I used to work in a building that had an elevator I had to use all the time – an elevator that where some of the most awesome music is played that NO ONE wants to admit that they like unless they’re alone in their care or they’ve been drinking … a lot.
Oh, come on. Almost everyone has done it. It is just that no one else will admit to it. However, as I seem to have no pride at all, I will tell on myself … and a couple of previous co-workers.
The usual snoozing elevator music is not what is normally piped in on the elevators at one of my old workplaces. The songs often played are the ones that many people love and never admit it. The first song I ever heard on the elevator was “Hotel California” by the Eagles. (Well, okay, most people happen to like that particular song.)
With such classic, singable music, I would have sang along aloud, and with great enthusiasm and an invisible microphone, but there were other people on the elevator and I had no desire to show my truest, weirdest and most unrestrained self in the presence of strangers. Friends can barely take it. Strangers would never understand.
Over the course of the time, I have heard great songs like “Boogie Man;” “Freak Out;” “I Will Survive;” “Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting” and many, many more. It has been so difficult to restrain myself when such songs are playing … until the elevator is empty. Then, I am queen of the elevator concert and free to express my musical joy and limited, spasmodic dancing ability.
I thought I was the only one. The lonely one.
I thought I was a loner in my unrestrained musical expression when alone on the elevator. Until the day a co-worker got on the elevator with me and a great 80’s song was playing away. There were others on the elevator at first. My co-worker and I looked at each other and we both smiled and tapped our feet quietly until the strangers on the elevator with us got off on the next floor.
After we were alone, there was only a second’s hesitation before she and I started dancing with a mad, giggly glee. The fun stopped when the elevator doors opened at our destination. However, our brief respite into self-expression replenished our souls for the day and we were able to be better, more efficient workers for it.
A few weeks later, I overheard one of my more hip supervisor types mentioning that she had also indulged in a little elevator disco dancing from time to time whenever she was alone. I encouraged her confession, telling her this was nothing to be ashamed of.
I wanted to drop a note into the employee suggestion box. I believed it would have been good for company morale if we’d had a secret button that employees can push when they are alone on the elevator and feel the urge to dance and sing along with the music. The button will immediately cause a mini-mirrored disco ball to drop from an opening in the elevator ceiling and some cool, multicolored lights will begin to swirl and further enhance the self-expression mood.
Some dry ice fog effects would also be nice but I figure that was a little too much to ask.
Ah, yes. With everybody elevator dancing, I figure work productivity and efficiency will go through the roof. I can already smell the raise I will get for this suggestion. Self expression is a beautiful thing. Stay tuned.
(L.A. Story is a fiction writer, poet, and weirdo. She is a resident of Glen where elevators are rare and thus a source of fascination and tourism. Her blogs are supposed to appear weekly when she is not slacking.)**The original version of this column appeared in the Daily Corinthian on November 16, 2005.