If you???re going up, you???ll piss me off

July 21, 2011


As a random act of kindness goes, it’s not much, holding the elevator door for someone. Unless you’re me and it’s my work elevator and it’s in the morning when I’m dashing in.

If you’ve been following along on this blog, you’ll recall (perhaps) that I have attempted to establish myself as a socially maladjusted individual who has a hard time thinking of others. In the mornings, this goes only partway toward explaining the lengths I’ll go to to make it seem as though I had not a clue in the world that you were running to catch my elevator. This, despite the fact that every surface inside the elevator and its door frame is reflective and it’s actually rather difficult to position yourself to see nothing on the outside.

If it’s morning and I’m just arriving, there are one to two additional factors working against your chances of having me hold the door for you. The first is simply that I’m nearly always cutting it close to the time by when my boss wishes for us to arrive, a rather cushy 9:30am. I’m not a morning person. More often than not, I pack my breakfast because that’s fifteen minutes more of sleep. What can I say?

The second comes into play if it’s summer, as it now, hence the increased kindness factor of the act. In the summer, I ride my bike to work. That heats me up. Our elevators have zero air circulation. That exacerbates the effect of my suddenly having no wind in my face and being trapped in a small container with no moving air. I wish to exit after the minimum amount of time possible. My office is on the top floor. Every person who rides up with me creates an extra stop. The length of my imprisonment increases. I do not look kindly upon this. I will attempt to ignore your approach unless I happen in my peripheral vision to recognize you as also working on my floor.

Now, having said the preceding three paragraphs, if it is unavoidable that you are entering the carriage, I will say hello. A long time ago I had a friend who was very friendly to everyone he met on the street. His explanation was that if a fellow human being is three feet away, it’s just rude not to acknowledge his or her existence. Three feet is very often the long dimension of an elevator car.


I was humbled a little while ago this evening when I realized that I did a true random Act Of Kindness, uncontrived. Love you, too. Things will be A-OK.

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