The lifts adjacent to our hamster pods are ironically termed the Fun Boy Three“. This is an oblique reference to their inability to travel vertically without shuddering to a lengthy halt, or maliciously crushing a limb in their claw like doors. The closest one has a ground state of broken; occasionally it judders into life to cheekily abandon passengers between floors, before being immobilised by a weary collection of excuses. Can’t get the parts mate” or too many fat people on the upper floors have knackered it“.
This leaves just the two operating although today one was in obvious mechanical distress. There was a disturbing combination of bumping and grinding likely to trigger a sequence of catastrophic events, ending in a plummet to, and probably through, the ground floor. For anyone familiar with the lift plunging, cable slashing scene in the original Omen, the parallel was obvious. Entering that lift could only end in a fatal anthology of blood and entrails. Still, being more than a little keen for a quick shower, a large coffee and an entraily bucket of fried food, it seemed worth the risk.
The doors made three abortive attempts to close before slamming shut in an ear bleeding crash. Anyone venturing an unguarded arm, in an attempt at holding the lift, would have been reunited with their withered stump on the ground floor. They would have had plenty of time to bleed down the stairs though as the lift attempted a bold sideways move, clearly aggravated at being rigidly secured in it’s perpendicular prison,. It put me in mind of the elevator in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory except with less glass and more potential for imminent death.
More victims ill advisedly added themselves to this boxy death toll, and the lift responded with a mechanical death rattle as the doors finally wheezed open on the ground floor. Pondering the possibility of spending my entire morning waiting for a non lethal encounter with a rising lift, I jumped both physically and metaphorically out of the box and made slow but safe progress up the fire-stairs.
Shaky legs and rasping lungs apart, this proved to be a shrewd decision, as the entire Fun Boy Three had joined their striking brothers in the shower and ambushed about half the firm between floors three and four. There’s a book running on whether the coffee machine or lifts will be repaired first, but, based on historical precedent, I sincerely hope those trapped are provisioned with sandwiches for at least a couple of days.
In the same way that people begin to resemble their pets, these lifts remind me of some of our less auspicious working practices. I’ll not enumerate these in all their glory, but take slow, difficult, inconsistent, frustrating and bonkers as examples and I think you’ll get the idea.
It’s hard to credit that an apparently sane man can get properly annoyed at both showers AND lifts in the same week. Unless you’ve met me, in which case you’ll be nodding sanguinely, muttering once a nutter, always a nutter“.