You are a master of your wait

Let’s talk about something very popular, something that everyone has an opinion about, something that can be the most pleasant experience for some and an object of hatred for others.

Guess what it is?

This is so-called “mirror-looks”.


I’ve come across this headline while googling about #elevatorlook and #mirror selfie. Is it still as popular in the rest of the world as it is in Russia? For some girls and women (and men) it’s impossible to resist the temptation to take a mirror selfie for their Instagram while standing in an empty elevator. If you do resist, you have incredible willpower.

Have you ever thought about where it all started?

Why do elevators have mirrors?

It dates back to the 1950s, when elevators in office buildings were so slow that people began to complain they had to wait too long. Builders and engineers have come up with a wonderful solution. They installed mirrors in the elevators and near them so that people become distracted and the time they spent there seemed to move much faster.

Our English teacher has always told us that the British like standing in a queue because they are extremely polite and wherever they are they almost instinctively form a line. I’ve heard only two stereotypes about Russian lines. The first one is that we are rude and never stand in line. And the second one is that the lines are incredibly long in Russia. I know, these two complement each other perfectly. But it doesn’t matter because neither of them is true.


The answer is simple. We have mirrors, many mirrors, in our public spaces!

Numerous researches have confirmed that it’s not waiting time that matters; it’s boredom that makes waiting in line so unbearable.

Companies use distractions as a part of design for comfortable wait. So, mirrors at the airports and elevators, TV screens, magazines and reading materials in the lounge areas transform unpleasant wait into an entertainment experience.

Because it’s having nothing to do that drives you crazy, not the importance of your precious time.



30 thoughts on “You are a master of your wait

  1. We don’t have mirrors in our elevators — that I am aware of. But folks are always taking “selfies” wherever they are and whatever they happen to be doing. If an alien landed on earth he would think we were a race of animals that worship small electric devices always held in the hand and never looking up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have mirrors only in the office buildings and elite housing in Russia. The reason is quite pathetic. Tenants of apartment buildings often steal the mirrors (or just break them if the mirror anchors are firmly buried). There is a good Russian saying – Have it or brake it =)


  2. Is that really what the mirrors are for? How can you be sure there aren’t video cameras behind those mirrors, so the government can monitor your every move? I think that’s what the government is doing, so I make a point to pick my nose while in elevators.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I haven’t seen mirrors in the elevators I’ve been in around here. I did see one in a convention center but at the ceiling of the elevator. And yes…I took a selfie lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I was young I always wanted a mirror above my bed when spending ‘quality’ time with a beautiful woman. Now that I’m old I would worry about it falling and decapitating me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We have a superstition here that one must never sleep facing a mirror or sleep near the mirror. Because we are too vulnerable when we sleep and the mirror is a portal to another world. I don’t believe it anyway. But I believe women, getting old, want to have more time between waking up and looking in the mirror.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. I think if I was in the elevator with you I would watch you watch yourself in the mirror. That way, I wouldn’t notice my shoe is untied and my socks are different colors. My self esteem would be intact and so would yours. That seems like a good mental health practice. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • I suppose that if your socks were different colors, we both would look at them 🙂 I wonder what the pair that would be: brown and yellow or blue and green. Where is Ana? I have another idea for the quiz!

      Liked by 2 people

      • LOL! I will hope that you can give me some fashion advice for my blue and green socks. Ana is home, she will be glad to hear from you. She is my dear cousin and a brilliant woman like you.


      • Oh! I can’t wait to take that quiz! I’m sure my head elves will get a shock from the results. 😂⚡️

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bwaaaa haaaa haaaa! That gave me a visual of your avatar on a busy street weaving in traffic to the horn honks of the other cars as if they are playing a symphony, Flight of the Bumblebee. 😆🎶🚛

        Liked by 1 person

  6. i think those mirrors are made to be in the elevators to make its inside looks like its wider than it really is. i mean that’s a technique that you do in small houses. Putting a huge mirror in a wall as a design tricks your eye that you have a huge space. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s true about queues in Britain. I’m an American living there and I’ve had to teach myself to look for the queue and get at the back. It’s practically a religion here and you don’t want to butt in. You really, really don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

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