Thursday, March 31, 2005

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

Throughout the course of my life, I have come to certain conclusions about the world around me, and the people in it. For instance, I know that I will never enjoy watching commercials, except during the Super Bowl. I also know that on any given day of driving, I will come across a person who makes me seriously doubt my belief in obeying the 6th Commandment. I know that women like to shop, and men like to watch sports. I even know what the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow is.

I consider myself to be somewhat in tune with my surroundings, and in touch with some of the ways in which the world works. However, yesterday afternoon shed light on the fact that people in this world will always confound and confuse me with their apparent lack of anything resembling intelligence.

Yesterday, after I had left the office and was heading towards the parking garage to find my auto and start the painfully tiring 7 minute commute home, I decided to take the elevator. You see, my car was on parking level 5 that day, which is the very top of the parking garage. I could have walked up all of those stairs, but really it would be much faster to take the elevator, and I was in a semi-rush to get home and watch The Incredibles as I ate my dinner.

I climbed into the nearest vertical transport, along with 4 other Sprint employees. (I will also note here, that I was the only male in this situation. That fact has no bearing upon the outcome of this story, whatsoever. However, I think it is worth bringing up, since I have come to the conclusion that the woman-man ratio at Sprint is around 74-26…a fact that I see daily proof of.) I pushed the button for my desired floor (5) and stepped to the back of the lift to make room for the ladies. The first woman steps in, and pushes the button for her floor (4) and also steps the rear of the box to make room. The second and third ladies enter, and I can tell that this 1 minute elevator ride is about to become much longer.

Chatty McTalkie and her best friend, Neva Shutsit climbed on, and suddenly the small metal box to which I was currently a member became an amphitheater of gossip and skin conditioning tips. This, it turns out, was the absolute least of my worries.

They pushed the button for floor #3, and continued their extremely dull, yet apparently mega-important conversation. The fourth and final woman stepped in, and we were ready to get underway! It was then, I noticed that we were going to stop on floors 3, 4, and 5 today. Hmmm, that’s interesting. I had never seen that many floor buttons lit up in a parking garage elevator before, while working at Sprint. Wacky! Although, I felt a twinge of annoyance at the fact that my ride to the top floor had now become seriously slowed. After all, walking up to floor #3 was not that big of a deal. Those 2 chatty dolls could have handled that, just fine! Oh, well. It’s not as if they had pushed the button for floor #2, or anything.

(Insert foot-in-mouth joke here)

“Oh, wait. I don’t remember where I parked. It might have been on 2. Shoot! Um…oh, what the heck. I’ll just go to 2, to be safe! Hee hee!” said Chatty McTalkie to her friend, as she reached out her hand and pushed the button for floor 2, in what seemed like slow-motion. I was shocked beyond words, or annoyance.

That woman had just given us a local. An elevator that was going to stop on every single floor from the ground, all the way to the top. An elevator which would now become the longest destination machine ever, especially for the people who are waiting to get to the top floor…such as myself.

While I stood there with open mouth and eyes wide as golf balls, we began to rise above the ground, and head for…


The doors pushed themselves open, and we were now at floor #2. Chatty stepped off, and began the search for her missing car…a search which I am convinced is still taking place, at this exact moment in time.

The doors shut, and we began our ascension once more, rising to-


The doors pushed themselves open, and we were now at floor #3. Around this time, I noticed a slight banging noise in the deepness of my brain, like a toddler whacking an empty metal trashcan with a shovel. I tried to ignore it. Neva Shutsit climbed off, and we were once again on our way to-


Floor #4. The toddler inside my head had called up his friends, and they were now having an official rock out session complete with drums, hammers, cymbals, and backup vocals. I closed my eyes and tried to ignore them. The last two women exited the lift, and I was left alone to chuckle out loud at the absurdity that I had just witnessed.


Floor #5…my floor. I jumped out of the box, and headed towards my car with a frantic sense of “Oh dear God get me out of here” urgency that can only be described by the funny half-run, half-walk pace that I was keeping, which I’m sure made me look comparatively like a power-walker with hemorrhoids. Finally, I reached my car, started the ignition, and breathed a sigh of relief.

The ordeal was over.

As I drove home, I laughed to myself about what I had just been a part of. I laughed at the fact that I was in an elevator that stopped a total of 4 times in a parking garage. I smiled at the memory of that tiny metal box starting and stopping every 4-5 seconds, as those women got off on their respective floors. DING. DING. DING. DING. It was like Christmas bells, in March…and the humor in the situation did not escape me.

So, I headed home wiser that day, for it was now apparent to me that life would never stop surprising me, or showing me new ways in which it could annoy me. At the same time, it also showed me that sometimes, you just have to sit back and laugh at the way things happen.


PS: You had to look up what the 6th Commandment is, didn’t you?

PPS: The air speed velocity of an unladen swallow is 11 meters per second, or 24 miles per hour. It beats its wings at a rate of 7-9 times per second.

No comments: