The 16th Floor

The last couple days, when I’ve gotten on the elevator, the button for the 16th floor was pushed. The first time it happened, I thought it was probably just someone’s visiting grandchild, hitting an extra button on the way out (my sister and I used to like to do this. I do believe that once, we pushed every button in the elevator right before we got out. The next person to get on the elevator sure loved us that day). But then, the next time I got on the elevator, the 16th floor was still illuminated. And it stayed lit after stopped on the 16th floor and the doors opened and closed. Some sort of electrical glitch. So over a matter of 36 hours, I got very used to the 16th floor being lit up and hitting the “door close” button each time we approached that floor (not that it actually works very well, but at least I got the satisfaction of getting to jab at something).

My impatience with the elevators stems from the fact that my apartment building has the slowest elevators doors known to humanity. I live in a building where the average age is 79, and 65% of the population use some sort of walker/scooter/cane. To say they move slowly is an understatement. Add to that the fact that just as the doors are finally starting to close, someone will yell, “Hold that,” and thrust their cane between the doors, forcing the computer that controls the opening and closing, lifting and lowering, to start the count down process all over again. It can take up to three minutes from the time you board to the time that the doors actually close and you have liftoff. Three minutes may not sound like a long time, but factor in seven people, someone’s take out chinese dinner and an armful of mail/drycleaning/dirty plastic containers from lunch and three minutes starts to feel like 30.

Today I got home from work and managed to dash onto an elevator just as the doors were closing. I pushed my floor and noticed that the 16th floor was pressed as well. As we approached the floor in question, I moved to the panel and put my finger on the close button, preparing to depress, hoping to shave 2.5 seconds off my trip home. Just as I start to depress the close door button, the little old lady starts to make her way to the door. The light behind the 16th floor goes out.


I guess they fixed it. It may be the only speedy thing ever about our elevators.

3 thoughts on “The 16th Floor

  1. aasmodeus

    I was waiting for the karmic moment where you met your beau while he was visiting his grandmother on the 16th floor because your elevator opened up on the 16th floor while he was waiting to board a downward elevator and somebody popped their cane through your door and said “hold it, I’m going up!” and for some reason you decided you wanted (insert grocery that doesn’t yet exist in your apartment) so you step out at that moment and start chatting with him and you ride the elevator back down with him… (cue music)


    On a side note, that’s great that they fixed that issue within two days.

  2. Emma

    It’s almost like the sense of time in your building is skewed. While you’re there it actually slows down and voices get deeper and everything is in slow motion. When you leave, time returns to normal.

    As for the 16th floor, maybe you’re supposed to do something there like knock on someone’s door and run or steal a doormat.


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