door close

Working in a large office building can be odd.

You spend all this time with these people from other offices and floors, and you never actually interact with them unless the elevator is involved somehow.  You’re either waiting for the elevator or in the elevator when you see them.

You nod at some.

You scoff at others.

And still some evoke huge amounts of Internal Rage, like that lady who always breathes really loud even though you’re fucking positive she doesn’t have asthma.

My building is an especially odd one, because our elevators are terrible.  I’m pretty sure they were the third elevators ever made, because they don’t even have the up and down markers so you know which way the thing is going when it comes to your floor.

As you can imagine, this has led to me getting on the elevator going up, instead of down, plenty of times.

The latest incident happened last night.  I got on the elevator and it started going up, which immediately made me scream, “Fucking shit fuck!”  Once whoever was at the top floor got on, they would know that I am an idiot because I got on going up.  Also, we’d be stopping at my floor before we went down to the lobby.

When the elevator got to the top floor, a woman stepped on, and the following awkwardness ensued.

Me: [Smiling] “Well hello.”

Woman Who Is Smarter Than Me: [Giving me a puzzled look] “Oh, uh, hi.”

[The elevator begins to go down.  All is silent.]

[I look at the numbers because that is What I’m Supposed To Do.]

Me: “Just to let you know, we’ll be making a brief stop at the eighth floor.”

Woman Who Is Smarter Than Me: [Confused, she looks at me] “What?  Oh.  Okay.”

Me: “Yeah, I got on going up.  This isn’t the first time either.  I like to think of it as an adventure, you know, ‘oooh, will I be going up or down today?  Who can tell???’  That kind of thing.  I live life on the edge.”


[The elevator arrives at the eight floor, the door opens and no one is there.  The door closes and we continue down.]

Me: “I hear there’s some pretty good people who work on that floor.  Stunning decor too.”

Woman Who Is Smarter Than Me: [With a charity laugh] “Ha.  Yes, right.”

[We arrive at the lobby and we both exit. Her: A little more annoyed at working in our building. Me: Just glad that she didn’t notice my zipper was down.]


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48 responses to “door close

  1. Oh man, you’re THAT guy: The one who tries to be funny on elevators to mask your discomfort at sharing small spaces with strangers.

    We meet again.

  2. You do realize that during that elevator ride you manifested into the “annoying small-talk guy” right? Why man… why did you have to be that guy?

  3. Oooo awkward.

    Our elevators like to shut on people even as they are trying to get in and the doors have been open for 2 seconds. Yes, quite fun.

  4. Ben

    The highest floor I’ve ever worked on was third. So I always staired it. Girls like a nice ass.

    Not that that matters.

  5. I hate awkward elevator rides. The worst is when I ride with people who LIVE ON MY FLOOR, and we still ignore each other. If they attempt conversation though, I don’t stare at them like they have a second head…

  6. Amazing. I love it.

  7. As a fellow antique elevator rider, I feel your pain. In addition, our antique elevators often skip your stop and keep going up to god knows where. Leaving you standing at the ready to get the hell out only to be denied.

  8. Ah ha – I HATE loud breathers – especially on elevators. For the sake of all that is good and holy breathe quietly people!!!!

  9. you don’t work in the Paramount Building in Times Square, do you? I did a stint there, and that happened often. But what i think is what’s worse with offices is public restrooms. case in point…shitting next to someone who has bad beer shits too. and don’t even get me started on hangover vomitting in work restrooms. people become a little too curious when someone is on their knees before 10 a.m. and spilling their soul to the porcelain god.

  10. i used to get stuck in the elevator with the CEO every single time i stayed late (which was often) it’s the most awkward time EVER! they don’t want to talk to you because they know you’re not important since they don’t know who you are, but they also don’t want to seem too self-important so it always led to a conversation which involved me awkwardly laughing at the 3 sentence word he’d utter to me while he turned towards the closed doors to avoid my creepiness

  11. Has the world become so jaded as to make people think there’s something wrong with a person who just wants to make them smile, Chris?

    Has it?

