Elevator operator

In some elevators in Japan, mostly in department stores, you still can see people working as elevator operators. They just stay all day in the elevator pressing buttons and making sure that the doors open and close in a timely manner; they also announce the floor number each time the elevator stops and check if everybody can leave or enter the elevator at the desired floor. I don’t know if it’s another one of those Japanese “useless jobs” or not, but it seems like a really tiring and not very rewarding job to do if you work as an elevator operator for years.

I took this video in one of the elevators at a department store in Shinjuku station:

6 Replies to “Elevator operator”

  1. Yes, I can easily say that is a useless job and a waste of money. Everyone is competent enough to press a button and wait. Funny enough, i searched for “useless jobs” in google, and this was the first result: “Japan is filled with useless people” http://www.quirkyjapan.or.tv/useless.htm. Crossing guard at traffic light?!? Wow, just wow.

  2. It’s only the top class department stores which have lift girls any more.

    I think they do it to express customer service and show that they are top class.

    Frankly it is a kind of pointless job, but same like you can see guards with light sabres directing traffic in and out of multi-storey carparks in the suburbs.

  3. There are still elevator operators here in the States. You’ll see them mostly in the large cities (DC, NYC, LA) at expensive hotels or condo/apartment complexes.

    While the job may be tedious and seem to be pointless, as RMilner said, it’s a way to express customer service. The same is true for the door man at many of the same places. Many of them, at least the ones I’ve had conversations with, are wonderful people with wonderful and vivid experiences.

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