Searching for signs of humanity on my daily 8:02AM elevator ride up Calgary’s tallest building…
First hope: News of a Pakistan suicide bombing flashes up on the elevator’s plasma screen. In a crowd of freshly creased dress pants, a woman’s skirt twitches. Her hand goes to her mouth to cover her horror. I’m touched by her honesty. She feels it too, the sudden sharp sadness, the helplessness. Her hand falls back to her side, and I see that she was only hiding a yawn.
Second hope: Two heads nod in recognition. A comment, a joke, then laughter. The elevator fills with the unfamiliar sound. The two heads have short, perfectly coiffed, fruit scented hair. But the perfume quickly turns the trapped air sickly sweet, and their laughter sharpens into a piercing cackle. I look down. Two pairs of pointy black leather toes. I should have guessed.
Third Try: The elevator fills to capacity. Everyone wants a different floor, and mine’s the highest. I groan. I always get motion sick on amusement park rides. Someone has to do something. So I stick a banana in the door. Technically speaking, I wedge one end in the doorframe, so it’s jutting out beside the number pad in all its bright yellow banana glory. Nobody said anything. Nobody smiled. No one even acknowledged that there was a big banana sticking out of the door! Oh the humanity!!
Maybe I’m asking too much from a crowd of drowsy businesspeople, who are already late to wherever they’re going if they’re on the 8:02. Sigh. When not even a banana will jazz up your office workday, there’s only one more thing left to try… (click here to get noticed on the elevator to your next job interview!)