The Elevator Test


As many of you who read this sentence know, I am a game designer by trade. We are a twisted and evil bunch, much given to sadism and playing Pokémon all hours of the day and night. As an example of the former: when hiring new designers, my previous boss likes to give prospective employees “The Elevator Test,” where he asks them to write “pseudo code” for a program controlling elevators in a building. He does this to see how they think – and also  because it’s hilarious to watch the little fellers crumble under pressure.

The looked-for response is something like this:

Best. Movie. Ever. Not that I've seen it, but it probably is. Don't you think?

Best. Movie. Ever. Not that I’ve seen it, but it probably is. Don’t you think?

Elevator Pseudo-Code

If there are no passengers in the elevator and no buttons have been pushed:

● If it is between 7am and 10am, go to the first floor and wait.

● If it is between 4pm and 8pm, go to the top floor and wait.

● Otherwise, wait at the current floor.

If there are no passengers in the elevator and a floor button is pushed:

If I am the closest elevator to that floor, go to that floor and open.

● If two elevators are equally distant from the floor, the elevator with the fewest hours of operation goes to get it.

● If no passengers get on, wait for 10 seconds and then close the door.

If there are passengers in the elevator:

     If passenger in elevator has pressed a destination button different from the one he currently occupies:

● Move in that direction.

● Stop at any floors in that direction that have destination buttons pushed.

Blah, blah. And so forth.

The above nonsense is about half of the total code, and it took me about an hour to come up with it while sitting by myself swearing. Now think about trying to figure that out while a group of people you are desperately trying to impress stare at you suppressing chuckles. It’s nerd hazing, but with extra flop-sweat. 

Anyway, that’s not important. I only share it with you so that I can make the following gag.

I was riding on the elevator the other day, as usual hating my fellow passengers for their various infractions, when I came up with a few additional lines of code that in a perfect world would be added to an elevator’s programming.  I thought I’d share them with you.

Additional Elevator Code For a Perfect World

If a passenger is loudly describing a disgusting personal ailment on a cell phone:

Drop passenger through trap door.

If a passenger is gets off on the wrong floor because passenger is staring at goddamned smart phone and then tries to get back on the same elevator.

Slam door in passenger’s face. Do not return to that floor for two hours.

If a passenger blocking the door doesn’t get out of the way when the elevator doors open.

● Extend hidden robotic arms and “pants” passenger.

If passenger tries to board the elevator before allowing exiting passengers to leave.

● Immobilize boarding passengers with robotic arms. Exiting passengers get to give them dope slaps as they pass by.

If tall passenger carelessly smacks shorter passenger in the head with backpack.

● Spray careless passenger with concentrated doe urine from hidden nozzle. Unleash coyotes.

If parental passenger allows obnoxious child passenger to press all of the buttons on the elevator.

● Irradiate groinal region of parental passenger to ensure that passenger will have no more children.

● Send obnoxious child to 19th century English workhouse like in Oliver Twist.

If passenger attempts to get into political arguments with strangers.

Put passengers in Hunger Games.

If passenger brings French fries onto the elevator when I haven’t had lunch yet.

● Decapitate passenger. Other passengers split the fries.

There are plenty more I could come up with, but this column is too long and too silly already, so I’m stopping now.

Maybe I should just take the stairs, what do you think?

Today's bonus question: Why do these people need to advertise? Are customers failing to poop in the San Francisco sewer system? Are they holding it until they go out of state, or what?

Today’s bonus question: Why do these people need to advertise? Are customers failing to poop in the San Francisco sewer system? Are they holding it until they go out of state, or what?

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4 Responses to “The Elevator Test”

  1. The Sister Says:

    I am curious about the San Fran Sewer System need to advertise and the question as to if “customers” choose to poop elsewhere because they are not pleased with thier customer service.

  2. SF Sewer Says:

    One day all the elevators at my institution sprouted signs telling us not to try to climb out of the roofs of the elevators or even to force the doors open if they stopped. One can only imagine the event that led to this mass legal noticing. The main effect of these notices was to remind people that it is possible to climb out of the escape hatch of the elevator, even if you don’t see one there right away.

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