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The Elevator of Life
The Elevator of Life
5:15 PM, December 23
I take a deep breath in, and exhale out with a sign of exhaustion. I glance at the digital clock on the bottom of the screen that I am forced to stare at for hours on end. The clock reads 5:15 PM, I have about 45 minutes of Hell left before I can go home and visit my parents for the holiday, that will be fun. It’s been a long tedious and tiresome week, the same as every other week, except this time of year there are decorations all around. No one likes them, the CEO thinks they bring joy and spirit to the lifeless place. I take a look around the office and see deserted cubicles and offices with only a handful in the office. I glance out my window and see the city below me almost as if they were ants and it sends a small shiver down my spine.
I continue my work until there is about five minutes left and I start gathering my belongings with a small smile on my face almost as if I had heard a joke that was just remotely funny until my boss walks by my office and tells me with a serious tone.
“Gary can you come into my office for a minute?”
I don’t say a word, I just give him a small nod and stand from where i have been sitting for most of my day. I start to follow him down the hall to his office and thoughts, both terrible and good start to pop into my head. What if I was going to have to work late, or over the holiday? What if I was going to get that Christmas bonus that I have been wanting for oh so long? Or what if I was going to be. I take a minute to realize that this may be the most possible outcome from this scenario, and I didn’t want to believe it but it kept slipping into my mind. Was I going to be fired? I have devoted about 10 years of my life to this hell hole and I don’t want to be fired over Christmas. My mind was trailing off about the idea that I may be getting fired right before the holidays and then I bumped into the mailman.
“Sorry sir, I didn’t see you there.”
He said with a timid voice as if I was going to scold him. I didn’t say anything but just stared at him blankly as if I was looking at him with disgust,but I was really thinking about my career which could be over in just a few minutes.
He says with a sigh and walks into my shoulder and keeps on walking. Only after he walks away do I realize that I was a complete jerk to him and should’ve apologized to him. Now that too was on my mind, and as I was a few steps away from his office I saw a man packing his belongings into a box and I think to myself and try to think of what happened to him.. Although I barely knew him, I his name was Bryce, he was the Vice President of the company. He was a nice guy, had a family that he loved and had been with the company for over twenty years. I felt sorry for him, for whatever had happened to him.
As I enter the CEO’s office, the first thing I notice was the amount of space and room that was in the office, it was as if he had his private building in the office. I never truly knew the size of his office for it did take up a third of the entire floor, I have never been into it before. I continue to analyze the room until I am cut off by his partial sarcastic and condescending words.
“Ah, Mr. Peterson so glad you could make it, you didn’t get lost now did you?”
He smiled with a look of annoyance and chuckled.
“Please take a seat.”
He points to the chair adjacent to his chair, and I reluctantly take a seat and wait for what he will say next with a anxiety.
“Well Mr. Peterson, I see you seem pretty anxious to hear what I have to tell you. Well please do not be alarmed because I have nothing bad to report. In fact it’s quite the opposite.”
He said with a serious tone, which was unusual for him because he was such a sarcastic man and he loved to make fun of people too. But this time he seemed serious and not sarcastic so I ask him
“What do you mean when you say ‘quite the opposite’?”
I ask him with a tone of confusion and I lean into his desk and he responds in a slow condescending tone as if he was talking to an infant.
“I mean, there is a job opening for Vice President, do you want this job Mr. Peterson?”
Man, I hated him. He treats all of his employees as if they were infants that are misbehaving or not listening to him. But when I think about what he said, it was as if time froze. What was just told to me. I am quite astonished, I never knew that he was considering me for this big of a job, I mean I do a good job at what I do. Some people tell me that I am the best in the whole company at my job. Which is most likely false since I don't do anything as it is supposed to be done. Then everything resumes at a sluggish pace and I tell him.
“Of course sir, I would be honored to have that position,” I said with confidence and a stern voice.
“That’s what I like to hear, now Mr. Peterson, I would like you to go home and celebrate the holiday.”
It was odd, he’d never been this nice to anyone really. Maybe he liked me, maybe he wanted to take me under his wing and I could be his protege. Or it may have been because it was the holidays and this was only temporary kind of like life. I wasn’t sure, I was just kind of caught up in the moment and got a little excited. I shook his hand wished him a happy holidays and and a happy new year and left to gather my belongings to leave this place that now seemed better than a miserable place, it felt as if it was a completely different office and it felt almost new to me.
