Week 9, Semester 2
By Ted Worland
I was talking to a skinny American guy at a party when I first heard about elevator override codes. As he explained, holding down specific button combinations as you select your floor will program the elevator to go there directly, skipping all other floors on the way. The codes were apparently included for emergency services, but are also abused by clued-in misanthropes.
Just about every authority on the subject denies the existence of elevator override codes—but is this because they don’t exist, or is that just want they want you to think? I asked the guy if he’d ever tried it for himself and, affronted, he told me he wasn’t the sort of person to take advantage like that.
I’m not either, which is why I waited till after hours to test all the elevators at uni. It might not shock you that, despite trying different suggested button combinations in different models of elevator across campus, I am unable to positively confirm the existence of elevator override codes. It’s tough to prove a negative, but even so I ended up riding up and down far longer than was probably necessary. Deep down, I wanted so badly for the story to be true.
This is why I think these rumours persist even when supported by nothing more than secondhand anecdotes and baseless speculation. We’ve all had the experience of feeling passed over by the elevator, and, while it’s not exactly pleasant to think we may be being screwed over by a shadowy cabal of elevator-hacking pizza delivery guys, it’s actually worse to know we’re the victim of a faceless, automated system, the processes of which remain unknowable, inscrutable. The elevator reaches our floor and the doors stay closed, revealing nothing.