Social Question

Haroot's avatar

Term for meeting more people near elevators?

Asked by Haroot (2113points) June 9th, 2010 from iPhone

So recently I’ve been dorming. I had to move from a rather isolated dorm near the hall end to a dorm next to the buildings elevator. Ive realized that since I’ve moved dorms, my new positioning has lead me to meet a lot of new people (in comparison to my old dorm.)

I’ve been told there’s a (psychological?) term for this. Not just elevators of course but public areas like bathrooms, water fountains, etc…

I guess my true question is what that term is, but for the sake of making it a decent fluther question just a general discussion about it. Have you experienced this? How had it affected you? I know I’m now much more social then I once was. Being forced to me social worked on me.

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37 Answers

Jeremycw1's avatar

Those areas are like a ‘hot spot’ of socializing. I guess that’s what I would call it. A social hot spot. Or a common meeting place. I don’t know of a specific term, but I can think of a few describing words that would work.

chyna's avatar

Greeter? On no, wait that is Walmart, sorry.

janbb's avatar


Jeremycw1's avatar

@janbb that seems appropriate lol

CMaz's avatar

Lift gathering.

Cruiser's avatar

It’s called barricading and not nice to do….you really should let them go by peacefully!

kevbo's avatar

I would call it “clustering.”

gailcalled's avatar

Escalating. (Dorming?)

janbb's avatar

Meet-ups or conversely meet-downs?

ucme's avatar

Storey tellers.

zenele's avatar

I tried to find some rhymes for this term, as the English language usually does this well, and it’s a great way to remember something:

Elevator dater baiter (social)
Elevator validator (office chat)
Elevator deviator (malicious gossip)

Then I went for the British English:

Lift drift (chat)
Lift sift (office talk)
Lift miffed (bad date chat)

I had so much fun with that, I tried it with the classic “water cooler”

Water Cooler drooler (date talk)
Water Cooler dueler (fight talk)
Water Cooler Hallelujah (TGIF)


Kayak8's avatar

@UCME Loved it!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Going up or, going down.

mattbrowne's avatar

@zenele – Great poem !

gailcalled's avatar

Thirst quenching

zenele's avatar

@mattbrowne Thanks. It’s always easier to remember things in language musically, or in the very least by rhyming – stupid cupid popped into my head as an example, so I tried to come up with some for “elevator banter”. It wasn’t as easy as I thought to rhyme elevator and still make sense (I don’t think I hit the nail on the head each time) but it was a great exercise.


Jeruba's avatar

Interesting that there’s a name for this phenomenon. I’d like to know what it is too. Not that @zenele and others haven’t already covered the possibilities…but serious students of human behavior often come up with surprisingly humorless labels for things.

It makes sense that those are places for casual conversation and hence for making acquaintance. Printers and copying machines at the office have the same effect, and to a lesser extent places like grocery store checkout lines and bank queues, bus stops and airport waiting areas. The semipublic places that indicate you’re on actual common ground are more reassuring and “safe” than a wide-open sidewalk or supermarket.

You’re there for a purpose, a known and probably common purpose. By its nature you’re there for only a short time. Under those circumstances it is both awkward to ignore the other person as if they didn’t exist AND safe to make a casual remark because the encounter will necessarily be brief. Soon you’ll be on your way. But if you want to make more of it, the possibility exists in some form.

A variant of this is the elevator speech. A writer is encouraged to have a 25-work version of her novel synopsis ready to spout should she find herself in an elevator with a hot agent for one minute.

zenele's avatar

Very cool about the “elevator speech” term.

Jeruba's avatar

… a 25-word version of her novel synopsis…

The_Idler's avatar

Thanks for including the British in your attempts to define the phenomenon, @zenele, but you may as well not bother; people do not talk to strangers in public here. And when the American gets on the bus or joins a queue and attempts to strike up a conversation, eyebrows raised all-round… รต.O

zenele's avatar

@The_Idler I’m still not talking to you.

chyna's avatar

@zenele Don’t hate.

The_Idler's avatar

Hey, I wish it weren’t so. England is grumpy.

In fact, I’m leaving.

zenele's avatar

I didn’t say I hate. I said I’m not talking to him. And I used the @The_Idler to tell him I wasn’t talking to him. And he knows why.

The_Idler's avatar

Oh yeah, because I’m the incredible Pro-Israel Anti-Semite.

I’m not an anti-Semite, by the way, because I don’t hate or oppress Jews, or consider them to be fundamentally different from anyone else…

But I do think they’ve had disproportionate influence on US foreign policy.
And I didn’t ever say there was anything “wrong” with that.

But fine… let’s not talk about it here.
Just pretend I don’t exist, no need to provoke, is there?

zenele's avatar

Actually, I thought it was rather funny to say to you that I’m not talking to you. Chyna was either kidding, or misunderstood. I tried to again show how ironic it was that I had directed my reply to you, saying I am not talking to you.

But I didn’t want to hijack this lovely thread about language – and turn it into another anti-Israel, Jews are my friends, I am happy they have influence and control the media but I am not an anti-semite thread.

I am not ignoring you. I was joking. Now I am simply getting worked up because you have reminded me.

You are young. Very young. If all your awards and credentials that you flaunt on your profile are correct – then perhaps you are clever. Book smart.

EQ is something else.

Don’t take my word for it, and I know I won’t make an Israel lover out of you – or anyone else. But you should read what Matt said in the Israel thread; there is a way to disagree with policy, and politics, of a government – especially a democracy, without being anti-anything. If you truly “have nothing against the Jews” – then why keep mentioning them?

Imagine if every time someone objected to something the crown did, or the Uk or US policy abroad – say, Iraq or Afghanistan – and they kept saying the Christians this and that – it would be insulting, and annoying. Especially as I am quite secular.

I am also angry with Israel’s policies and I am upset about the loss of life. Any life. Can we agree to disagree and move on?

chyna's avatar

@zenele I, of course, was kidding.

The_Idler's avatar

Like I said, and as is evident from the original thread, I was pro-Israel in this instance.

You said “he knows why”, and I wondered why.

The relationship between Christianity and the USA can hardly be compared to that between Judaism and Israel, not that my comments about the Jewish people – which were ignorant at worst – had anything to do with my comments about the actions of Israel, which I supported, anyway.

What were we disagreeing about again? Oh yeah, Israel’s policies.

Apologies for not mincing my words, maybe I’ll grow out of it.

Kayak8's avatar

Thank goodness we have the social category of questions to allow this type of rich dialogue. It seems it might be best for me to discuss what you call a group of people having an argument in the vicinity of an elevator. I would have to call it a host of those HOISTING on their own petard.

Kayak8's avatar

No, petard!

mattbrowne's avatar

@The_Idler – I observe similar patterns between the American religious right influencing the Bush administration and ultra-orthodox Jews influencing conservative Israeli politicians. Don’t you? I think religious fundamentalists with (hidden) political agendas are a problem in any country.

Kayak8's avatar

Regards . . .

zenele's avatar


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