Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Random People, Random Places -- 1

So, I was on the elevator today and had a quick talk with a stranger. I think that elevators are pretty safe neutral zones. Because you know that you can escape relatively easily from people and, in general, if someone is on the elevator, they more than likely belong there. Also, most elevators have security cameras. So, you see, elevators are a safe place where you can have random conversations without people wondering if you are going to mug them and/or if they can successfully mug you.

Both are key to successful conversations. I have decided that, since I talk to random people in random places, and since this is no invasion of their privacy (I don't have pictures or names), that it seems perfectly safe. If, somehow, you are a random person in a random place who I spoke with, well, I'll delete if asked.

Anyway, we both get on the elevator; she gets on first, hits a button and it doesn't take. I hit the lobby so I can check the mail.

"What floor do you need miss?"

She sees it didn't work and keeps digging in her purse. "Oh, it doesn't like me." She tells me her floor.

"It doesn't always work; it is finnicky," I tried to explain. I felt kind of guilty, like it was my fault the elevator was not cooperating. I was making excuses for a machine solely because I didn't want a total stranger to feel, however jokingly, that it disliked them. It should be nicer to people, maybe like a 'happy vertical people transporter' in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" or maybe a Wonkavator. Is it really that hard to just light up when someone hits the button?

"I think it just likes you better," she said. We both say have a good night and go on our separate ways.

The lessons we've learned from this? Somehow, elevators can have opinions about people. This is good, since I like elevators. I'm still working on my post about the Knights of the Sky from World War I, but I wanted to try posting about things other than history. Which goes against my instincts about "Unity of Purpose," but I also liked the title Random People, Random Places

"May I ask if you've considered all the possibilities that down might offer you?"

In other bits of technology being difficult.

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