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Thursday, May 26, 2011

In Some Buildings, It’s a Corporal Offense

I spend a lot of time in elevators.

It sounds exciting, but it’s not.

Armed with that information, I will let you know that I was on one yesterday, somewhat absentmindedly returning from a Target-run (nylons, antibacterial wipes, and chocolate, which sounds like something that should get its own blog post and just might, if you’re not careful), when the doors open.

And I am propelled forward, like so many professional office drudges before me, by said doors.

Of course, it isn’t my floor, something I immediately pick up on when I notice the different carpeting.

I’m sharp like that.

“Oh,” I say, realizing that I am on the 45th floor, three full floors short of The Land of the Free and the Floor of the Brave.

I back up, and the young woman who has requested the elevator on the 45th floor gets on.

And presses “46”.

You know, no matter how many times I witness this phenomena – and nine times out of ten, it’s a fairly young person taking the one-floor elevator trip – it never fails to grab me. There are staircases in this building leading from one floor to another, and yet this person, rather than take the steps, will stop the elevator in order to ride from 45 to 46.

I check myself. Perhaps she is handicapped…

Everyone knows whistling, no matter how poorly done, indicates a disinterested air; and I do this now.

“Whee, whooo wheee whooo,” I whistle.

I sneak a sideways glance, careful to appear casual.

Young, fashionably dressed. No nylons with those heels, but she’s got the legs and/or non-veins for it, so we give her a pass, even if the outside air temperature won’t reach 60 today.

We smile at each other, a quick, Minnesota-style acknowledgement meaning “I recognize your right to exist” and “I mean you no harm”.

The doors open, and she disembarks on the 46th floor.

And the doors close, and I, older and wiser, ride another two floors and cleverly get off on the floor with carpeting I recognize.

49 comments:

haphazardlife said...

Um, maybe it's the heels? Maybe her feet were killing her?

On the other hand, maybe she,s just lazy as all get out.

- Jazz

Pearl said...

Jazz, maybe. Maybe I was just crabby, but that one-floor escalator bit really chaps my hide.

Anonymous said...

46 floors up - it makes me caddy whaumpus thinking about it Pearl. The tallest building within 100 miles of here is (drumroll) FOUR stories high. Takes your breath away doesn't it?

Blogger has not let me comment for over a week now. You don't suppose Liza Bean Bitey is behind all this do you?

Camille

Pearl said...

Camille, I'm having the same problem myself. VERY frustrating. And I'm actually on the 48th floor. :-) I LOVE the view!

Oilfield Trash said...

You crack me up.

"The Land of the Free and the Floor of the Brave" has to be one of the best lines of yours that I have read. Classic.

The Jules said...

Does the 45th floor have very high ceilings, because it could be a reaasonable excuse to use the lift then?

Sorry, elevator. Listen to me being all English.

Can you give me an elevate into town?

Dazee Dreamer said...

Phew, I thought maybe you were going to say you farted while alone and then someone joined the elevator brigade. :)

Simply Suthern said...

I have never had an office higher than the first floor so the view is the same as looking out the car window only slower.

My bad but if I see an elevator I will use it.

savannah said...

i'm with you on this one, sugar! (and yes, i am grumpy today!) (ok, maybe i'm just tired. mr&mrs coming-to-america arrive today and we're tired AND excited.) xoxoxox

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Our building's carpeting is all the same. So I regularly get off the elevator and wander aimlessly, just a-lookin' for my coffin, er, cubicle. On the wrong floor.

jabblog said...

Must be a fantastic view on the 48th floor - if you can see through the clouds, that is (just envious . . . )

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

*snickering*

Daisy said...

I haven't been in an elevator in decades! Brings back memories. :-)
Barbara

Cheeseboy said...

Isn't riding the elevator one floor akin to parking in the handicapped spot?

Laurie said...

Well, maybe she was Italian like me, and the very idea of a building with more 6 floors scared her so much that her legs couldn't work.

(I live on the sixth floor and people here asks me how it feels to live *up there*, like if I could see saint Peter and say hello to him every time a look outside of my window)

Drake Sigar said...

I’ll always take the elevator because of some deep-seated childhood notion that they are powered by magic, much like those moving stairwells in malls.

Anonymous said...

Blogger commenting has been effed up. Hope it clears up soon.

I'll bet the view is fabulous!

You have a knack for making the most ordainary things interesting!

Eva At Wrestling With Retirement

Laurie said...

it was *more THAN.

I should learn to write slowly, so I could notice if I lose some words behind me but NO, I have to run faster than light so I can win the race and be crowned queen of the stupid people :D

Glen said...

I saw someone call a lift to go DOWN one floor today. Down?? that is proper lazy.

I particularly enjoy farting in lifts - it's one of my few vices

George said...

I only use the elevator when I can't find the stairs, it's more than 5 flights or time constraints prevent it. I disapprovingly shake my head at these people, they don't care though.

Leenie said...

Oh, give her a few years. Those legs will not be veinless and there will be a huge flabby muffin top oozing over the waist band. And you, dear Pearl, will still be yoga solid and flexible with legs to die for. There, we both feel better.

Caleb said...

"a quick, Minnesota-style acknowledgement meaning “I recognize your right to exist” and “I mean you no harm”."

