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Love in an elevator, livin' it up till I hit the ground!

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posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 09:33 PM
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I have always either been a stay at home mom, self employed, or worked for smaller companies. Till a few years ago, that is.

When I hired on with this company, it was all the corporate initation one would expect. We had to go through orientation, meet the people, Meet and Greet lunches, etc. It was 2 months of this, and we got paid for it! I decided, what the heck, I will "feel the love", and I went into it with a good attitude. I figured at worst I had nothing to lose, at best, I may actually gain something from it.

One of the things they push and push hard is *smile*! Some days, you just don't feel it. I decided to test the addage that if you smile, it may actually change your attitude.

So, I decided to try a little experiment, and it has continued on with great results! But, I bet it isn't what you think.

I have always been oddly fascinated with how people behave in the elevator. Like it is some pervasive evil entity surrounding you on your ascent or descent, and if you break the status quo, you are surely going to go to hell.

We have, by now, all seen how people all face the same way, look up or down, or simply stare ahead.

I particularly love the ones that get on the elevator, and look up for the light showing the floor. Except, the elevators we have? Don't have the light up above. It shows on the little wall panel on the side. Yet, people *still* look up for the light! Even once they realize, "Oh, the light isn't there", they keep looking, as if to somehow break that stare will mean their demise.

So, once I finished the orientation at this company, I looked around to see who practiced what was preached. I was certainly not surprised when I realized... most of them did not. In particular, the very ones that gave the orientation, the corporate leaders.

They were actually the ones that confronted you, if you were so lucky, rushing doggedly off the elevator with their leather jackets, umbrellas, and brief cases when the doors silently glided open, literally almost knocking you down, with an ingrained scowl on their faces, heels clacking loudly on the over-waxed floors. In too much of a rush to even notice the little guys, the ones that wer to be looking to them for leadership. I thought, on more than one occasion, if that was what being at the top meant, it surely wasn't for me.

One day in particular, I saw a VP getting off the elevator as I approached, his head down, brows deeply furrowed. I did what I was told, I smiled, and announced a genuine hello.

He stopped in his tracks. He turned and looked at me, tilted his head, and a slight smile flickered across his face. He muttered a soft "hello" back, then just as suddenly it flashed across his face, he had broken the taboo! He turned just as abruptly as he had stopped and rushed away. I felt a little odd after that, and after thinking on it a bit, I decided I was going to pursue this whole thing.

I chose the elevator.

At first I just watched people, noting the things as I outlined above, and they rarely changed. Every rare once in a while, people would mutter a hello, then silently stare at the floor until reaching their destination.

That was it, I decided. It was finally time to break this habit, taboo be damned!

From that day onward, every time I got into the elevator, if someone else was there I would say hello, while looking them in the eye. At first, most people would look away and say "hi" or "hello", but rarely if ever would they make eye contact.

If I am on the elevator and it opens on another floor and someone else gets on, not only do I make eye contact when the door opens, I ask them what floor they need, and press the button for them. I smile, make light conversation, and people seem actually *releived* to be able to speak on the elevator! Like somehow, some old line has faded, and it was out with old in with the new!

I know it seems like a silly experiment, but it has even actually changed the people I work with, and how our customers view us. We are consistantly voted the most friendly and outgoing of all of our competitors in corporate surveys.

Most of all, it is a really exciting feeling when you can get people interested enough in a conversation they will stall getting off the elevator to continue the conversation, the elevators alarms buzzing their insistance, or even ride past their floor to your floor just to keep talking on extra moment or two!

I guess all in all, it proves that smiling *is* contagious, and that you can change the mood of an atmosphere one smile at a time. Heck, even those days I catch myself not quite feeling into it, by the time I get to my floor, I feel lighter and more often better off to face the oncoming day at work. It is spreading, and sometimes now, others beat me to the hello.

Even walking to the elevator, we now walk in groups, and stand and chat waiting for the elevator to come. We all greet new oncomers, say goodbye to the ones leaving before us. It is literally a corporate wide change. And yes, even the corporate leaders do it!

