Friday, August 25, 2006

Going down?

I'm not a fan of elevators. Not because I'm claustrophobic or anything, I just hate the painfully awkward moments that are unavoidable in the elevator. Especially when those painfully awkward moments involve your boss and other higher-ups.

Working on the top floor of a corporate building, I'm forced to take the elevator everyday. If I'm not wearing heels, I'll take the stairs, but I choose to take the elevator because the less opportunities I have to trip or stumble in my heels, the better.

Riding down at the end of the day is the worst, because I inevitably end up sharing the elevator with other people, usually middle-aged business men, and I spend the entire ride basking in the retarded tingles I get for them. The guys I work with are fine - its the stragglers that we pick up along the way that really get the tingles going. Yesterday, I could only close my eyes and shake my head in shame when I had to listen to two guys exchange the all-too-familiar Dumb and Dumber reportoire - "Big gulps, eh? Well, see ya later!" Grooooooaaaaaaaaaaaannnnn..... I wanted to tell Bachelor #1 that his trendy-spiked-platinum-dyed hair and ultra-pastel lavender shirt were too much for his own good, not to mention the use of The Big Gulps line. But I guess its not his fault, he's simply too cool for his own good as well.

The problem with elevator conversation is that you know its all fake, so why bother investing? The ride is too short to get comfortable, and small talk only stretches so far. The only satisfaction I get is the looks on their faces as they smell the remnants of my SBD from two floors ago. I can't imagine being an elevator operator (do they even still have those?) and constantly having to feign interest in the weather or continuously making lame jokes. It's painful. It's awkward. It's painfully awkward.

I wish I could come up with witty yet disturbing sentiments to share in the elevator, but I freeze in the wake of everyone else's fumblings. I wish I would get hit on or something so that I had an opportunity to throw out one of my zingers (much like the time in Memphis, when an old British man leaned against me and said, "That's not a gun in my pocket" - SERIOUSLY - to which I promptly replied, "That's not a gun in mine, either" just before I vomited in my mouth.)

Sadly, I think my elevator friends are destined to remain always that: the ships of brief, shallow relationships that keep the corporate world going...minus the SBD part.


Andi Mae said...

What ever happened to the preverbial staring at the floor lights as the elevator descends? When in doubt, take the high road...stare like deer in the headlights.

Luna-Bee said...

A couple of fun things to do in elevators with strangers:

1- Open your purse and say, "Got enough air in there?"

2- Stare at someone with a horror-stricken look for a moment before scrambling to a corner and shouting, "You're one of them!"

3- Stare blankly at your thumb and then show it to someone on the elevator and ask, "Does this look like it's growing?"

4- Start a sing-along and see how many other elevator riders join in.

Those are just a few suggestions. I do that kinda stuff all the time, just for kicks. The reactions I receive from different people are too funny!