It's rare to see any of the workmen take the stairs; even when they're empty-handed, they'll take the elevator down one floor no matter how long they have to wait. I was surprised, then, to walk past an electrician who stood in front of the elevator doors for no more than two seconds before rolling his eyes and walking towards the stairwell.

I carried a load of packages and walked slowly behind him, not even pausing to see what the elevator wait might be. He looked over his shoulder once he heard my footfalls on the stairs.

"You need a hand with those?"

"Nah, I got it. But thanks."

He outstripped me fairly quickly, and I still can't get over the novelty of it.


Years ago, after one of the summer floods, we hired movers to bring all of the equipment out of the area so the labs could get rebuilt. I found a bottleneck at the elevator, where a line of enlargers had to wait to get sent upstairs. There was one mover standing at the elevator, not moving anything.

"What's up?" I asked him, while trying not to tap my foot too visibly. I wanted to keep the operation on a tight schedule, since I knew that the sooner we cleared out the equipment, the sooner we'd start reconstruction.

"I need to wait for my supervisor. These might be more than fifty pounds and I don't want to touch them."

"Oh. Well, I'm not under any weight restrictions," I said, before shoving four of them into the elevator and sending them upstairs. Since there wasn't room in the elevator for me, I sprinted up the stairwell and caught them as they reached the first floor.

This went on through the entire week of moving, that I would find places where movers twice my size would decide against moving something, and I'd move things myself rather than wait for the entire crew to rearrange itself. Partway through the week, I was scolded by the movers for taking away their work, that I was acting disrespectful to their jobs, and violating their safety regulations.

We finished the moving phase before their complaints got very far.

25 February 2014 13:07

  Commons License this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. for more details, please see my license information.