Leave it to the advertising execs to crash a perfectly good party!
We ninetofivers*, toting travel mugs, cherry tomatoes and ergonomic laptop bags, wake daily with reaffirmed attitudes towards success.
“Today, my to-dos will become to-dones!”
“Microsoft Access has got nothing on me!”
Driving across the city’s gastroid belt, the sun cresting through our rear windows moves one almost to bent knee, thanking carpet tiles and pre-measured coffee for the reason behind this glorious moment.
Bounding from parked cars, leaping even, towards offices we go—with KT Tunstall ringing in our ears.
At least I think we do. I do.
Anyway, this feeling quickly deflates in the elevator, a.k.a. the awkward capsule.
However, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s a volatile state, but special in its own way. Everyone gets on, looks up, and waits for their number to come up. No-one speaks or looks around. The brave, unbothered by obvious disinterest and deep meditative states, are limited to two topics: the weather and the day of the week.
But that changed forever two mornings ago. Yes, flat-screen monitors appeared in our elevators—inches away from the digital number display prior used for our focus.
Cool, right? News briefs, weather information, skill-testing questions…wrong! The screens shuffle three slides. The first is a quote by Andrew Carnegie, which was thoughtful on its first viewing. The other two are lifestyle: an explanation to why cork is used in wine bottling and a friendly reminder to let cheese hang out at room temperature for an hour before you eat it. Deep stuff.
So now, us commuters are left staring at screens we know are coming, straining for any deeper meaning, secret code, 3D hidden art image, all while pretending that a) we’d never seen this slide before and b) we’d actually learned something.
I don’t know what’s worse: being stuck in advertising limbo or the embarrassment that someone thinks corks are a crucial bit of information, enough to replay it every 20 seconds.
*Technically-speaking, I’m actually an eighttofourwithnoluncher, but that doesn’t roll off the tongue quite the same. And besides, it’s not like anyone is checking membership at the door or anything.