2015 is going to get better, right?
Okay, so it’s not my worst start to a year ever. There was that one vacation with my parents where we all spent New Year’s Day sweating equally from the flu and the desert heat of southern California and taking turns puking our guts out. This year I at least had the sense to wait until I was due back at work before getting horribly ill.
(Apologies to anyone who did spend their New Year’s puking their guts out…I know there were a lot of you.)
Nonetheless, things aren’t looking too great.
After taking two nauseous and groggy extra days off, during which I only woke up long enough to email work that I wouldn’t be coming in, I finally returned to the office on Wednesday. Where all of last year’s bullshit combined with a whole brand new batch of bullshit was waiting to say hello.
First came the reality checks. Right off the bat I got the news that one of the guys in the office down the hall had to ring in the new year in the ICU after an emergency aortic valve replacement. Now there’s a belated Christmas present nobody really wants. I mean, like, yay, lifesaving surgery and all, but most people who want to celebrate their New Year’s on drugs wouldn’t tend to choose getting their sternum cracked open as the means of obtaining them.
Not long after that first bombshell was dropped, I learned that one of our maintenance guys is also in the hospital after a particularly nasty seizure. He’s had a couple minor ones in the past, but apparently this time he really went for broke.
Okay, universe, I get it, my little flu is chump change compared to fried brains and literally broken hearts. Now will you please quit guilting me and just let me feel sorry for myself already? It’s like there’s some kind of contest to one-up The Boss Man’s appendix removal in the second week of January a couple years back.
In less life-threatening but still not terribly healthy news, there was a new oeuvre by Madam Rorschach waiting to be critiqued in the Ladies’.
It was also my duty to inform one of the managers that the new business deal he worked out over the holidays without consulting me is flawed to a spectacular degree and fucks up our current accounting practices on a number of levels. Although I guess the satisfying note of panic that crept into his voice as
I bitched him out we had a frank discussion about this misstep was a bit of a silver lining.
But apparently I don’t need to worry about managing the company’s money anyway, because everyone and their dog seems to have conveniently forgotten to pay us this week, leaving me with no money to manage.
Not to be left out of the fun, our possessed copy machine has been yelling something garbled about towels and refuses to scan anything.
That’s a whole lot of shit, literal and figurative, to deal with for 8 hours when you’re already feeling like crap.
So all I wanted, after long day of struggling to keep down clear broth and water, listening abashedly to health horror stories far worse than my own, and bravely standing tall in the face of toilet carnage, infinite idiots, and scratchy demonic voices, was to go home to my apartment building and slump into the goddamn elevator for a two storey ride, because I was so out of energy and fucks to give that the stairs might as well have been Everest.
But we can’t always get what we want.
Our building’s antiquated elevator has been in the process of being replaced since October. When the notice first went up, we were all pleasantly surprised. The damn thing already spent far more time being repaired than on active duty; a slightly longer hiatus would definitely be worth it in the end! Okay, so our building is only three floors plus a basement, and most of the time we only take the lift to be lazy bastards. But on moving day, laundry day, or leg day? An elevator is a fucking miracle.
Or it would be, if it worked.
Ours was an elevator that, 9 mornings out of 10, would stall on the ground floor with the door uselessly screeching open and shut ad nauseam – much to the delight, I’m sure, of the surrounding tenants.
An elevator where choosing your floor was a carefully timed art, as pressing the button one millisecond too slowly or too quickly would result in the elevator taking five to contemplate all the philosophical and moral implications of what was being asked of it.
An elevator where every time the door shuddered to a close, you sent a brief thought of farewell to your loved ones in case it never opened back up again. For the love of God, Montresor!
Still, I’m beginning to miss that goddamn elevator.
Sure, you were basically daring it to seal you away in a cheap wood veneer tomb every time you got in the fucking thing, but at least you could get your metric ton of groceries up to your apartment without having to make three pit stops along the way.
Admittedly I don’t know how long an elevator replacement is meant to take. We weren’t given an estimate, just a start date. I’m sure Google knows, but see above about me being a lazy bastard. Still, it’s January 8th. Surely even our hopeless lift should be swapped out for a working one by now?
And I’m not the only one wondering. Partway through December, someone less patient than I dared defile the posted notice in the lobby with a handwritten question about how much longer this whole process was going to be.
In response, the entire notice was promptly removed – CENSORSHIP! CENSORSHIP! – just in time for Nutty Hubby and I, unawares, to order pizza. After we buzzed him in, the delivery guy spent a good five minutes wandering around the now note-less lobby staring in bemusement at the bunch of wires where the elevator call button used to be, before he finally called us to ask for directions to the mysterious and elusive stairs. WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE PIZZA GUYS?
The week before Christmas looked promising. Shiny new button panels were installed and their protective film stripped off. There was even a little LED display window that (once activated) would allow us to deduce what floor the car was on by sight instead of screech! I was so optimistic we would have a working elevator in time for Jeebus’ birthday that I even mentioned this small new development in an email to my mother, deeming it “a Festivus miracle!”
Naturally I spoke too soon.
THE SAGA CONTINUES.
The shiny new button panels that once delighted me now invoke my scorn. They’ve officially been hooked up to the juice, but as of yet the buttons do nothing other than glow a brief, pretty green when pressed. The LED display is up and running, glowing a bright mocking red and proudly announcing that the elevator is currently on…a floor that doesn’t exist?
Like I said, we’re three floors and a basement, so unless Willy Motherfucking Wonka has landed his goddamn Great Glass Elevator one storey above our roof, this mechanical bastard is already lying to us. THIS IS WHY I HAVE TRUST ISSUES, PEOPLE.
Also, do you notice anything odd about the photo below? Apparently we don’t warrant “up” call buttons. On any of the floors. Even the lobby. We don’t even get one of those single ones with the double arrow. Down with everything!
Are they building us an elevator or a portal to Hell?
Because if it’s the latter, I’m confused. I always thought I was going there in a handbasket.