    Because that sort of thing happens to me all the time.

    Strangers think I’m crazy.

  12. nancypearlwannabe

    I’ve never worked in a place with an elevator. And now I am thankful for that fact.

  13. Start taking the stairs. Think of how great your ass will look with all the extra cardio. And if you go the wrong way on the stairs you are a total lost cause.

  14. “Well Hello”… it’s a miracle she didn’t jump your bones right there.

  15. Oh man, you are the small talk person on the elevator. I’m all about it, but sometimes it’s just AWKWARD. Especially when the small talker tries to hit on you for three floors. And has awful red hair that’s way too long for a guy. And smells a little.

    Not that that’s happened to me or anything.

  16. ah, getting-to-know-you moments to cherish…

  17. Matt

    Steven Segal couldn’t have played that one better.

    Except I am not sure he takes elevators.

  18. I pass the time by singing along with the music. Yes, I’m that girl. It’s pretty awesome being me.

  19. Sounds like something I would do. As we know, I’m really bad at interacting with strangers too. Fortunately, I work in a small office. But yesterday I had to bring something to a large office building. A building where the elevator would drop you off into sort of a lobby on each floor. And then there were locked doors preventing you from accessing any of the offices or cubicles. So I get off on the right floor, and then I’m left standing alone in this lobby. After a few minutes, a guy walks out from one of the locked doors, so I make a run for it to get in after him. “Don’t worry, I’m cool,” I offered by way of assurance that he hadn’t let a crazy person into his precious locked environs. “Um,” he responded and walked off.

    If I saw you on an elevator, I’d make you feel slightly less stupid, is what I’m saying.

  20. When the door goes the wrong way after I’ve hit the wrong button, I look past the person about to enter an as I’m thinking out loud I mumble, “…and he was supposed to be hear at (look at watch) I just can’t wait for him)..

  21. Sometimes I pretend I forgot something back at my desk to wait for an empty elevator. I’m social.

  22. arjewtino – I thought I was being funny!

    mental – Well, I thought it was original stuff, not boring every day small talk. Damn.

    marie – That does sound like fun. I’m jealous.

    ben – Men do too, right?

    elle – Yeah, that is the worst. You get in and you see your floor is already lit. You’re like, “Fuck…”

    jade – Thanks!

    ballerina – Damn, that sounds worse than ours. You must have the second ones ever made.

    alice – I know! What the hell darth vader??

    john – No I don’t, thank god. I haven’t come across anyone puking in the work bathroom, but if I do, I’ll see if it’s you.

    jenny – Hahaha – Oh man, that fucking sucks.

    kristen – I know. I thought I was being Witty.

    nancypearl – I’m glad I could help.

    word – Hahaha – oh yes, yes I would be.

    melissa – Tell me about it!

    lauren – Gross.

    erikka – Yup. Bad ones and all.

    matt – Yeah, my guess is he climbs up the side of the building and punches through the wall to get to his desk.

    maxie – We don’t even have music!

    hollywood – Hahaha – nice. The “I’m cool” statement was brilliant.

    zibbs – Nice! I’m totally stealing that.

    megan – I’ve done that too! Awesome.

  23. You should have yelled, “SURPRISE!!!” and told her she won a contest for being the 100th elevator rider of the day. Then convince her that when she hits the eighth floor there will be a bunch of people waiting to celebrate and give her a prize.

    It would be really awkward after she found out no one was on the eighth floor – but the look on her face would be classic.

  24. Oh, we have elevator issues here all the time. My BFF co-worker and I are thinking of issuing elevator etiquette signs at each floor.

    The worst is the smoker breath that packs on at the last second breathing in your FACE (sorry for those that polite…chew gum or something)

    Or when you get on an empty elevator and it smells like farts and someone gets on at the next floor? How do you EXPLAIN that?

    Or the people who are rushing ON before people can get off? PLEASE, folks……..use consideration.

    OR the one lady that CRAMS HER WAY onto an elevator, making the 13th person on board…after a fire drill….then the elevator gets stuck between floors? And she pipes up saying “SORRY”….nobody could move, otherwise we’d have kicked her ass.

