Sunday, July 9, 2017

My Elevated Life

When you live on the 26th floor, your time on the elevator adds way up.  One perk is that the
people-watching can get interesting.
Since my building welcomes residents of all colors, ethnicities, sexual preferences and attire, the elevator becomes "crossroad of a million lives."

My history with elevators has had its ups and downs. (Groan.)  At my office building on LaSalle, I was stuck between floors with too many others one hot day.  The rescue was pretty quick . . . the recovery not so fast.

Bill and I were stuck in our apartment building elevator.  He had his comic books.  I had nothing but my creeping hysteria.  After that, I vowed to live no higher than I could climb.  Of course, that wore off over time.

My favorite elevator experiences were when I worked at the Monadnock Building.  They had operators!  Friendly men who remembered you and your floor. I'd like to think they were all union guys who made good pay.

Elevator etiquette has changed dramatically.  Before cell phones, my elevator mates were happy to give me a smile and maybe a few words. Now, except for us oldsters, they stare at their devices, barely noticing when we reach the lobby.

Final thought:  Thanks to you, Mr. Otis, I have my fabulous sky-high view.  Worth the ride every time.


  1. I sometimes think about the disappearance of elevator operators, perhaps a sign of automation (and the disposal of jobs done by humans) we should have paid more attention to. One of the last was a friendly, funny man named George at Orchestra Hall, Chicago, who would give us a review if we came for one of the repetitions of a Thursday night concert. The question of their level of compensation is also an interesting one. They probably had health insurance and paid vacation. Now they exist only in the world of those of us old enough to remember them, and the history books that list their addition to the ranks of forgotten professions like blacksmith.

  2. I love your comment Gerry because I feel nostalgic about these people just the same as you do. Thanks.

  3. I still remember the elevator operator at the building I worked at on north Michigan Avenue back in the late 70's.
    It had those beautiful Art Deco elevator doors and the presence of the elevator operator just completed the nostalgic mood. He always had a smile for a nice way to start the work day. Everyday life seemed so much more human back then. I miss those seemingly minor daily connections.

    1. The most interesting part of my blog was when I talked about the elevator operators. Says something, doesn't it?