Elevators are weird. A box attached to a cable that moves people from floor to floor.
I had to go into work today to do payroll. I pushed the button on the wall in the lobby and after the ding there was this little box waiting to take me to my floor. For some reason I noticed it today.
Then there’s that weird moment where several people are waiting for the elevator and you all sort of agree who will get on first without speaking a word. There’s the occasional hand gesture or grunt, but not one word. Usually the older women get on first, then younger women and then the men sort of look at eachother to see who’s going to be the alpha dog of the elevator ride. The biggest dude or oldest gentleman usually gets on last.
Once this craziness is over we all stand in the moving box in complete silence, often looking up at the numbers as we climb to our floors. Sometimes there is surface conversation among colleagues or someone will say something to another “traveler” like, “Cute shoes” or “Can you hit 4 for me?”, but for the most part it is silent. I think most of us just want to get to our floor without the weird box stopping or diving toward the ground.
Maybe that’s it, we are all so focussed on willing the elevator that we lose the gift of speech, or maybe we just have nothing to say. I’ve ridden in the elevator a couple of times with people that said nothing, but as they were getting off they would say, “Have a Nice Day.” I like that. It’s a way of making a pleasant exit and saying, “I don’t know you, but glad we both made it. Take Care.”
My daughter, her friends, or random people she meets at regattas or camp are into texting. They are not so scary that they text even when they are together, but they do not call eachother unless there is…yeah, they never call eachother.
I’ve gotten quite good at texting too, even though I still insist on using complete sentences and punctuation, but I also like to hear voices. I like human contact.
Katlyn has had full conversations with people that she has never spoken to in person. That’s so weird to me. It’s sort of like having a pen pal you never meet. Pen pal, that’s what texting is, instant pen pals.
As I’m standing on the elevator, I wonder if people ever spoke to eachother on the elevator. Back 50 years ago, did people speak more in general? I think they did. I think the elevator at my office is just a sign of the times we live in. We don’t talk much anymore, maybe eventually we will forget how to interact all together.
If we are in fact moving toward that, I hope I’m long gone. My thoughts from the laundry room.