Elevator Lesson

by Anthony Lindsay

Do you mind if I bend your ear for a minute? The strangest thing just happened to me and I have to tell someone. You got a minute? You're not going to believe this. Did you know my office is on the thirty six floor? Well it is, and the elevators are always breaking down, so I wasn't surprised to see two service people on the elevator. I was going to pass on the car, until the worker holding a ladder waved me in.

While standing facing the door I heard one of them say good afternoon, I assumed one service worker was speaking to the other, I didn't answer; and on my own behalf, my mind was racing with meeting plans. I heard the second greeting but I didn't hear it, again I was preoccupied with the meeting plans. It wasn't until one of the service workers rudely pushed pass me to get to the control panel, did I began to notice things. The worker opened the panel and flipped the biggest switch behind it. The car jerked to a stop. I was startled but not afraid. A service worker stopped the elevator, a service worker could start the elevator. I stood for a minute or so, calm; then I noticed neither worker was working on elevator.

I looked at both and saw that they were men. Black men, the one who opened the panel looked a little like my distant cousin Man Man who was doing time for rape. He returned to the panel box, flipped another switch and the lights went out. All I had for a weapon was my fountain pen. I was stabbing into the darkness with it when the lights flipped back on. I tried to play it off when I saw neither one of them had moved and they where both laughing at me.

While I was regaining my composure the one who holding the ladder, opened it and climbed up and through a ceiling panel. The car dropped suddenly and I was slung against the back wall, hard. The car stopped just as suddenly and I was slammed to the floor, hard. He closed the panel, climbed down the ladder and folded it back. Neither said a word to me, they snickered among themselves. When I stood I noticed the heel on left pump was broke. When the car finally got to the main lobby; I limbed directly to the building managers office and told him about what I considered to be an assault. He called the service men to his office; and you know they had the gall to tell him they didn't notice when I got on the elevator. Supposedly, they were so involved in their testing they didn't see me get on. The manager believed them. He said it wasn't the first time a preoccupied person drifted on a elevator that was in service. The service men both gave phony apologizes and left.

For compensation, the manager wrote me a check large enough to buy two pair of pumps. I snatched it and limbed out of his office. I was riding the elevator back up; mad, hurt, embarrassed, crying and holding a broken shoe. The elevator stopped on twelve and two well dressed and well groomed brothers get on. The tears were running down my face and both brothers look right through me. They continued their conversation as if I wasn't even on the elevator. At that moment, I can't lie to you, I wished I had the power to jerk the elevator to a stop and slam both their suite wearing behinds to the floor.

I went to the bathroom on my floor and tried to regain my composure. When I got back to my office, there was a dozen Forget Me Nots from the building's florist on my desk. The card read, 'We are really sorry' and was signed, 'Unnoticed and Ignored'. I started crying again. I still haven't made up my mind if I'm going to call a lawyer or not, but one thing you can believe, I will be speaking to whomever is on the elevator from now on. Thanks for listening. I'll talk to you later. Bye bye.

Elevator Lesson by Anthony Lindsay

© Copyright 1999. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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