Isn’t it funny sometimes when something unusual happens in a public situation where only usual things happen?
Take, for example, something that happened to me today. Parked in an early bird parking station, went to the lifts and waited for them to arrive and transport me up to ground level. I have done this many times. There are more often than not, other people doing the same thing at the same time. This morning, we waited and waited. A man was already waiting when The Designer and I got there, then two women arrived separately. But the lift did not arrive.
Normally, you aren’t privy to individual personalities in this environment, just blank faces. But this time some true colours came out. One of the women panicked a little and said she was going to try the stairs. Everybody else shuffled their feet. The Designer pressed the down button and muttered to the group at large we may have more chance of catching it if both buttons had been pressed. The woman returned and said something, but I didn’t hear what she said. I guess she couldn’t get through to the stairs.
The lift came then and a small sense of relief floated around. We trundled in, one by one, and our panicky friend said, “I hope we don’t spend the day together…” The man smiled kindly at her and mentioned to people on floors as we stopped on our way up that they should get on even though we were already sardined in, there seemed to be a problem with the lift today. It was really interesting to see the reactions to this, some people responded warmly, said thank you and stepped on or motioned that they would wait. Others stared coldly past him, as if he hadn’t spoken.
When the lift arrived at ground level, the newcomers stepped off first then as our panicky friend alighted she turned and beamed at us.
“Have a great day everybody!”
The Designer responded from behind me with “and good luck this afternoon!” The entire trial was no more than ten minutes but the solidarity that developed in that time was unmistakable. And it made me feel good.