Are you in the dark this New Years Eve?

December 31, 2008

“Do you find it dark in here?” The maintenance tech asked me, light-bulb in hand. He was perched on a red folding ladder, replacing the burnt out bulb over my office computer. 

“Well, ya,” I said. “This is the only office in the company without a window.” That fact has never bothered me before. Why would it? I have a sweet situation at my job, one that I could have only fantasised about while trapped in retail. Why on earth would I start complaining about the lighting?

“I can make it brighter for you,” said the tech. “I can put in all daylight bulbs if you’d like.”

I told him to “go for it.”

I can’t even begin to describe the difference it’s made! I have a sunbeam waiting for me in my office every morning. No really, it’s fantastic! My mood, and even my outlook for the new year, have been illuminated. So pease promise me, dear readers, that if someone comes into your life this year and offers to brighten your day… you’ll let them. Because you might not think you need it, or deserve it, but (and trust me on this)… it will light up more than you can imagine.

Happy New Year!


City’s tallest building shortest on humanity

July 24, 2008

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!)

Risking it all to get down

July 21, 2008

I pressed the “down” button and waited for the chime.


The red arrow lit up over one of the doors.

I made a mad dash for it, the furthest elevator of our floor’s bank of eight, and got there just in time to jam my arm in between the doors as they were closing. There was one long terrifying moment when my arm was in the guillotine, past the point of no return (aka the elbow joint), before the door sensors kicked in.

This moment was so long, in fact, that I had plenty of time to wonder why we so blindly put our faith in technology. I came up with the answer, ruminated a bit about it, thought of some alternative arguments, all while placidly watching a giant metal vice close around my arm. At the last second, (isn’t it always the last second?), just as it caught hold of my flesh, the door released and I squeezed though.

What did I come up with? You ask. I’d love to tell you, but I was in such a hurry that I promptly forgot all my musings the second I pressed ‘G’.