Monday, December 10, 2007

Forget being a Wal-Mart meeter/greeter in the blue vest.. this is the job that I want when I retire...

Elevator Operator! And, notice the snappy uniform? Beats the blue Wal-Mart vest any day. Of course, it might get hot wearing a wool coat and wool felted hat in the winter months? But, that's the price you'd have to pay to have a nifty uniform and push elevator buttons for the elevator passengers. Oh, and let's not forget the 'announcing' of the floor numbers.

When I'd watch classic old black and white movies.. it always amazed me to see the 'job' of elevator operator. I mean, really, how did this job get started in the first place? Did they think that the visitors would be too dumb to press buttons w/ numbers representing the different floors in the building? And, apparently, it was a job that lasted for many, many years.

I can even remember when I was about 6 years old... riding in an ornate elevator that had an elevator operator. I distinctly remember the man 'pulling the heavily carved golden gate shut before pressing the buttons. It was in an old four story building that had been a department store in the 1880's and had now been turned into offices/etc. The building still had the 'old fashioned' elevator because it still worked and replacing an elevator for only 3 or 4 floors was probably a pretty expensive endeavor?

I do remember thinking that it would be a 'neat job' when I saw one like that at the tender age of 6.

I don't know if I remembered it because it was likely one of my first elevator rides? After all I lived in a rural area and all the buildings in the nearby town that had more than one floor- simply had stairs to get from one level to another. But, what a memorable elevator for one's first elevator ride...

Did I remember it so vividly because the elevator was all gold and shiny (of course, I now know that the 'gold' was really polished brass.) or was it the attendant's snappy uniform w/ tassels on the shoulders and a hat like people in marching bands wore?

This elevator operator reminded me of a time of elegance so often featured in the old black and white movies of the 30's, 40's, and 50's. A time that had ended before I was born. I'm also glad that I happened to live in the rural south, and had a chance as an impressionable child, to experience that ornate elevator with the elevator operator, and what in the past, was an everyday experience.

Maybe we need to bring the elevator operators back to help instill better 'elevator manners?' I'm sure that when the elevators were operated by men wearing snappy uniforms with tassels on their shoulders that there wasn't any pushing to get on the elevator before the current passengers had a chance to disembark?

And, maybe having the one person pushing buttons would stop the people who push the buttons repeatedly.. 'as if' the elevator is a machine with feelings and will know that this passenger MEANS BUSINESS because they pushed the button several times?


Sharly said...

This is a great post! I think I vaguely remember elevator operators, too! Did this woman know you took her picture? :)

iwouldratherbeknitting said...

ha ha.. I'm sure she did.. she had her back to me 'just like in the photo' the entire time. But, I actually took 2 photos because someone moved 'forward' towards the door and they got in the way and blurred the photo.

Yes, I was taking the photo w/ other people in the elevator! Sometimes it is good NOT to speak the language! hee hee