Here is an experience that will explain you what you have been doing wrong.
The other day I was waiting for an elevator in the parking lot of my office building. A guy came and hurriedly pressed the down button for the parking level 2. Immediately after this, I quickly pressed the up button as I was getting late and wanted to punch my card just in time. Since he had pressed the button first, the elevator was supposed to go down first. So, he entered and the doors closed.
As soon as the elevator came up to my level (parking level 1), I saw him standing inside. No points for guessing that he too wanted to reach the ground level but pressed the wrong button (down one). I entered my office just one minute late and criticized this guy’s elevator wisdom for the rest of the day. :-/
(The attendance system in my room is such that even if you punch in your ID card a minute late, it is considered late, and a red mark appears on that day in the attendance record.)
I have witnessed this so many times in so many places – office building, restaurants, hospitals, Delhi Metro, malls, clubs, and so on.
So what is it that is so complicated about it? I mean, there are just two buttons, right? One that shows an upward arrow and the other one that shows the downward arrow.
Imagine you are on the fifth floor of a building and you wish to go to the fifteenth floor. There is an indicator that tells you that the elevator is currently on the tenth floor. Now, which button will you press?
Since the elevator is on the 10th floor and you wish to bring it down to the 5th one, most people assume that the down button should be pressed. But that’s incorrect.
If you wish to go up, you got to press the up button, and if you want to go down, you got to press the down button.
The ground rule is to focus on the direction you wish to travel to, instead of paying attention to where the elevator is coming from.