Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Wrong Button

There is a button that any parent of small children on Roosevelt Island knows should not be pushed. We have driven this information into the heads of our children. My children at 3 and 5 years old knew it. But somehow many adults don't seem to be able to read and they keep hitting the wrong button. And when they do they have to deal with the voice.

Sashamalchik over on Live Journal recounts his experience:
"What's the problem?"
"Sorry, I pressed the wrong button."
"Why the hell do you always have to press the wrong button?! What's wrong with you?! Stop pressing the wrong button!"Clang.
I should note that I have never heard the responding operator answer the button's call in such a cranky or unprofessional manner. I would bet this reaction is rare as I have never heard the operator say more than three words after being told it was an accident.
My wife has told me that when she has seen it happen the adults always blame it on a small child figuring the voice cannot see who reallly did it just to avoid the embarassment even though there are physical witnesses.

So now you know. Read the sign and you will not have to deal with the voice. But if you do don't blame the kids as my wife is going to tell the voice you are lying as the kids know it, you know it and she is sick of explaining why the adults keep blaming them.


  1. Or the designers of said button could have placed them better as to avoid such confusion. Or the emergency button could be CLEARLY marked in RED.

  2. This is clearly a product of terrible design and outright laziness on the part of the MTA.

    Obviously the installers didn't want to go to the trouble of running another cable conduit for the emergency call box, and chose instead to reuse the existing one for the elevator button.


    Before anyone at the MTA starts complaining about accidental emergency call button pushes, they might want to try moving the call box higher on the wall, or off to the side as it is inside the elevator car.

  3. Or you all could just learn how to read.

  4. I have to note that I do not live on Roosevelt Island permanently, and I can easily see how many people, especially in a hurry (as I was) would hit the Wrong Button in an elevator used as often as the one on R.I...

    P.S. The correct link to my original post is this.