I don’t understand people who take the elevator one level

Why stairs are the key to understanding business success!

Why stairs are the key to understanding business success!

Since March of 2014, I’ve lived on the seventh floor of a mid-rise. And living in an building of this size, we’ve no doubt seen all kinds of unique behavior.

But nothing puzzles me more than the person who takes the elevator just one level.

Especially one level DOWN…


[Look...if you are disabled and thus otherwise unable to take the stairs, this post isn't targeted at you. Obviously...]

But I just don’t understand it.

I’ve written about this before, but I see this same phenomenon in the parking garage of the building that houses my radio studio as well:

In a seven-floor parking garage, 94% of the cars parking there compete for the few limited spots on the first two floors. Making people stacked up behind them wait ten minutes for a coveted spot on the prized first level corridor to come open.

Never mind that on the third level, most of the parking spaces are wide open. Are people just that lazy that they don’t want to deal with taking an extra thirty seconds to go up an extra level?

Honestly, if I was in recruiting, this is how I’d make my hiring decisions.

I’d monitor all my prospects arriving for their job interview, and those that went to the upper levels to get claim the wide open parking spaces and take the stairs down a COUPLE OF FLOORS, would get the gig…

…Over the candidates who sat, waited, stressed, and cursed the fierce competition for the one or two spots that might come open on the first level.

I wouldn’t even make them come inside and interview. I’d say, “Hey you, you are five minutes late for your interview already because you were waiting for that one spot. Turn around. Go home. Don’t waste my time.”

I’d be thinking:

“If you do that, I can’t imagine how that attitude translates to other ways you’d interact with my company…”

As in:

These are the people who stare at the clock until it hits 5PM.
These are the people who wait for permission to take even the slightest of initiative.
These are the people who follow the sales call script.
These are the people who cut and paste.
These are the people who don’t take the time to be original.
These are the people who complain in staff meetings.
These are the people who do the bare minimum with regards to sales prospects.
These are the people who bitch when the sales manager is wondering why they are short of quota.
These are the people who hoard the office supplies.
These are the people who are walking to lunch at 11:59AM.
These are the people who ask about raises, rather than earning them.
These are the people who max out their sick leave.
These are the people who follow the job description to the letter.
These are the people who actually read the office manual, not to be a good employee, but to learn how to take advantage of the system.
These are the people who grab the free perk of the office smart phone, not to communicate with customers, but to brag at happy hour. At 5:02PM, btw…

No, I can tell a lot about the people who take the elevator one level. These are not the kinds of people I want in my world.

No, I want the gal walking down six flights of stairs. Smiling. And whistling. With that mischievous look that she knows something the schmucks on levels one and two don’t know.

Those are the free spirits that I want in my world…


If you park on the upper levels and take the stairs, SIGN-UP FOR MY LIST HERE.

  • Gareth Young

    Another good one, Mr. Schnick. You are on fire!

  • brian switzer

    I live in the amid the corn and soybeans, where most buildings have one floor. My version of your post is people who wait ten cars deep in the fast food restaurant drive through. I see them when I stop for a burger or a sweet tea- ten, fifteen cars wrapped clear around the building, all waiting impatiently for their turn at the speaker. Most all of them are still there as I leave.burger in hand. It took just a minute, since theirs no line on the inside. It astounds me every time.

  • Todd Schnick

    ha! that’s another great example brian. same principles at play there. thanks, as always, for reading!

  • Todd Schnick

    thanks gareth, as always, for your support!