25. Silence in a crowded elevator
Ever stepped into an elevator by yourself?
Some people have a fear of these small boxes that move up and down in a narrow tube in some hidden corner of a building. The way I describe it, it sounds like I’m one of those people.. but no. I’m actually fearful of the awkward moments involved when other people are in the elevator.
When people think of awkward moments, the thought of an awkward silence comes to mind. You know, when you’re out eating with your friends and then nobody has anything to say.. yeah, I feel awkward already.
Anyway, suppose you work in a very busy building. You’re used to hearing the sound of copy machines, of shuffling papers, telephones ringing, and the secretary complaining about her love life. You get into the elevator with a group of people and then look at the elevators door closing. With it, the outside noise begins to disappear and then suddenly. . . silence.
After hearing all of this background noise, its a bit strange to walk into an elevator with a group of 4 or more people and then hear absolutely nothing. If you pay close attention, however, you won’t be the only one feeling strange. When people feel awkward they typically look down at their shoes, clear their throats, or try very hard not to move a single muscle. I usually freeze. I used to take out my cell phone, but the people inside are so close to each other that I would catch the person next to me looking down at my screen watching me doing absolutely nothing but looking at the icons on my phone. I just freeze and wait for the relief “ding!”. It gets me through it.
I guess it could be worse. . .
Ever been in a packed elevator with really really tall people?