There's an elevator lobby on the first floor of the library. It has four elevator cars in it, two on one wall, two on the other. They face each other. On each side of the lobby, installed between the two elevator doors for that side, is a button that controls three of the cars. The fourth car is on its own circuit with its own button. I have to go past or through this lobby at least six times a day, and usually on at least one of those passes I witness the following:
Patron, aged twenty-something, probably a student, walks over to one of the elevator buttons and presses it. It lights up. So does the one on the other wall. Patron then stands facing the elevators doors that flank the button he just pushed and waits for the car to come.
A car arrives, but on the other side of the lobby (which is maybe 15 feet wide). The elevator goes "Ding!" The lights on the call buttons go out. The patron looks up, looks left and right at the closed doors in front of him, puzzled. The door of the car on the other side of the room starts to close. Still looking at the doors in front of him, the patron hits the button again. Door on the car across the lobby flies open again. Elevator goes "Ding!" Light goes out.
Button. "Ding!" Button. "Ding!" Button. "Ding!"
Oh, for the love of....
"It's behind you!" I call as I walk past. I swear, sometimes I feel like I'm living in a British panto.
Patron turns around, sprints to the waiting elevator, gets in just before the door closes. Another twenty-something patron comes into the lobby, presses the button for the elevator, and stands facing the doors that flank the button she just pushed...
Future of the world, these kids. I don't mind admitting that sometimes I'm a little scared.