It Takes 20 Seconds To Get Annoyed About Waiting For The Lift

Theresa Christy, a mathematician who works for Otis Elevator Co (they probably power your building), told the WSJ that once you press a button and wait for the lift, it takes about 20 seconds before you start getting impatient and annoyed.

Is that it? Or is that on the long side? If I imagine a 20-second count in my head, it seems on the long side. But if I can see the lift light up the floors, maybe it's not so long. What do you guys think?

Christy actually revealed a lot of interesting tidbits about lifts and how they work and solve problems with maths. Like how to tweak lift speed to accommodate more rides, how many people squeeze into lifts in Western Countries versus Asia and how she uses a computer simulation program that replays lift decision making (like a video game!) to analyse what to do. Read more about lifts than you ever have here. [WSJ via Kottke]

Image: motodan/Shutterstock

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