New and improved

New and improved? How about new and unimproved. I’m referring to the elevators at work. New they may be, improved they are not.

They are nice looking. Or some of them are, at least. We cannot see the inside walls on all of them, because as soon as they were operable, one of them was covered from floor to ceiling with padded blankets. It looks like the inside of a moving van. (Why didn’t they build a cargo elevator?)

About twice a week, a sign shows up taped to the wall next to one of the elevators, apologizing for it being temporarily out of service. This Out Of Service sign migrates from one elevator to another. Rarely are all four elevators working. We also have the “healthly hands start here” antibacterial soap dispensers on a stand that get moved in front of the doors of the elevator that is broken (double duty for the dispensers).

When these new elevators were installed, they had a tendency to stay open, open, open. So much so that the alarm would sound, telling everyone in the elevator that the doors had been open too long. (According to Wikipedia, the first elevator was probably built in 236. That’s 236 BC. How long does it take to work out all the operational bugs?) Things have improved somewhat, as this happens only every once in a while now.

My business complex has two buildings connected by a catwalk. Both buildings got new elevators at the same time. Somehow, though, they didn’t get the same displays in both buildings. In one building, the one I’m in most of the time, the digital display is on both sides of the elevators. In the other building, it is only on one side. I find myself looking at the blank space on the elevator in the second building, to see which floor we are coming to next. The blank space never tells me anything. Never.

New elevators, new control panels. I miss the old control panel in the second building a little. It had buttons for six floors, even though the building only has three floors. Every once in a while someone would get on a crowded elevator and say “Six, please.” (“Someone,” not me.) The polite person next to the controls would push “6” on the control panel, only to have nothing happen because there was nothing that could happen.

Ah, simple things amuse simple minds. (“Someone,” not me.)

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