The Logical Philosopher

Monday, January 08, 2007

Internal Stairs

Another visit to the 21st floor, but this time I vowed not to hesitate. Lost in my thoughts of evading reception, I heard a ping as the doors opened. I had not noticed the man behind me push the 20th floor button after I hit the 21st. That simple act of disassociation and ignorance from the acts of people around me set in motion the following event:

I stepped out and pivoted left as planned, but stopped as I became instantaneously disoriented. Things had changed! I paused, and glanced over my shoulder – no reception. I was safe. Or was I? Standing in the middle of an elevator lobby I looked up to see the sign noting the 20th floor. Crap, all this planning and I was on the wrong floor! I stood there thinking Did this ever happen to James Bond? What would 007 do? Adapt! Wait, I'm not 007. Panic!

Before my brain fully realized I should panic instead of adapting a tall brunette walked into the lobby, one hand full of briefs (the legal kind), the other with a tall Starbucks. I must have started to look disconcerted because she turned and looked me up and down then said with a concerned tone “you look like you’re looking for the 21st floor. I’m heading up, or you can take the stairs.” She motioned over to our right where a set of open stairs let upwards.

“Oh, thanks” I mumbled as I readjusted my knapsack, readying myself for a long flight of what looked like about 14 steps.

As the top of the steps was in the same proximity as the reception desk I was sure it would have been noticed if I made an unescorted break for Sandritia’s office. Being the polite Canadian I am, I dutifully checked in with reception. Besides, as I arrived on the 21st floor it was right beside the reception desk and both receptionists watched me ascend, looking at me like I was an obvious visitor. Who ever thought dressing like a writer, not a lawyer, would get me busted! Man, I thought, getting into this building is getting tougher by the visit.

As I checked in with the gatekeepers and took my seat I heard the elevator doors ping. As the doors opened I heard the sounds of a familiar voice chattering away – it was the Starbucks Brunette, from the 20th floor talking with another colleague. Boy, she wasn’t kidding when she said she was heading up – poor assumption on my part when I speculated it was more than 1 floor.

Later, when recounting the strange 1 floor jaunt up the elevator with Sandritia she let out a large gasp. “Nobody takes the internal stairs! Nobody!” she exclaimed, punctuating the final “Nobody” with a hand wave.

I now have clarity to my errors. Next time I know how to evade reception and not be pegged as a visitor. No hesitation AND no stairs.