5:45 PM, December 23
I’m by the elevator and as the elevator opens the former vice president is standing next to me with all of his personal belongings packed up into a box with a look as if he had gotten fired. Then I remember, he was fired. I was the one that took his job. I just hoped that he didn’t say anything to me for the ride down, as we got in and the door began to close, and a voice was heard almost as if the person was sprinting.
“Wait! Hold the door!”
It was the mail man from earlier who I had bumped into while walking to the CEO’s office. I kept the door open for the young man and he looked at me with a sign of disgust and I made my best attempt not to make any eye contact with him as he entered the elevator. As the elevator began to go down there was a sudden stop that caught everyone off guard, the elevator was stuck but it wasn’t clear on what floor it was stuck on. It had only been about fifteen seconds since the elevator left the top floor so we must have been only about a few floors lower. I press the help button on the elevator and but nothing happened, it appeared as if all power in the elevator had gone off except the lights.
“Crap, well that’s not good,” I said in a calm tone.
I went to grab my phone, but when I reached into my pocket I could feel nothing but my house keys and a pen. It seems as if I had left my phone at my desk.
“Anyone have a phone so we can call for some help?” I said a little bit more frantically.
“Mine fell into water yesterday,” the mailman said with a sigh of disappointment.
“I have mine, who should I call,” said the former VP, I quickly respond to this as if it he was a total moron which he kind of was.
“Ok ok calm down,” he responds.
The dial tone is heard and quite faintly, when he puts the phone up to his ear he tells the operator with a calm tone that there are 3 people stuck in an elevator, but before he could finish and tell the address.
“It’s dead.” He says with a voice that is filled with fear.
Everyone sighed with disappointment but I remembered that they don’t need you to tell your where you are, because they are able to track your phone. When you really think about it, it’s pretty creepy having someone know where you are without you telling them. It kind of makes you question how private your life really is.
6:40 PM, December 23
Anyway, I took a quick glance at the mailman and when he turned to look back at me I looked away. I thought to myself: Hey, now is as good as any time to apologize to the mailman,
“Hey listen, I am sorry about earlier, when I bumped into you and knocked your things down,” I say in an semi apologetic tone, barely looking at him.
“Thanks, that really helps me right now,” he says in a sarcastic tone and rolls his eyes at me. I should’ve never said anything after that, I should have just shut my mouth. But instead, I decide to make matters worse by talking more.
“You don’t need to be an ass about it, I thought I was getting fired for my job, so that what was on my mind.”
“Yeah but you didn’t,” Bryce said passive aggressively.
“You weren’t fired, you were promoted. I was fired, you have my job,” he said more angrily. The mailman looked at him with an expression of fear and began to slowly move out of his way so Bryce would have a more direct path to me.
“Look I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to take your Job. He just gave it to me.”
I make a pathetic attempt to try to defend myself from a man who seemed that he was going to beat me to a pulp. I back into the corner and brace myself for a punch or some other form of physical punishment that was going to be given to me by the man whose job that I stole. He towered over me and he takes his hand and I get prepared for a punch that will surely be painful. But instead, his hand just extends to mine and he says.
“Good luck, pal.”
He starts to laugh heavily, and the mailman and I start to laugh along with him in a fear that he is going to suddenly turn hostile again, it was like we were attempting to defuse a bomb.
“Did you think I was going to hit you? I was only kidding. Oh my God, you really did think I was going to hit you. I wasn’t fired, I quit. I have been working here for a while and my kids are out of college so I figured now is a perfect time to retire. Let me tell you, he is a stone cold jackass.”
I wanted to be reassured by what he said, but I couldn’t. It made me wonder if I would end up like him and I thought to myself if I would end up hating my job even more than I do now. I thought maybe this wasn’t a promotion, but more of a prison sentence. This thought went on in my mind almost like a new fear that I had. Everyone smiled in the elevator, so I plastered on a fake smile and I looked at my watch. The time read 7:30.
“Well, I said we might be here for a while.”
Then a loud ding broke the silence; the elevator started moving.