Thought of the Day: Elevators

A room like no other…it moves.

I live in a residential high-rise. Forty six floors, to be exact, with three elevators.

It kills me, though, when people take a cart from the laundry room – something they are not supposed to do in the first place – and then send it back down the elevator to the basement, unaccompanied, in hopes that someone will remove it and return it to the laundry room for them because they are too fucking lazy to ride down with the cart and do it themselves.

The same is true of the carts in the lobby used to transport groceries and other items. Those are designed to be used on the elevators, yet people are too lazy to return them once they’ve unloaded their crap. Instead, they shove them on the elevator and send them back down to the lobby, unaccompanied, in hopes that someone will wheel it off for them. And to make it worse, those things take up the bulk of the space inside the elevator, which means its hard for anyone else to get in or out when one of those carts are in there.

Is it such a sacrifice to take a cart back down in the elevator? Is riding in a magical metal box that can transport you hundreds of feet up and down at the mere push of a button that much of a burden?

You may think I’m nit-picking. And, indeed, these are trivial problems given all that’s going on in the world right now. But it’s an example of the sort of self-absorbed behavior that’s at the root of so many of our other, more pressing problems.

What happened to basic human decency? Why are people such inconsiderate pricks? And, while we’re at it, what happened to our respect for and admiration of the wondrous invention that is the elevator?

Elevators Are Awesome
The elevator is an amazing thing. Apparently Archimedes built the first elevator-like contraption back in the BC years. But the first “modern” version was installed in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg in 1793, with a steady stream of improvements leading up to the first safety elevator being invented by Elisha Otis (my man!) in 1952, with the first passenger model going into operation five years later.

The invention of the modern elevator paved the way for the development of the skyscraper, forever transforming our cities – and our societies. For a very long time, a ride in an elevator was something to talk about, the same way flying used to be. But we tend to take things for granted these days, and unless you live in a rural area, chances are you don’t think twice about riding in an elevator.

Though you should be very excited about riding in an elevator. It is still an amazing thing. We’re talking about a metal room that moves up and down, hundreds of feet in the air, at the touch of a button. That is why I have no qualms about taking a cart back down to the lobby. I’m happy that I can ride 20 floors in a magic box – or a full 46 if I choose. And, yes, it’s also about being courteous, and not making my life easier at the expense of making other people’s lives more difficult, however small of an inconvenience it may be.

It’s the little things that can make a big difference, people. Like elevators.