Corporate Circus #3: Lifted Spirits

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Apart from my desk where I diligently work and seldom resort to entertainment in the form of checking social media, I get entertained the most in the office elevators. Office elevators and I have a love hate relationship. I'm claustrophobic and hate to step into an elevator. Whenever I can, I choose the stairs, but since my work station is at the fifth floor I do not have the luxury of taking the stairs all the time. Whenever I am late to work, I take the elevator to reach my seat quickly. But since Murphy rules my life, the lift decides to stop at every floor. Now, I am not here to talk about my problem with elevators. The problem I have is with the people who I share the elevator with.

Since I work in a huge corporate, the number of people in my office is equivalent to the population of a small country. At times it feels like all of them are waiting in the lift lobby. You should be very lucky if you are able to wade through the crowd and make it to a lift that can accommodate you. In a elevator that can fit in about twenty people, I am more often than not surrounded by at least twenty five of them. That's not my only problem. Some people do not understand that lifts are only to be used to move from one floor to another. It is not a place to hangout and is definitely not a place to check if your belt is fitting you right or not.

In the first building that I worked in, I was at the tenth floor. Very close to God, yes! But the people I encountered had come in straight from hell. Else, they definitely were headed there. I have been working in my company for close to nine years now. That's nine years of using corporate elevators and dealing with the people who do the same. Based on the number of experiences that I've had, I would categorize these people in the following manner.

The 'I have a rush' folks: These people are always in a hurry. They enter the lift even before the ones who have to get off have left it. No apology and no "excuse me's", they just walk through you to find their spot.

The music lovers: I do understand that people like to listen to music when they are traveling and listen to it until they get to work. But some continue to listen to it, while they reach office and walk into an elevator with earphones on. Trust me, I have no problems with that. What I have a problem with, is the volume! I can be at the other end of the lift and yet I can listen to what song the person is listening to. I can only pray for those poor eardrums.

The cribbers: I usually am very quiet when I am in a lift. I might make some small talk if I am with people I'm close to, but mostly I'm mute. More so because I'm silently praying to God for not crashing the lift. I have noticed people who constantly crib about their life to other people in the lift. I understand that they might be close, but when you are surrounded by strangers, do you really want to complain about your manager? That too non-stop. Once I heard a guy talk about how horrible his peer was, mentioning his name time and again. I knew the person that he was talking about and all I could do was try not to react. Did I tell him about this later? No, I'm not a bitch.

The perfume factory: I know how important a good perfume/deo is, but some people tend to marinate themselves in it. I am a migraine patient and there are many times that I've had a migraine attack as soon as I step into the lift. Some people spray on so much perfume that I do get breathless at times. Once, a girl stepped in and I could see the aura of perfume follow her just like the way they show in ads. And guess what she did the minute she stepped in? Yes, she sprayed on more perfume.

The 'lift=washroom' people: Many people check their zippers, their belt, or tuck in their shirts in the lifts. Also, just like the lady who sprayed on more perfume, I have seen people comb their hair, put on makeup or wipe their faces while using a lift. They are oblivious to the other people in the lift and go about their chores.

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The loud speakers: Isn't it a common notion that you do not get network inside an elevator. Well, some people trust their service providers so much that they constantly yell out "Hello, are you there" while in an elevator. If they are lucky enough to have some good reception, they continue to talk loudly throughout the time they spend in the lift. Trust me when I say this, I have picked up quite a few new languages thanks to this.

The 'come closer' folks: Some people clearly do not understand the concept of distance. The guys who invented Velcro must have got the idea in an elevator. Some people stand so close to you that you can't even pass a needle through the gap between you and them. Once a lady conveniently stepped on my foot and continued to stand there. When I asked her to move, she says there is no place for her to move. Another time a guy behind me got so close that I could feel his breath on my hair. Creepy as hell it was.

The starers: Some people give you a death stare while you are standing in a lift. Men and women alike. Some look at you like you killed them in your last birth. Others look at you from top to bottom and this makes me so uncomfortable. This is when I feel that I might have not zipped my pants or if there is a stain on my crotch or if I have left a button on my shirt unbuttoned. If I ever stop taking elevators, it would mainly be for this reason.

The fools: These are the people who step in at the ground floor to get off at the first floor. If obesity and laziness doesn't kill them, maybe I will. These people step into the lift and stand in the extreme corner at the back. When their turn comes, everyone in the lift have to step out to make way for this great soul. There also are people who walk into a lift and forget to choose the button for their floor. And then curse loudly when they miss their floor. What do you call such geniuses?

