Thursday, January 17, 2008

Waiting for the Elevator

Waiting for the elevator is a weird experience. People to whom you would normally nod to in passing, or maybe even mumble a "howyadoin...good," are now off-limits when in the lobby.

We all stand there, like the creatures of habit we are, staring up at the little lights above the elevator doors and begging it to come quickly and put us out of our misery already. The "ding" of an arriving elevator sends the whole tribe of waiting people into a well-disguised tizzy, and we all file into this little metal box and declare our preferred floor to the surrounding air - hoping that someone will find it in their hearts to push that button for us and not leave us here forever.

Once in the elevator, we have something new to watch: the numbers as they go up or down, respectively. This is even BETTER, as we get a rewarding "ding" for every floor we pass. Wait 'til you get promoted to the 10th or 12th floors, honey - now that's a elevator-riding euphoria I can't even describe. (Not that I would know, being only a sixth floor dweller, but I think this is why the big cheeses are so chipper all the time. Or maybe it's because they eat money for breakfast. Not sure.)

Normally, talking in the elevator is frowned upon, but if you must, you only have three topics of conversation to pick from. If early in the week, you can ask about the weekend in very general terms - not what you did, just whether or not it was "nice", if near the middle of the week, you can talk about how you don't want to be here/you're tired/you're glad it's ___day/your boss is a meanie, and if it's the end of the week, you can ask, (generally and non-threateningly, again) about the weekend - something bland, unimaginative and obvious is most preferred, like: "You ready for the weekend?" To which anyone with any spark of fun would say something like, "No way, man, I can't bear to leave, I'm gonna park under my desk with a can of Pringles and befriend the janitors after they lock up tonight" or "Yeah, dude, can't wait, my pet lions really need to stretch their legs and we're almost out of fresh meat in our neighborhood" or something... but of course no one ever does.

So we ride around in these little metal boxes (they never fail to remind me of the escape pod in Star Wars that C-3PO and R2-D2 get away in. You know what I'm talking about - don't act like I'm such a dork...) and get more boring by the day, and think silently of how desperately we need a Diet Coke while we watch the numbers ding by.

One thing I've discovered, though: if you're tired of riding the elevator silently with a bunch of people and want to ride it silently alone, or just be alone so you can talk to your imaginary friend, whichever, all you have to is not brush your teeth and look mad in the morning. It worked for me today, that's all I'm sayin'.


Adam said...

Haha... I want pet lions! Where do you come up with this stuff?

ShesThatOneGirl said...

So... I was a sixth floor dweller too. And... in my old building there was this weird 2nd floor elevator lobby from the parking garage... I would always speed walk into the elevators and repeatedly hit DOOR CLOSE so that I didn't have to ride with randmon strangers. Its just SOO awkward. But... now I am among the members of our staff that actually climb the stairs every morning and pretend that we aren't winded by them. Ahhh... morning rituals.

~lady j said...

i have a millennium falcon on my keychain.
YOU are NOT a dork.