-ass response will make you the Elevator Alpha from now until forever. Next time you see this person, they'll pretend they forgot something in their car just to avoid getting into an elevator with you. Success.

If they say anything about the weather, pretend to have no idea what they're talking about

Once again, this will go a long way towards establishing your dominance. The person you're talking to may even question their sanity for a moment.

Of course, in the end it's going to be your sanity that's called into question, but that's neither here nor there. Dominance: you have it.

If they mention your appearance in any way (especially complimentary), act like you think they're being passive aggressive and rude

Really, we should all do this every time coworkers say anything about our appearance, ever. (I've blogged before about how annoying that is)

It might teach them to knock it off.

If they ask "how are you?", launch into a soliloquy about the torture chamber that is your life

The trick is to end the story the instant you arrive at your floor, leaving your conversation partner absolutely bewildered but with no time to respond or ask follow-up questions to the crazy yarn you've woven for them:

Coworker: "Morning! How are you?"

You: "Ugh. Not too hot, honestly. Just found out my sister is pregnant -- again -- and of course this one has a different father than the other three. I'm trying to be happy for her, but really, it's just twisting the knife. You see, the wife and I have been trying to conceive for years now, but with my low sperm count and her hostile womb, it's just been an exercise in futility. And there goes Estelle again, getting knocked up by some guy she met on the internet after like three weeks. It's so unfair. How's a person to believe in God when every day I'm forced to eat a shit sandwich like this? I used to be a practicing Methodist, but nowadays I'm leaning more and more towards atheism. Not that believing or not believing in God is going to suddenly put some swimmers in my testicles. And of course I forgot to bring my lunch this morning, because of course I did, so nothing but the pretzels in the break room for me. Boy, can you believe my luck? Anyway, here's my floor so I'll see you later!"

100% guarantee that that person will never get on an elevator with you again.

And of course, if any of the above ideas don't work, you could always just unapologetically fart in there.

Nobody wants to take the elevator with the farter.



  1. in regards to establishing dominance: would peeing on the other person in the elevator also work?

  2. HA! Love this post. Especially the last one.