The Day When Someone Thought I Had Pushed ALL Buttons in an Elevator

hand pushing a button inside an elevator

The mention of an escalator or elevator brings up a variety of images. While for the comedically inclined, it could be an image of Charlie Chaplin ‘floorwalking’ or Buddy, the elf, trying the escalator for the first time.

Here’s a quick visual reminder for those who don’t know what I am talking about:

Charlie Chaplin in The Floorwalker:

Buddy trying to use an elevator:

There is a reason there is such a massive compilation of things elevator-y.

Escalators were fun growing up. Beating the escalators to get to the next floor by running OR walking up would confer on you the greatest honors imaginable in the world of children aged less than ten years. You were the envied Escalator Beater!

Back to the reality and joys of the modern world, elevators, and escalators are both necessities of work AND leisurely life.

I like them very much; they suit my lazy temperament very well. I rarely take the stairs at work unless a colleague or a boss decides that the timing of them providing me a brain dump had to coincide precisely with their walk up or down the stairs to another meeting. I secretly swear when that happens, especially if it means ‘going up the stairs.’

Cut to the present, like every other work day, I was rushing into the office to be in time for my first meeting of the day. 

This one occasion was extra special, as I was on a definite path to being late to a meeting I had set – a rare and disagreeable honor that I had no intention of earning. Not that day, not in front of that audience! 

So yes, I was in some extra hurry. 

Two elegant ladies behind me had every intention of catching the next elevator too.

Cue the classic ding and the elevator doors open. A burly guy emerges and our eyes meet. I offered him a curtsy elevator gratitude and quickly jumped in with a sigh of relief. 

‘Oh, thank God!’ I think to myself.

The relief was only momentary, as the minute I tried to push the button to get to my floor, I noticed all the buttons were already pressed. 

Damn! No way am I going to be at my desk on time! 

As if that was not enough, I feel eyes burning a hole at the back of my neck and right cheek. Unsurprisingly, the ladies behind me are giving me scorching eyes. I have a feeling that they think that it was I who pushed all those buttons! I was crying inside.

It wasn’t me. I swear it wasn’t me.

At one point, I did think of vocalizing my emotion, but I have seen enough movies to know that would probably be inferred as an admission of guilt. 

I swallowed figurative coal and stayed silent.

I will never be hired in those departments now; oh well!

I eventually got to my desk, miraculously only half a minute late, and somehow, with a well-deserved stroke of luck, I got to hide behind a brief office-wide internet outage that coincided with my little elevator adventure. So, my meeting audience never got to know about their clumsy hostess or her little adventure.

What happens in elevators stays in elevators. 

I sure hope that’s true.


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