re: Elevator 'Door Close' buttons, in my recent experience (building built in the last 15+/- yrs) the close door button did NOT work if you hit it immediately upon entering the elevator. It did work if you waited a bit; and generally after the 'Door Open' button was used.
As previously mentioned I had the hardest time using the Door Open button, as I always got flustered making sure I did not use the Door Close button, and the hesitation time was sometimes enough that the door closed.
With crosswalks, for the longest time I thoroughly believed those buttons only existed to make you think you were doing something while the light cycle continued on its normal course. I don't know if they are better maintained now, actually programmed now, or if it's because I work on a college campus now, (or if i just developed some modicum of patience finally) but there are some that now work. I've waited through light cycles when I got to the corner and did NOT push the button because others were already there...that'll learn me.
On the stupid question front...have I finally at an embarrassingly advanced age figured out how crosswalk signals work? If I am walking directly across the street, I push the button that parallels my walk. If I am turning, I need to hit the perpendicular button?
(Not that this helps when the button post is skewed in such a way that even that overdue understanding is no help. A lot of times, I just hit both buttons to be sure...