Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lifty thoughts

I spend about 5 to 10 minutes of every morning and every evening on the elevator. The elevator in the parking garage is a 5-story ride and mostly filled with people just like me -- disgruntled that it's morning and that we're crowded into a little box and hoping that the door doesn't open one more time to let even more people on. The parking garage ride is usually very quiet and no one smiles or makes eye contact.

The office ride is much longer and can be more pleasant. It's a 59-story express elevator, which is a really, really long time to spend ignoring the other people in the elevator with you. Plus, you end up riding up and down with the same people every day and so there's casual conversation every now and then. Then there's another elevator after that and it usually is grumpy, whether it's morning or afternoon, because there's nothing express about it; you stop to let people off, to let people on, and the more people the slower your ride down.

All of these elevator dynamics change at quitting time as everyone makes a spirited beeline to the lobby. The atmosphere is much more chatty and we make room for more and more people to squish in, as if we're in a contest to see how many people can fit in a single elevator. It's like we all finally woke up at the end of an 8-hour day and are ready to get on with the business of being a part of life.

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