I step into the small, square space inspecting my lunch through the clear plastic, fully aware that I am completely alone. This is not uncommon at this time of the day. It is one of the reasons I try to take my lunch earlier than most people. Avoid the crowd and all. That and getting up at 4am most mornings lends itself to an early need to feed. But, I digress.
I’ve just walked a long, empty, underground corridor on my way back to my office. I push the 1 and it lights up red and the doors start their typical convulsing prior to closing. I wait, starting to get a little anxious to eat as I eye the spinach, egg whites and peas. The doors slowly slide shut, and the cables above start to pull. They are noisy and unnerving if you’ve not been here before but for me, they are just the sound of movement and hold no malice. It is a very time-consuming ride from the basement to the 1st floor. Much slower than the Sears tower in Chicago or the Space Needle in Seattle. I finally hear the familiar ding. That means in about 40 more seconds the doors will start to open. I wait, stepping slightly closer to the center of the doors. I look down just as they open and as I start to step out there are two people standing directly in front of the doors. I stop. I smile. I start to step forward. They do not move. One looks at me as if I am a terrible inconvenience. I quickly decide there is not enough room for me to wiggle between them. I move the upper half of my body as if I am going to take a step. Still no movement from the blockers. I decide the only way out of the box, that has all the sudden started to feel very claustrophobic, is to go around, and so I step to the right. Still, no movement from outside the box, but the woman has started to eye me with disdain. I am after all holding up their ride!
I finally say, excuse me and step out into the hall which is suddenly filled with cool air, sunlight and what I’m pretty sure is singing from some distance away. Handel’s Messiah. Of that I am sure! I take a deep breath. I gather my thoughts, look down at the peas again and start the long walk down the hall to my office on the 1st floor.
Now, I am quite aware of the fact that sometimes the only way from point A to point B is up. But I think a great service to humanity would be accomplished if we all lived by this one simple rule; let the people on the elevator OFF the elevator before trying to stuff yourself into the elevator! It all seems so incredibly logical to me.
Besides ….watching me have a meltdown because I feel trapped…. will have Handel’s Messiah playing for a completely different reason! And no one wants to see that!