Saturday, August 23, 2008

Elevator Follies (Or Mabye That Should Be "Fallies." Get It? No? Oh.)

As you can probably guess from my last entry, I tend to have elevator-related misadventures at work on a fairly regular basis.
In order to go to any floor except the first floor, you have to badge in before making your floor selection. Sometimes the badge readers can be a little flaky and fail to accept your badge. There are instances in which it won’t recognize anyone’s badge, while at other times it might recognize yours, but someone else’s badge will work just fine, and vice versa.
The most common irritant I have, though, stems from the fact that I work on the sixth floor, so frequently I’ll have the experience of getting on the elevator, hitting the badge reader, choosing six, and then having the elevator stop on the second floor to pick up someone who’s going to fourth floor, and then stop again on three to pick up someone going to the fifth floor, so I end up stopping at every floor. This is probably most irritating at the end of the day – particularly on a Friday – when I’m going down and end up stopping at every floor.
Then there’s the fact that so many people fail to consider it even a remote possibility that there may be someone getting on or off the elevator, leading to a lot of near-collisions.
Less irritating and more amusing are the people who get on the elevator and just assume that you’re going to the same floor they are, and then, with an “Oh crap,” notice that, in fact, you aren’t. It’s most amusing when they don’t notice this until it’s too late.
And, of course, as I mentioned, there are the times when all I need to do is push the call button and I start to lift up my badge to badge into the non-existent badge reader, as you don’t have to actually use your badge until you’re actually in the elevator.
As I said, I’m not the only person who does this, as I’ve seen at least one other person do it. When she commented on the fact that she does this every once in a while, I said, “I do it all the time.”
She responded, “Well, that makes me feel better.”
I said, “I’m not so sure that it should.”
On a topic unrelated to elevators, yesterday I stopped at Giant on my way home from work to pick up a few things. I went to the self-checkout, entered in my phone number in lieu of scanning my bonus card, which has become unscannable after years in my wallet, I scanned my two items, and was informed of my bonus savings on one of the items. On their way down to the end of the line on the conveyor belt, one of the items fell over, and for some reason this caused the belt to reverse and bring the items back, and the register to void the scans. The register’s electronic voice informed me that I’d been credited for the amount of the items and that I needed to scan them over again. I don’t really understand why that happened, and it made me realize that sometimes – but not often – there are advantages to interacting with real live human beings. After all, it seems unlikely that a human cashier would void the sale and start over again just because a bottle of green tea fell over on the belt.
Still, I do sometimes think it would be kind of funny if people did behave like machines. Like if a cashier behaved like a vending machine and freaked out and threw your money back at you because your dollar had a crease in it.
Hmm, I guess that would be more irritating than funny, at least if it was happening to you and not someone else.
As I was bagging my purchases, an employee came around and said, “This is for you, sir!” and handed me a piece of cardboard that said “You’re a Winner!”
I looked at it and thought, confidently, “I am a winner!”
Okay, I actually looked at it and skeptically thought “I’m a winner? Since when?”
In any case, I put it in the bag and started to head out, but was stopped by an employee who’d picked up another of the cardboard pieces from the floor and asked if it was mine. Not being certain that mine hadn’t fallen out of the bag, I said “Maybe,” and she said, “Well, take it anyway.”
When I got home I found that it hadn’t been mine, so I was a winner twice. The pieces of cardboard were, of course, some sort of instant win game, and I learned that being a winner – twice! – meant that I’d won a reusable shopping bag and a six ounce store-brand yogurt.
Whoo hoo! It makes being the $10,000 winner pale by comparison.
On my way out of the store I got stuck behind some old lady pushing a cart at a rate that would make Tim Conway’s old man character look like an Olympic sprinter by comparison. As there was no way to get around her immediately, I sighed inwardly and accepted my fate.
However, as soon as we were in an area in which she could do so, the lady moved aside and said, “I’ll let you get around me.”
I thanked her, and thought, “See? It really isn’t hard to get the hell out of the way.” Pay attention to this shining example, old people of the world!
I’ve spent most of today battling the urge to take a nap, though I’m not entirely sure why I’ve been putting up a fight, as I haven’t done anything worthwhile with my wakefulness.
I did go out into the world to do a little more grocery shopping. I went to Super Target because it was also my intention to pick up a replacement battery for the doorbell. However, I neglected to take the old battery with me to insure that I got the correct replacement. I bought one that I thought was the same, but when I got home I found that I was mistaken.
Oh well.
In any case, that’s pretty much been my day so far. I’m sure it will only get more exciting as it winds down.

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