I have a problem with lifts. Having never worked in a place with a lift, and only recently reconciling my irrational childhood fear, I found out I’m not down with lift etiquette. I’m trying to work out what to do when you have the ‘first one into the lift’ role. I’m taking a Grounded Theory approach to it, though, and working it out as I go along.
Attempt number one last week consisted of: getting into the lift, pressing the button for my floor, then standing next to the buttons doing nothing – including when a fellow passenger followed me in. This felt wrong; by standing where I was, I had assumed the role of Lift Monitor and yet had failed atrociously in my monitoring-the-buttons task. I vowed to myself never to make such a faux pas again.
Tuesday’s attempt started much better: I got in, pressed my button, then when the next passenger arrived didn’t miss a beat in asking which floor they wanted and pressing the button. Success. However, the journey is a perfect length for awkwardness to kick in. The second after pressing the button, I realised that as Lift Monitor I had initiated a verbal exchange. Was that the beginning of a conversation? Was I being cripplingly rude in not following my “which floor?” with at least an anodyne comment about the weather? Was this also bad lift etiquette? I still haven’t figured it out.
Something else I haven’t figured out is if Banksy has been in the Houses of Parliament. As I turned Sombrero Corner on my way to the Tube on Tuesday evening, I noticed on the wall a graffitied electrical cable and cable box in the style of Banksy – or at least that’s what it looked like. I suppose it could have just been grime where such objects once were. But I’m not certain; I’ll keep my eyes peeled for further evidence.