I'm just curious: How do men figure out who exits the elevator before the other(s)?

It's rare that there are 2 women exiting at the same floor in my building, so I just take the prerogative and go first, no matter that "ladies first" doesn't have much practice in San Francisco business life anymore. But I often leave behind 2 or more men to...duke it out?

My husband, who hasn't worked in a building with elevators for years, didn't have a full answer.

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I typically just defer.  Hold the door and say "after you", or make a hand motion that clearly means "go".  Mostly the same reason I don't sit with my back to the door.  I like having the landscape in front of me when I can.


I'm actually the opposite at a 4-way stop though.  I'm not waiting around for a 4-way staring contest.  I'll wait a second.  If nobody moves, I'm gone.


There are scads of four-way stops by us.

The protocol is in order of who reaches the white line at the stop first.

If you reach it the same time someone else, then you yield to that car if it is on the right. If it's murky I let the other car go so I'm not playing chicken with that person.

But any hesitation from someone else forfeits their turn, and I just go.

It's good to have the bigger vehicle in that situation.

In a full elevator, if I'm anywhere near the panel, I hit the "open door" button, a nod to whoever is nearby. 

Otherwise, the rule is whoever is nearest the door goes first to clear the way for everyone else. 

There is no, "no you go" back and forth - any offer is accepted immediately, no counter offers. 

I thought it was an interesting question.

Didn't you say before that you men rearrange your line-up for women? I assumed it was to get them out of the barbershop as quickly as possible.


Or maybe you were being facetious. I can't always tell.

Never heard of a barbershop queue either, another thing I've never experienced.

For the wedding, they did my hair first, for both the trials and the day-of. Only time I've come close to a barbershop queue. Left me time on the morning of the wedding to research a guest's consistently lost mail - nothing better to do with my hair done and my bridesmaids out of the house.

and my make-up

When the dress is white satin, you wait until the last minute to put it on. All the TV and movies showing women getting ready for nights out in robes are accurate. [I was in a button-down shirt and sweats.]

You can step into lots of dresses. I've also read about putting the head and hair in a cheesecloth sack if the dress has to go over the head.

Thumb wrestle.

 Or more truthfully, it tends to be a natural act. There is not necessarily an order to it. 

 Or, it's however makes the initiative roll

Assuming one of us isn't elderly or handicapped, if one if us is closer to the door, he goes first. If by some chance it's unclear who is closer, one guy usually will gesture for the other guy to go first before the other guy has the chance to make the same gesture. Replying with, "no, after you" is overkill.

Whoever is closest to the door gets out first. If that man is headed to a different floor he kindly shuffles out of the way to let others off.

The "2 or men" were waiting for you to leave, which is the only real unspoken rule here, hence "ladies first."  We then follow with whom is closest.


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