Monday, 20 May 2013

Elevator roulette

We have a slightly dodgy elevator in our building. It's not particularly dangerous, but it plays a type of harmless roulette that keeps occupants guessing what it will do next. As far as I am aware, no-one has been trapped inside and it hasn't randomly stopped between floors, but once inside you face a wait of anywhere between a comfortable second or two and an awkward 20-30 seconds (or more). Everyone looks at each other with the same questions in their eyes: Is someone standing in the way of the door sensors? Should you push the button again? Is it stuck? Should someone press the 'close door' button? What if they push it and we end up stuck inside? Does this phone actually work??

This week, the lift has started talking to us. An American woman trapped somewhere inside the control panel asks the lift's occupants to "please stand clear of the doors", even if everyone is hunched together towards the back and nowhere near the entrance. Rumour has it that a manager on 'some' floor had the timer deliberately slowed down so that the doors don't close too quickly on anyone running to catch it. That's all good and fine, but we can't help wondering if we're on borrowed time with our lift. Randomly freaky and freakily random!

A colleague was telling us about the elevators at her last workplace. There was a bank of four lifts that opened into the reception area. *Somehow* the general manager's dog got into one of the lifts (I didn't catch how on earth that happened) and was off ... the elevator was called from floor to floor, and they had no idea if it picked up more passengers on the way, but there was no sign of said canine. Stunned staff members pressed the up and down buttons, trying to call the right elevator car back to their floor to release the poor doggy, all the while hoping that he didn't decide to disembark on a different floor. Apparently it took 20 minutes of riding the elevators up and down for the dog to reappear on their floor - happily tucked up in the corner and oblivious to the whole experience. Whew!

I think I might start carrying my swipe card take the stairs from now on.

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