Sunday, December 09, 2012


Some elevators assign the underground floors an identifying letter. Some designate those floors with negative numbers, as if going underground were a kind of subtraction.

Yet elevators do more than elevate. 

In my dreams the elevator also travels horizontally, taking me not only to the floor I want but also to the right area of the building. 

In the car, the most confusing buttons are those meant to show ‘door open’ and ‘door close.’ These glyphs require focus, and it’s a trick figuring them out in time. 

And yet don’t you hate those people who saunter to the elevator, texting or scanning their phones, while you’re holding the door for them, as if their priorities took precedence over all others? 

Even if time is not money, it is like money. After investing more than a minute waiting for the elevator, it’s like throwing it away to opt for the stairs.

People stopped complaining about elevator music when it morphed into elevator advertising. 

This person: he rushes to the elevator as the doors are closing, then holds them open so his straggler friends can wander in. 

The walls of my office’s elevator car are mirrored, and the lighting reveals every wiry grey hair, every facial hair, every wrinkle, dry patch and blemish. It makes for an interesting trip. 

Some decades ago as the world began to go gaga for sensor technology, elevators were summoned with buttons activated by the warmth of the finger. This proved a disaster when a fire broke out, and the heat of the flames delivered the elevator passengers right to the danger. 

In case of fire, fire rides the elevator. 

This person: the physically fit young man who takes the elevator from the lobby up one floor. 

In Germany, it is proper etiquette to say goodbye to the other passengers when you exit the elevator, and to reply in kind to their goodbyes if they exit first. 

When the elevator arrives with no one inside, it’s like a gift.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Oh, my, I loved learning about German elevator etiquette! And your horizontal elevator dreams!

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