Sunday, August 20, 2017

Poke it with a Stick

Several decades of life experience have taught me many things,  perhaps the most important of which is:

Commitment is scary.

I was never the type of kid to crawl into tight spaces to see what was in there. I would rather have poked it with a stick.

Before GPS came along I would dutifully memorize landmarks when driving in unfamiliar territory. Well, I still do that but now I have a backup plan.

I did get married... and eventually divorced but that's a whole other story.

So imagine my horror when confronted with the following:

An elevator that demands to know where you're going before it will open its door to you.

I met this creature for the first time recently in a downtown office building. I went to look for the elevator call button which had always worked well for me before, but it wasn't there.

In its place was this BIG thing. I at first ignored it because it didn't look like an elevator call button. It looked complicated. Lots of buttons. Directions which had to be focused upon and READ. (In French, but I'm used to that.)

It asked for my floor number. 

I just want the freakin' elevator! Why do you need to know my floor number?
What if I change my mind? What if I see an ad in the elevator that makes me want to take a detour? (mmmmm, coffee!)  What if there's a stalker behind me who wants to know ahead of time where I'm going?  At that point I wasn't even sure I remembered my floor number.

After gathering myself together, I reluctantly punched it in. I was rewarded by a big red sign telling me which elevator to go to. And a big red arrow, in case I couldn't match the letter on the sign with the letter above the actual elevator.

I was so busy digesting all this I almost missed the ride.

Once inside the elevator I went to choose my floor, but no need, the button was  ALREADY LIT UP. Not by anyone else, as they all got off before I did. The freakin' elevator wanted to make sure I got to my floor, and not anybody else's floor.

How stupid does it think I am?

What bothers me most is I wasn't given an alternative. I HAD to proclaim my floor choice before an elevator would open for me. I would understand if it was some kind of disabled access thing but I can't see how this system makes anything easier for anybody. I realize certain elevators may only go to certain floors but there are signs for that. Has society been so dumbed down that elevator manufacturers can't rely on people to read signs? Whose responsibility is it to ensure that I get to where I'm going? How did I manage to make it to the correct building at the correct time without further help?

After much deliberation I have decided that the next time I encounter such a beast, I will thwart its intentions by keying in the wrong floor, and correcting it once inside.  Even if it costs me a few seconds in wasted time it will be worth it.

 After all, this is worse than a nanny state. It's a nanny ELEVATOR. 

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