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How a few flaky elevator buttons are tearing our office apart

How a few flaky elevator buttons are tearing our office apart


They’re really... pushing our buttons

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Here at The Verge, we’ve already established our button bona fides. We’ve got a Button of the Month column and a podcast called Why’d You Push That Button?. We track button development, we mourn their passing into oblivion, and we write ballads to the weirdest buttons that humans have invented.

So it really stings when buttons screw us over.

Exhibit A: the elevator buttons in our building work... some of the time. They seem to ignore about half the people who press them, which can lead to frustrated pileups in the elevators on busy mornings. I’ve been passively observing the situation for weeks, and have watched my building-mates get in arguments with each other, swap conspiracy theories about how the system works, and angrily beat the stuffing out of the button bank. It gets pretty ugly.

The state of affairs got bad enough that a couple weeks back, I decided to drop everything and get to the bottom of why these stupid little buttons are tearing our office apart. Naturally, we made a video about it. So, if you’ve ever been wronged by a button in your life — or just want to see my colleague Casey Newton dramatically reenact a button incident he got himself into check out the video above.

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