diamond geezer

 Wednesday, September 10, 2003

How lifts work

• Your lift is never sitting waiting on the floor where you are. It's always either on the floor you're trying to get to or the floor that's furthest away from you. It will then take ages to arrive, for no adequately explained reason, and even then is probably heading in the wrong direction, diverting you via either the basement or the roof on the way to your final destination.

• Lift doors have a mind of their own, as if they're auditioning for a horror film. They open, gaping wide, tempting you to walk through, then shut suddenly in an attempt to trap you in their jaws. If you're particularly unlucky they'll even flicker between opening and closing several times while you attempt to walk through, uncertain whether to spare you or slice you.

• Count your blessings if the lift is empty when it arrives. You can then ride between floors in privacy, picking your nose, scratching your armpit or worse... at least until you reach the next floor where half the accounts department are planning to pile in and pin you into the corner.

Ground floor perfumery, stationery and leather goods, wigs and haberdashery, kitchenware and food...going up

• Never ever make eye contact with somebody else in a lift. This is a certain dismissal offence. Instead you should stare at each of the four walls of the lift in turn, then raise your eyes to the ceiling, shuffle awkwardly from foot to foot, and hope and pray that everyone else gets out of the lift before you (especially if your armpit urgently needs a scratch).

• It's exceedingly risky to try to make any conversation in a lift other than to ask "Which floor do you want?" Or even better "Which floor?" Or even better "Floor?" Or even better just stand aside and let everyone else press the buttons themselves, whilst telling yourself that it's going to be alright, this social ordeal will soon be over.

• Lifts are often monopolised by fat lazy people who can't be arsed to walk up just one floor or, even worse, down just one floor. They could so easily have taken the stairs but instead they've summoned the lift to a floor you didn't want to stop at, only to get off at the next floor you didn't want to stop at either.

First floor telephones, gents ready-made suits, shirts, socks, ties, hats, underwear and shoes...going up

• There's nothing worse than getting into a lift that smells, be it of perfume, kebab or worse. You know what I mean. Actually there is one thing worse and that's getting into an empty lift that smells, only for the boss to walk in at the next floor, sniff, look across at you and jump to all the wrong conclusions.

• Lifts are perfect for flirting. You get to meet a random selection of the employees who work for your organisation, not all of whom are as ugly as the photo on their identity badge might suggest. Should that tasty new employee from accounts wander in, be sure to ask them whether they want to go down, and take it from there.

• The one thing that a lift traveller most dreads is a sudden power cut or mechanical failure causing the lift to get stuck between floors. The one thing that a lift traveller most desires is a sudden power cut or mechanical failure causing the lift to get stuck between floors whilst in the lift alone with that tasty new employee from accounts.

Second floor carpets, travel goods and bedding, material, soft furnishings, restaurant and teas. Going down!

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