Contradiction in Terms
You say to-may-toe; I say toh-mah-tah. Deal with it.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Elevator Action

It's not about what you're hoping it's about, you libidinous kibitzers.

I've counted at least four elevators now in the Metro Manila area that feature the combination of touch-sensitive keypads and floor numbers marked in Braille.

Am I the only person who realizes how stupid this is? Think about it: here's some poor blind person trying to get to their desired floor, so they run their hands over the keypad, looking for the right number. "Ah, here it is," they think to themselves, not realizing that they have also unwittingly pressed every other number their fingers have traveled over. So the door opens and closes, opens and closes--and unless the elevator is also equipped with recorded voice messages for each floor, how does this blind person even know when to step off the elevator? It's both hilariously and tragically absurd.

Yesterday, I saw an elevator in which the numbers run from right to left instead of left to right--presumably to make things easier for Japanese people, or simply to confuse the hell out of everyone else, so that people keep hopping off on the wrong floors and the building administrators can have something to laugh about on a regular basis. Hey, you have to take your kicks where you find them, right?

Then there's Dean's office building, where the number keypad is on the outside of the elevator instead of inside it. You have to press the floor you want to go to before getting on; then the little screen on the keypad tells you which of three elevators you should ride. This seems simple enough, but you would not believe the number of people I've spotted (a) standing outside the elevator and looking at the keypad in dismay; (b) unwittingly entering the elevator and, after the doors have already closed, looking about frantically for something--anything!--to push; and of course (c) meekly getting off on the wrong floor and trying to pretend they were really just dying to take a tour of the stairwell from the get-go.

Once, I was getting on the elevator at Dean's office when a girl standing next to me grabbed my elbow. I was all set to jam said elbow into the presumed hoodlum's face when she stammered, wide-eyed and trembling, "Puh-please, c-can I take this elevator to the s-seventh floor?" I took pity on her and showed her what to do.

I dunno; given that there continue to be people who have trouble distinguishing the "up" button from the "down" button (appalling but true), maybe we should require all public buildings to use a standardized elevator type? Yes--from now on, we will decree, everyone must use Schindler's Lift.

If you got the joke, then possibly you, too, can actually manage to get where you want to go.
Nikki bit in at 1:54 PM :: ::
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