    Or the ones that join in already in progress conversations like they’re all cute and stuff?

    Or my BFF co-worker calling the IT Director “Daddy”?

    I have lots of elevator tales…..want more? I’m a good talker, as you know…….

  25. Oh, wait….one more…

    the Too Important person who gets on, with ONLY you, and says “Hit #3 for me will ya?” even though he has his very own number panel on his side of the elevator?


  26. k8

    I can go either way with elevator companions. I’m either way super creeped out and don’t get in my space stinkeye or I’m all like, “Oh, how are you today and don’t you think the elevators in this building stink like ass?” And I never pick the right either or to go with the person. I’m working on that.

    Getting laid in the elevator is somewhat of a goal for me.

  27. Jay Grochalski

    don’t know why i used the god-given name, John, today. i try to keep the puking before work now…although i fail a lot.

  28. meagank

    You should have told her that you like to ride the elevator when you get angry. So as to prevent you from another outburst.

    I find that works.

  29. Ahahahahaahahahaha

    Ok, seriously…..ahahahahahahahaha

  30. If my office building had retro elevators (did you like how I made your elevator sound cool by calling it retro and not old/busted/needs to retire?)

    Ok, getting off topic. Anyways if my bldg had those elevators I’d be going the wrong direction all the time and imagine I would be even later to most functions than I already am sans elevator directional problems.

  31. Well that was just an enjoyable recount.

  32. elevator etiquette: when in doubt, always press “DOOR CLOSE”.

  33. That exchange made my day!

    I wish my building had elevators…

  34. I don’t talk on elevators. I just get to my floor, get off, turn to whoever gets off with me and say;
    “I totally think that guy farted in there…..”

  35. You would be the greatest elevator rider ever.

    I say make this a professional job.

  36. I work in a building that is only 3 floors high so I get to avoid all weird elevator conversations.

    Although I think you should have hit every button when that lady stepped on and told her you were giving her a free tour of the building.

  37. Fortunately I don’t have a work elevator anymore (woo, working at home) but my building also features the first elevator ever made (the hallway has this little dial that inaccurately displays the elevator’s current location; very 40s).

    And when Jim David gets on with me, I don’t mind that it takes 40 minutes to get up to my apartment.

    But since the odds of running into Jim David are pretty low, it also means I don’t go out for lunch much.

  38. Megkathleen

    “I live life on the edge”

    I would have laughted heartily at that one.

  39. Who screams “fucking shit fuck”? That doesn’t even make sense.

    Also, are you proud of yourself for Being Friendly to someone? You should be. Good work.

  40. which is why I take the stairs. …and for a tighter ass but mostly because I hate people. 🙂

  41. she probably wouldn’t have laughed if i made a joke referencing ‘speed’ either. tisk tisk lady.

  42. deutlich

    I second what Aaron said..

    altho – I find it hilarious. And down here (aka: “down south”) we actually engage in convo in the ‘vator




  43. I kind of love that you narrated the ride.

  44. The elevator in my building is almost worse that being at work, and that’s saying a lot. Just because we are in the same elevator does not mean I want to talk to you!!

  45. People always try to touch my dog on the elevator which yeah, really good idea to lunge at an animal in an enclosed space. Why don’t you yell at her too while you’re at it?

  46. I’m so glad I work on the first floor of my building (there’s only about four floors anyway) and therefore can take the stairs without collapsing. Although you seem pretty fit . . . perhaps this could be an option to avoid future awkward situations such as this? But then again, it’s such good blog fodder . . . 🙂

  47. I just found your blog yesterday.
    It’s pretty funny, love your humor!
    I’m quite a social gal’ but the elevator situation is so damn awkward that I always push the “close doors” button, you know this one >|< if I’m alone in the elevator so that no one gets in.
    When I actually get an “alone” ride, I consider it a success! 😉

  48. uhm, do we work in the same building?
    cause my elevators do the same thing. no up/down.
    the building people did send out a memo stating that they will begin upgrading them though.. starting in 2010.

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