The SGH Lift ‘Close Door’ Button

We Singaporeans are an impatient lot. Look in any lift in Singapore for the most worn button. J. guarantees it’s ‘Close Door’.

In SGH, this is no exception. Despite 5 visitor lifts and 3 patient lifts, most of which move at a decent pace, people are never satisfied. Until these become instant gratification teleportation devices, people will still jab their thumbs unrelentingly at the close door button.

Generally, these people believe that speed of door closure is directly related to one of 2 factors:

1) Pressure

The moment the door opens a crack on a floor they’re NOT getting off at, their thumbs jams into the Close Door button so ferociously that for a brief moment you worry it’s going to go right through the lift. And they don’t let up until the door is airtight.

2) Repetitions per second

Jab, jab, jab, jab jab jab jabjabjab jajajajajajajajajajaj bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… their hand transforms into an oscillator. These folks believe that the faster they press the door close button, the faster the door will close.

And now, J. will share a secret with all of you. Neither is actually true! These people are subjecting the pulps of their fingers to unnecessary torture!

You see, until the lift door has opened fully, the Close Door button does not work. So the trick is to watch until the exact moment the door retracts out of view and with one swift press of the button, voila! the door closes as fast as can be.

Which is still slower than what everyone hopes for, but hey, what’s best isn’t necessary what’s ideal, eh?


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by CS on October 5, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Actually, 2) is somewhat related. Increasing repetitions per second increases the probability of hitting the button as close to (but after) the moment the door has “opened fully”.

    However, since reading this article I have begun staring disapprovingly at people who jam buttons at traffic lights. (Since the above does not apply here, and once you press the button the traffic light notes your wish to cross the road.)


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