Going Up: FM Complaints

"Elevators can't read your mind." It's probably a safe bet that FM never dreamed those words would ever actually need to be uttered. But as you all know, the FM department gets more than its fair share of the absurd.

For your reading pleasure, here's an all elevator batch of complaints sent in by Building Operating Management readers. Enjoy!


Push Buttons Are So Yesterday

"As the property manager for an office complex, I have visitors of the complex to my office every so often to express their opinion about one thing or another that they feel is wrong and should be changed. One such guest stopped by my office while I was out two weeks in a row to complain that the elevator did not work in our three-story building, and that he was upset that he had to take the stairs each time.

The next week when he came to visit one of my tenants, he stopped by my office to complain once again. This time I was in and I immediately went with him to check out the elevator.  I had received no other complaints about this elevator.

We entered the elevator together, the door closed, and I just stood there. Five seconds later, he announced, 'See, it's broken. It won't take me to the third floor.' 

I proceeded to tell him that once inside the elevator, he must push the button to go up to another floor.  I wanted out, so I hit the 'open door' button, said goodbye, and left him in the elevator.

I hope he hit the button for the third floor so that he would be on time for his appointment at the psychologist's office.

Elevators can't read your mind."


Annoying Convenience

“The elevator comes too fast. I don’t have time to talk to my friends.”



"I manage two twin tower buildings that are connected by corridors on the first and ground floors only.   Often, we find people wondering around on a floor in the wrong tower. When you kindly explain to them they are in the east building looking for a tenant in the west building, their very next question is, 'Which one of these elevators will take me to the west building?'   Unless they are elderly, it is very hard to respond with a straight face. We usually give them a minute to think about what they have asked."


Can you top these stories? Please share in the comments below or send me an email at naomi.millan@tradepress.com.

4 Replies

  • Naomi, the person expecting the elevator to take them to the right floor without pushing a button is on to something.

    That push-button on the elevator is probably one of the dirtiest things you can touch in a building so it would be good to have a RFID, phone or voice notification taking you to the proper floor.

  • In reply to Daryl Clasen:

    Hi Daryl — I know about destination dispatch elevators, but you still have to touch the panel in the lobby. And I know there are systems where someone's access card can essentially automatically trigger the elevator to send them to the right floor.

    But I like this voice or phone command idea. Very Star Trek. Do you know if any such systems are available/in the works?

  • In reply to Naomi Millán:

    Hi Naomi, Essentially the technology exists for everything already and what is happening in buildings is many field bus BAS companies are struggling to get to IP so they can do more things.

    If you are using RFID like you do with assets, then this could easily be applied to getting a person to the right floor or narrowing down the options.

    And, there are more dynamic building controls in existence now where essentially the building design is one big program in the cloud, so many things can be accomplished that required too much manual engineering work to do.

  • In reply to Daryl Clasen:

    Very cool. Thanks Daryl. I was just writing up a product release and the manufacturer had a video showing an occupant calling for an elevator cab on his smartphone. I'm not all that old, but that still seemed very "future is now."

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