The WSJ met with Theresa Christy, a mathematician working for Otis, the elevator company. For some, elevators aren’t a big deal. For her, it’s life: 

As a mathematician steeped in the theories of vertical transportation at Otis Elevator Co., Ms. Christy, 55, has spent a quarter-century developing systems that make elevators run as perfectly as possible—which means getting most riders into a car in less than 20 seconds. “Traditionally, the wait time is the most important factor,” she says. “The thing people hate the most is waiting.”

And an interesting bit concerns how Japanese people ride elevators:

In Japan, riders immediately want to know which car will serve them—indicated by a light and the sound of a gong—even if the elevator won’t arrive for 30 seconds. That way, people can line up in front of the correct elevator.