Elevator Manners in Japan
Japan is known as a polite country by the whole world. The reason they can earn the wonderful reputation is that the Japanese always try not to be rude to others. They keep polite especially in the workplace, and that is why freshman employees need to learn business manners for Japanese business environment.
Today, let’s learn some elevator manners. I guess you will be surprised that there are many important points you should pay attention to.
＞Who is “meue” and where is “kamiza”?
In Japan, there is a word “meue”, which means someone whose status is higher than yours, for example superior or senior. The opposite word is “meshita”. So, why should we know who is “meue” and who is “meshita”? For example, when you enter a room with your superior, the seat where you should sit has been decided. Your superior should sit at “kamiza” and you should sit at “shimoza”. If you sat at the wrong place, you would be regarded as a rude person. Similarly, if you take an elevator with your superiors and senpai, there are some implicit rules you should know in advance.
＞Getting on the elevator
Before you get in the elevator, let people on the elevator get off first. You should be careful that you don’t stand right in front of the elevator because it is in the passage of way. If there is nobody on the elevator, you should enter the elevator first and hold the door open for the superior to get on. However, if there were someone on the elevator already, you should give priority to the superior or senpai.
＞Where should you stand in the elevator?
Same as in the car or conference rooms, where you stand in the elevator is decided by your status in the company. The basic rule is the younger you are, the closer to the door you should stand. The youngest has to control the doors for the others, so you must stand in the front of the panel. Sometimes there may be an elevator with two panels, the “shimoza(下座）” is the one on the right and the far left is “kamiza（上座）”. If a customer is in the elevator, let the customer stand at “kamiza(上座）” is best. Remember that the customer is regarded as God in Japan, so you should give priority to them, not your colleagues.
＞Getting off the elevator
Getting off the elevator is a little different from getting on the elevator. When you have arrived on the floor and the door opened, push the open button to hold the door open for superiors or senpai to get off. Of course, if customers are also in the elevator, let them get off firs. And the most important thing is to put your hand on the side of the door to hold it open for others. This trifling action will make a good impression to the customers.
As a freshman employee, let’s pay attention to elevator etiquette.
What do you think about elevator manners? I guess many people will feel annoyed by it. But in Japan, remember that elevator manners is necessary for every employee, even more so for a freshman employee. By the way, sometimes you may forget to do it, or the elevator is too crowded to keep the manners. In that situation, don’t blame yourself for it. You will do better next time.