elevator freakout

i was in two sets of elevators today in two different high-rises. they were both potentially weird and/or freaky in their own ways. the first one was traditionally troublesome to some — it was old and creaky. the doors took a little longer to close then it seemed like they should have. they sort of rattled all the way up to the 25th floor. in some ways, i could see how it would have been unsettling for someone who was prone to elevator fears. in some ways, it was just kind of old and charming to me.

but it was the first set of elevators i was in today that was the more disturbing to me personally. as i walked into the doors of 55 west monroe, i saw something that should have been a clue to me, but i couldn’t place the context. i saw these big keypads with big numbers on them. i figured they were for after-hours so employees could enter codes and get in and out of the building. frankly, i *did* wonder about them, but i passed by. i started toward the elevators and saw a man jump in to an elevator and seemingly thanked a woman for holding the door. i got in and went to push the button for the 19th floor, and …. there were no buttons.

uhhh …. what? this creepy sci-fi woman is announcing floors and the woman and man are clearly lined up to get off at floors. the woman asks me if i punched in my floor before i got in (KEYPADS!). i say i didn’t. (WHY WOULD I HAVE DONE THAT!?) so, now i’m a little panicked. how in the hell am i going to get to the 19th floor? am i going to ride all the way up? all the way down? i’m so nonplussed i am paralyzed. the woman points out that i can get off with her and then push another floor.

she does this and initially pushes 22 (this is where she thinks i need to go), and the display reads F. i think this means “FAIL” or that it didn’t take her entry. i tell her i’m actually going to 19, and it reads F again. she then points over to an elevator and then i realize that all the elevators are labeled A-G. in seconds, it’s telling me exactly what elevator to expect.

wha? very, very efficient. very, very creepy. so bizarre. yipes.


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