The user experience of elevators

It seems that the elevator hacking trick could have been a rumor. Looking for articles about the user experience of lifts/elevators, I ran across this piece in the new yorker:

Richard Gladitz, a service manager at Century Elevator, an elevator-maintenance company in Long Island City, concurred. “It really shouldn’t operate like that, unless there’s something wrong with it,” he said. “People will think that someone did something to make it pass by, but it might have something to do with the dispatcher, various elevator-bank issues, something of that nature.” (...) “There’s so many misconceptions about elevators.” Could it be that engineers had designed elevators to have this door/floor feature but, for the common good, didn’t want civilians to know about it? Might there be an elevator conspiracy?

Maybe a weird solution for this would be a random lift button (by "chris speed"):

The Random Lift Button project was conceived as an opportunity to exemplify further the role of space at the mercy of time. Certainly in large commercial buildings lifts are implemented to squash space and enable people to move more quickly from one work activity to the next. (...) The random lift button would place us directly in the centre of a non-linear moment, its outcomes uncertain and unpredictable. A sensation that would be both rewarding and entropic. Random Lift Buttons are currently installed in two lifts in Portland Square at the University of Plymouth, UK.

Why do I blog this? elevators are one these technological artifacts that keep puzzling people (like doors but it's even worse). Since there is a large variety of elevator user interfaces, there are often anecdotes about them. What is curious is that it's possible to design curious experiences even in artifacts that look boring (I haven't mentioned a friend project that aimed at adding a empty floor on top of an elevator so that people can just breath the atmosphere and then get back to where they wanted to go). What do these 2 stories above tell us?