Of course elevator stories need not be limited to corporate alone. Do let me know if you have any interesting elevator stories to share.

18 comments:

  1. Hehe I was laughing as I read this humorous post, Soumya. Needless to say, your observations are bang on. My pet peeves are people who smell either due to BO or excessive perfume. It drives me nuts! Then those stick to you folks. Why can't people respect personal space? Then those loud talkers and belt adjusters! Phew! I really like your corporate quirks series. 😊

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    1. Oh BO is something else altogether. I will be covering that in work place hygiene in the coming posts :P

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  2. Your post left me in splits 🤣🤣. My tummy hurts laughing. U sure have a great flair for comedy.

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  3. LOL Soumya, this was hilarious, especially because it's so true. I am sure most of us have encountered many if not all of these various types. To me the most annoying ones are the fools, the loudspeakers, and the cribbers. Oh and the ones in a rush - so exasperating! Having said that, for the most part - I find the lift=washroom people extremely amusing. I mean it's an acquired skill after all, to be so oblivious of your surroundings. :D

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    1. Acquired skill, it sure is. Useful or not, it is yet to be determined.

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  4. had a good laugh at your discomforting stories. oh god my tummy is hurting. i am confused now, do i share my sympathy with you or wish for more such awkward encounters for entertaining post? lol no loves. stay in good place n stay happy .
    BTW, i hate one more kind of ppl in lift, who stands opp to the door and facing rest of the crowd in the lift. not found any logical explanation of that yet. so retard

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    1. Oh those kinds are dangerous. I have rarely encountered such folks, but for me they do come under the starers.

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  5. Hehe, this was a fun compilation. Also shows you're a keen observer of people and their mannerisms. It's really annoying to have people rush into the lift as thought their lives would depend on it only to disembark at the next floor!

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  6. I'm one of those music lover people :P

    I get too scared to pick up or call someone on the phone while I'm in the lift. All because of some random bit of information I read that 'using your mobile phone to receive calls or make calls could cause the elevator to explode'. Maybe the person spreading this info was someone who disliked 'The loud speakers' too? :D

    This post is super hilarious, Soumya! A printout of this post should look be stuck on to the insides of every lift! :D

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    1. Elevator to explode? **Reminds self to leave phone locked in the drawer while using the lift**

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  7. The whole time i was just nodding to all the points.. too many things to relate to for instance
    1) am also claustrophobic but have no choice but take the lift since my floor is the 8th one.
    2) Perfume - some smell nice but there are some really strong ones and i suffer from migraine too (recently diagnosed)so i have no qualms but at that moment i just want them to get out or my floor to reach soon (thankfully my corporate office has three elevators one of which stops only on the ground floor and then 7th to 9th)
    3) People who talk about their peer and managers and in laws and kids and everything else. I have had the same experience of knowing about another lead whom the guys were talking about and was a dear friend of mine. Also am not interested in the diaper stories of your kids.
    4) People who smoke and then enter the lift , i mean can't you just have a chewing gum or mouth spray duh!!??
    5) Loud speakers - its so obvious to not get network in the lift yet people keep saying hello hello hello hello.
    6) I have a rush folks - well i think its not just the elevators but every where be it the metro, the bus
    Another thing that i have noticed are people who carry backpacks and would wear it on and enter the lift that just takes space for another person. I mean you can put your bag down so that someone who is abou to miss the office bus or cab can enter the lift.
    A good read and i am sure all corporate guys would be able to relate to :) I think as part of the corporate training, elevator ettiquettes need to be included too along with verbal and written ones.
    Happy Weekend Soumya!!
    P.S - do you know any reliable Migraine Doctors in Blore???

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    1. Thank you for such a detailed comment Sneha. I hope your migraine gets better. I have been battling it for 25 years now and no doctor has been able to cure me as yet :(

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  8. ha ha! Super funny. As I reached the end, I was thinking about the ones who use the elevator to get to the first floor and there you said it :D
    What a fun read.

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  9. This post made me laugh as I recalled my experience in elevators meeting all kinds of jerks- you have captured them so well- Oh the hopelessly romantic ones who look into each other's eyes with such intensity you may think they are going to die- I would add that one though they try and maintain restraint in office elevators

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    1. Ah them? Thankfully haven't seen any such at the workplace until now.

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