Friday, November 27, 2009

Uplifting Experiences

Ting! The doors open and you hear a cool female voice: "Fourth Floor." People in the corridor rush in just like commuters rushing in to catch the just-arrived local on a platform. And just like a platform that's quickly deserted after the local has left, the corridor is empty.

Cramped inside, you'll barely have space to move. And even if you have, you might feel awkward doing so, ensuring that you don't attract a lot of attention in the closed space. If you see a colleague inside with whom you are not particularly inclined to talk at that moment, you will probably busy yourself in your mobile, watch, papers if you have any in hand, or just pretend that you aren't aware s/he's there with you. If unluckily s/he pings you, you will show your surprise and say a few words to that effect. In reality, you will curse for waiting for the lift and will step out at the next floor even if that wasn't where you wanted to go.

Most of the times, you won't get a ride going up or down when you need it most. That's where nature compensates for your loss of patience and want of exercise. You can almost hear Her say, "Man, you are taking life too easily. Let me put in some obstacles. In any rate, staircases are safer places to move. You'll get more space and can keep moving all the time." You will obviously wait for a long time until one of the cages finally come, typically full. Cursing again, you will run up or down the staircase. And I am 200% sure that the next lift that arrives at your floor is the one that's empty and goes in the direction that you want. But of course, till that time you are halfway up or down your way.

It will so happen that when you wait for a lift for some time, the crowd in the corridor will increase steadily and then when the lift finally arrives, there will be a hustle to catch that blessed cage. Waiters (people waiting for the uplift) will barge in for their emancipation, regardless of their rank, number, or seniority. Youngsters will show their spark of quickness at moving and be right at the end of the cage before you say "May I?" And that's one time again where male-chauvinism is foremost. Ohh, you possibly can't expect men to wait for women, especially pregnant women to catch the elevators. That's old-world gentlemanly behaviour. We are in the modern world now! No one has told them yet that elevation needs high standards.

Finally when you are lucky enough to step in the conveyor, you will get to hear all kinds of conversations. You will get to know the latest score of an ongoing cricket match, lunch plans for the afternoon, movie reviews, critical work issues and their possible solutions, traffic khabar, latest gossip, who's leaving (if you are lucky to have HR folks with your), and even kid-tales if you are (un)lucky enough to get a bunch of working mamas in the lift.

When you go in a lift, remember a few things. First, remember on what floor you are and the floor that you want to go to. Secondly, if you are sleepy, it is better to take the stairs. You will at least shake off your sleep. Because it might just happen that you enter the lift on the fifth floor and keep on pressing the button for the fifth floor when you actually want to reach basement two. If you are lucky, someone will point out: "Madam, yeh fifth floor hi hain!" If you aren't, you might just have to wait for someone else to get in, or till you get back your senses and understand that lifts won't work if you don't make them budge from their floors.

One more thing you ought to watch out for is the direction. It's a universal law that when you are desperately waiting for a lift, the ones going in the opposite direction will all make a stop. None will come that takes you in your direction. Steps are better. They take you up and down at the same time. Staircases also make a healthier option.

Your workplace can be a healthier and curse-free area, if you purposely avoid these iron cages to commute. But then you will also never have such elevating experiences. Ups and downs will always be there. You got to definitely know on which floor you want to get out!

Ting! Ground Floor!