It’s amazing that even after 5 years of living here culture shock can still sneak up on you. I did think that I had got used to things but then again, I’ve never worked in a tall building before.
Since I began working on the 11th floor I have noticed something rather disturbing about Japanese lift etiquette. People are rather obsessed with the door open button. What I was used to back in the UK was standing at the back of the lift and when I got to my floor I would wait for people to file out and then exit myself. Or I would say excuse me and make my way out. The doors of any lift I entered would generally allow the time for this and there was not a problem to be had.
Here though is a different story. Who ever is nearest the buttons will generally hold the open door button and wait for me to leave. This is all well and good but generally I’m waiting behind them, waiting for them to walk out the door. Often our eyes would meet and I would eventually walk out apologising and feeling a bit weird. Now I have decided not to budge and wait for them to leave.
When in Rome do as I do.
I have good reason for this obstinance, generally the person holding the door open will be directly in my path meaning I would have to maneuver about skillfully to get past them, rather than just following them out. Most ridiculously is the situation that occurs when the person at the buttons assumes you want to get off at the same floor as them. They waste time staring at you for a while before you have to let them know they this ain’t my stop.
The worst thing about it all though is that THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO NEED TO PRESS THAT BUTTON! In general a lift gives you enough time for everyone to leave it. Sure you could say that they are trying to be polite by holding the doors open for you but if that is the case why doesn’t anyone open normal door for people here? The only reason you should ever need to press that open door button is to let someone onto the lift who didn’t quite get there on time.
Japan, stop delaying my lift by holding the doors open for people who do not wish to get off!