Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Lift Encounter

Lifts in College Square are some of the most high-tech machines you would ever find. They take you up to the eighth floor in well under twenty seconds, and give you near-zero-G-force experience when it reaches its destination. If you take them daily just like me, you would agree with me that they beat the Superman Escape hands down any time.

Actually I should say, lifts in College Square are the most high-tech machines when they are working - that is, when their doors close successfully and when they don't take you to the unknown, dark territory of lower ground. There are zillions of times when the lift doors just refuse to close for eternity, or when they take you down to the not-supposed-to-be-reachable lower ground level when you actually pressed ground floor. And you won't tell me you are thinking of complaining the situation to the reception - they take three weeks to repair the smallest thing, and the walls of our apartments are made of plywood.

Of course one would naturally think that the second type of malfunction (the dark lower ground) is the more annoying or terrorizing experience of the two cases. Before today, I thought so too. I remember Boon Phiaw once claimed that College Square residents who have never visited the infamous dungeon were to be disqualified as a CS resident, or at the very least, be looked at with utmost disbelief. I was qualified about one week ago, but it was neither very interesting or what I wanted to talk about today. I want to talk about the lift doors which won't budge for eternity.

Earlier today, I was coming back from a table tennis session, together with Boon Phiaw and Yong Chin. We stay in the same block in College Square, and we have to take a lift up to where we live (Yong Chin and I on the ninth floor, Boon Phiaw on the first). When we entered the lift, there was already a young lady in the lift who was kind enough to wait for us instead of going up by herself. So we entered the lift, and we pressed one and eight respectively. I caught a glimpse of the floor buttons, and there was already 1, 2 and 8. Apparently the girl was heading towards the second floor, and with that thought I leaned myself against the lift wall for some well-deserved relaxation.

And the lift doors wouldn't close. As usual. It's been like that since three days ago, so we knew very well that we only have to wait for a while for it to close eventually.

But the lady wasn't as patient as us. Guess what she did?

She pressed the "close door" button ten million times, like what everyone would do in the same situation. Butu the lift doors still wouldn't close.

She pressed "3".

What?! Does she think pressing 3 will help the lift close? The lift did close 5 seconds after that, but I was sure it has got nothing to do with the button 3. And now you are going to let us wait for one extra lift opening-closing sequence!

Alright, Yong Chin and I are forgiving people, we put it aside and continued to stand there saying nothing. After all, I heard her snicker to herself sheepishly, which I presumed to be a non-verbal apologetic manner. I wasn't expecting her to say sorry after all. 不知者无罪 marr...

Now the lift zoomed to Boon Phiaw's first floor, and Boon Phiaw left for his apartment gleefully. And the lift wouldn't close again. But by now, everyone should have known that all you have to do is to wait for a while and the doors will close in a moment. But guess what the lady did?

She pressed "4"!!!

If your eyes are bulging now, just imagine Yong Chin's and my eyes when we were there. Yes, among all the alternatives in the world, she chose to press 4! ARRGhhhhh!! After the previous episode as recent as 10 seconds ago, the decision made by her 100 billion neurons was to press 4 and let us suffer another waiting!!



We weren't cursing with our mouths, but the previous two paragraphs were definitely the dialogue in our mind when we witnessed the world's funniest lift video. We moved on and we did suffer some waiting after the lady fleed on the second floor.

At the end of the day, I could only think of the most apt quote from Albert Einstein:

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.

Albert Einstein
End of story.


day-dreamer said...


Pardon me... but I can't help laughing at what the lady did when the door couldn't close.

By the way, you think that UTAR's lift can compete with that lift?? :P

Incommunicado aka Max said...

What the hell. You should have just told her off lor! At least i would pretend to have a sarcastic convesation with my friend in the lift. Haha.

The Albert Einstein's quote is too appropriate. Too funny. Haha!

crushedguava said...

Eh you are being too harsh on the lady. Assuming it was her first time using that lift, and her first action (pressing 3) actually led to the lift doors closing 5 seconds later, why do you say she is wrong to try it again? The fact is, she did not (like the rest of us who are reading your blog) know of the little nuances of the lift.

So if I were to start the story without explaining how the lift works, here's how it would go:

"Today when I got into the lift to get to my floor, the lift door wouldn't close. So I stood there and waited. After a while, the lady who was in there with me decided she had enough and tried pressing the close button a few times but to no avail. She then pressed the button to another floor and lo and behold, 5 seconds later the lift door closed. At the next floor, the lift door wouldn't close again, so the lady again pressed the button to the next floor, but unfortunately this time it didn't help and we had to wait at another floor. Sigh. What a stupid lift. I shall have to complain to the supervisors of this building to get it fixed."

What a lousy story. It doesn't even deserve to be posted. Stupid lift.

So you guys are critising her because you have Chang Yang's explanation about the lift before hand. That's unfair to the lady.

youngyew said...

Crushedguava: Haha, I get what you mean.. But guava, you really have to be there to understand my feeling... :)

The problem was, she was trying to help herself at the expense of us, which was not right. Even if it was indeed her "ingenious" act that had helped to close the door; or it was the first time she took the lift (which I highly doubt), it was still not the brightest or the rightest thing to do.

By the way, I do agree that she might be not very aware of other people present in the lifts, hence her actions. However, even if that could explain her first time pressing 3, that could hardly explain her second time pressing 4.

I disagree that I was being harsh... I didn't say that she was being obnoxious or evil, I just said she was being a bit stupid. And I believe that it is justified to describe her action as being stupid. Just to quote the definition of "stupid" from

1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.

A good match I believe.

And I regret that you didn't find the story interesting. :) I am not good at writing story one marr...

crushedguava said...

When I said lousy story I was referring to my own story without the addons and explanation at the beginning, not yours. Of course your story was interesting but then I was trying to illustrate to other ppl, who agreed with you that the lady wasn't as smart as she could have been, that without the explanations, the story would be a lousy story.

youngyew said...

day-dreamer: Hahaha, what's with UTAR's lifts?

max: Eerm, in that situation I guess I was actually too shocked to give any response. But I guess I may have to learn how to response to this kind of situation though.. If not I would look really dumb.

crushedguava: Haha, sorry for not getting your point.