Brilliant, Pearl.

Also, pics of the legs please.

Thank you.

jenny_o said...

Yet another snicker-out-loud post! You do have a great turn of phrase!

WrathofDawn said...

"I mean you no harm."

This time.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Something about being so high up may excuse her laziness. It seems worse (in my twisted way of thinking) were she riding from floor 1 to 2. I guess I'm defending the lazy because I've been so lazy.
xoRobyn

Jhon Baker said...

My sons school has an elevator for the handicapped - it really burns me when the non-handicapped ride this for the single other floor that exists in the school - I once came down really hard on my son for doing so, burns me - I ride it because I cannot handle stairs due to my leg and hip - otherwise I would have taken the stairs as I had always done before my crippling.

Erin said...

In a building with that many floors, I consider something like that an act of aggression. But I provoke easily.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Love your blog Pearl. I'll be back! Thanks for stopping by!
<><

Bossy Betty said...

I like stairs. I take them whenever I can. They take me whenever they can too.

Elly Lou said...

Maybe she watches too many episodes of Law and Order SVU and she has a pathological fear of stairwells.

And I'm not speaking from personal experience. Probably.

Car Title Loans said...

I was waiting for someone to get caught in the elevator! It always amazes me, too, when people take it one or two floors. And we wonder why the States are obese... Also what I don't get is when said elevators are at gyms.

Sara

Sarah said...

The same thing urked me too until I found out that the doors to the stairs lock in my building if you go in in the stairwell and the only door that will let you out is on the 1st floor. So maybe that's the same case here?

Otherwise Shame on her!

Gigi said...

At least your building gives you clues that you got off on the wrong floor. Our elevators open into hallways that all look the same - I don't know how many times I've gotten off on the wrong floor, started down the hall and then noticed the different colored-carpet that doesn't appear until you get to the end of the hall. By then the damn elevator has gone and I have to wait for it again.

Cloudia said...

sorry you are having blogger issues. quel nightmare!


hand in dear


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HermanTurnip said...

Here in California that smile could be interpreted as either "can I sniff your shoes?" or "victim, meet stalker. stalker, meet victim". It's always best to keep your eyes intently focused on the blinking floor numbers above the door and avoid direct eye contact. We're a strange state...

Flea said...

There's nothing quite like seeing carpet you recognize.

NYEMT said...

I lived in Minneapolis from 1971 to 1980. I only remember a couple of buildings that tall. My dad worked in Foshay Tower, and the only taller one that I recall (and my recollection may be skewed - I was only a wee lad) was the IDS building. Are there more now? :)

hire web developer said...

Thats fine if elevators sounds a lot but they are very useful part of a building mainly at the time when the building is more than 3 floors.

ShanimalsCrackers.blogspot.com said...

I rode the elevator to the top floor today...the second floor...

Pat said...

She probably prefers to spend a fortune going to a sweaty gym!

River said...

I prefer stairs over elevators and take them if there are any, in spite of arthritis-y hips, dicky knees and varicose veins. I have the slimmest thighs in town.....

Tempo said...

So far as I can recall we only have two elevators in my town, the Hospital (5 stories) and the council office (3 stories) So we have to wait until we're in the big city to ride the 'closet of doom' Do you have those hicks that seem to be going nowhere? that just go up and down with the elevator for seemingly no reason...yeah, me!

Linda O'Connell said...

I was on a cruise ship that had the same carpeting on every floor. I took the stairs all the time but still got lost. The only identifiable objects (for me) were the wall murals which all had similar colors. Even when I found the right floor, I went the wrong direction. Sure got my exercise that time.

aBroad said...

I am not a fan of elevators anymore, especially since arriving in South America where the elevator can typically be just large enough for 2 folks with a dog.
And you can hear the gears and cranks and straining of the cables that lift and drop/lower the cage.
So I would tell that young miss about how it feels to have to run down 3 floors to shut the elevator door properly because it won't work if someone forgets. Then she would have shapely legs like me :) stairs, the maker of good legs.

Joshua said...

Normally I would agree with this elevator etiquette. I only use it now because my hip and knee can't quite handle more than about 5-6 steps before failing on me. Eventually I'll be back to the stairs. I hope.

Pearl said...

Spent yesterday in meetings but wanted to stop in. :-) There are many reasons for taking an elevator one floor, although to have watched this young woman walk would disavow any of the medical ones. Nothing wrong with her legs and hips!

And Minneapolis does have a number of tall buildings -- I'm going to guess maybe 8 or 9 "skyscrapers". Not a really big city, but a sweet, rather tidy area. And honestly, the view from the 48th floor (the building I'm in has 50) is spectacular. Given Minneapolis' four active seasons, the whole world (or at least my bit of it) is laid out.

Joshua said...

Re: "the view" - color me jealous.

Cake Betch said...

Next time just carry a crowbar and break the person's legs. That way they have a legitimate excuse to be so damn lazy.
Haha. I would probably have broken legs if I worked there.

W.C.Camp said...

I usually take stairs just because I am impatient but my wife will PURPOSELY test herself and use the stairs to race the elevator 4 and 5 flights. She's a weird one but I like her that way! Interesting post - thanks! W.C.C.