You know, aside from you screaming “Noooooo!!!!!”?

Generally speaking, there are two kinds of people in this world, and no, we’re not talking about people who love mint chocolate and those who hate it (we already covered that topic). In this world, there are people who get into an elevator without giving the process any more thought than any other step they take that day, and then there are people who look at the gap they’re about to step over and think “Oh no…what if I dropped something in there?!?”

The video we’re looking at today is for everyone in that second group. Titled What Happens if You Drop Your Keys into the Elevator Gap?, since being posted by elevator operator/maintenance company Kyoto Elevator a little less than a month ago it’s racked up more than two and a half million views, proving that a lot of people feel anxiety, or at least curiosity, about that narrow slot of empty space between the floor of the building and the floor of the elevator.

▼ And yes, of course the video is narrated by a cute penguin mascot character. This is Japan!

Right off the bat, Kyoto Elevator puts viewers’ minds at ease by explaining that should you drop your key, or some similarly slim item, into the gap, it’s not going to end up in some place where no one can ever reach it. Instead, it’ll most likely drop down into the “pit,” as the very bottom of the elevator shaft is called.

However, there’s a chance that your key could get caught up in some of the other equipment higher up in the shaft, like a bundle of electrical wires, the frame of the track the elevator is running on, or even an oil repository. The odds of this increase the higher the floor you dropped your key from, and if this happens, there’s a chance maintenance workers might not be able to find it right away, regardless of how easy it may be for them to retrieve your key for you once they knew where it is.

Notice we said it’s the maintenance workers who will be searching for/retrieving the item you dropped. Kyoto Elevator says laymen elevator passengers should never try to access the pit or shaft themselves. If you drop something into the gap, stay calm and contact the elevator’s operator/maintenance company. You should be able to find the company’s name and phone number near the control panel, with the Japanese text for things like “elevator” (エレベーター), maintenance (保守), malfunction (故障), and “repair” (修理) being keywords to look for. These phone numbers are generally staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so whenever you call, they should be able to dispatch a worker to hop down into the pit and see if they can find your key.

Between Japan’s appreciation of thorough customer service and interest in engineering minutiae, Kyoto Elevator’s simple but informative video has been a huge hit, with viewer comments such as:

“I’m so happy they took the time to address this very basic concern.”
“The elevator gap has always freaked me out.”
“This is the kind of thing most people have never experienced first-hand, so I’m really grateful that they put together a video for what some people might say is a trivial question.”
“I absolutely love this kind of professional insider info!”
“So happy this showed up in my recommendations.”
“It’s really nice how the maintenance worker in the video wipes the dust off the key before giving it back.”
“The penguin is cute and the video is easy to understand. A big thank-you to everyone who works so hard so that we can use elevators every day! The penguin is CUTE!!!!!”

Speaking of cuteness, Kyoto Elevator also has some adorable advice regarding a precaution you can take: attach your key to a cute character strap, like Sanrio Character Ranking runner-up Pompompurin, so that even if the key falls into the gap, your plushie pal will prevent it from dropping any further.

▼ Again, this is Japan, so cuteness is always the answer.

Meanwhile, if the elevator scenario you dread isn’t “Oh no! I dropped my key!” but “Oh no! I pressed the wrong floor button,” the solution to that problem is over here.

Related: Kyoto Elevator
Source: YouTube/京都エレベータ_ via IT Media

Images: YouTube/京都エレベータ_
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