DEAR MISS MANNERS: I really feel bad when I am in front of an elderly or handicapped person on an elevator and I step out of ahead of him or her. However, it is awkward and creates major traffic problems if I step back into the crowd. What should I do?
GENTLE READER: Move to a clear location -- i.e., leave the elevator -- and, once you are clear of traffic, turn around to assist by holding the elevator door.
It is no use protesting to Miss Manners that this is unnecessary, as elevator doors remain open so long as there is someone in the entrance. The action is intended to demonstrate your concern and good manners, not your efficacy as a doorstop.