I just thought I would share this little experiment with you all. If any of you have the opportunity or the willingness to try it, I would love to hear back from you. It isn't about being fake or putting in a false smile, it is about reaching out and prompting a change, not only outwards, but from within. And it really works!

Have fun with it!




posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 09:44 PM
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reply to post by Libertygal
 


LOVE it!!

i have long wondered why people feel so weird on the lifts...

break the old habits liberty-- i'm with yah!



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 09:48 PM
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Originally posted by darrman
reply to post by Libertygal
 


LOVE it!!

i have long wondered why people feel so weird on the lifts...

break the old habits liberty-- i'm with yah!


Thank you!

And me too. I always thought it was just the old, "Don't talk to strangers" routine.

But, when I thought on it more, I realized these people were our leaders, my co-workers, and our customers! How odd is it that you see someone on the elevator and you are doomed if you look at them or speak to them, yet when they walk into your business you greet them with open arms?

I have greeted numerous people that were, in fact, going to my floor, to my area, as a customer. How awkward I would feel if I saw them the second time from behind the desk after what could only be described as a snubbing on the elevator!

Thanks for the reply.



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 09:51 PM
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Haha...this is great, libertygal! And so true. So much predictable human behavior we can have fun with.

(Off topic but this brings back fond memories of how I used to harass Newt Gingrich in the elevator at work. It was great having him trapped for 20 floors
)



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 09:55 PM
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reply to post by ~Lucidity
 


That's not off topic! I would love to hear some of your stories, because it does breach the invisible line we are not supposed to cross!

Your post made me laugh, because I instantly fantasized about being in your position and what I could have said or done.

I will most likely snicker over that all night long!



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 10:00 PM
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That story reminded me of this..


edit on 12-2-2011 by skitzspiricy because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 10:08 PM
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reply to post by Libertygal
 

Yay, you laughed!
This went on for about a year, and it got to the point where he was ducking behind plants in the lobby so as not to get on the elevator with me
But aside from that, he laughed a lot and was pretty nice most of the time.



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 10:12 PM
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I believe that our energy is contagious. Have you ever been around a nasty negative coworker? They can and often do ruin the morale of the whole place. Likewise, all it takes is one Positive Polly with a genuine warm smile for everyone to make a positive difference as well. Good for you! I do things like this too, I think of it as studying man, or anthropology or something.



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 10:20 PM
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reply to post by ~Lucidity
 


Yeah I did laugh heheh. I can see him behaving that way too, and I can imagine you got a blush or two from him, as well. Great story, thanks for sharing!



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 10:20 PM
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reply to post by skitzspiricy
 


Heheh I had never seen that video, that was pretty funny.

Glad I did not need a bullhorn though!

No applause necessary!



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 10:21 PM
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reply to post by hotbakedtater
 


You are indeed correct! Just as our positive energy is contagious so is our negative energy!

Through lots of reflection I have began to understand more and more about how the events of my life have unfolded. The times that I showed to most positive energy are where I have developed some of the strongest friendships, while the times I have been silent or even negative I have developed almost no good relationships.

I love to see threads like these because they are inspiring and remind me that I too need to change my attitude and be a positive influence on others rather than being indifferent and negative.

S+F



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 10:31 PM
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reply to post by Libertygal
 


Lol, it's a cool vid isn't it. Always gives me a chuckle.

Your story really made me smile.

I think more people should do this sort of thing. That momentary connection can really make someones day.



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 10:32 PM
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Originally posted by hotbakedtater
I believe that our energy is contagious. Have you ever been around a nasty negative coworker? They can and often do ruin the morale of the whole place. Likewise, all it takes is one Positive Polly with a genuine warm smile for everyone to make a positive difference as well. Good for you! I do things like this too, I think of it as studying man, or anthropology or something.


Yes, I noticed exactly what you said. In fact, it was stressed to me that because of my position that I work in, my attitude could "literally make or break the atmosphere in the workplace". I was told this very seriously, and it is true! Obviously, this can be true, but all of us have bad days. I guess it is easy to be more forgiving when you know the person may be having an off day and it isn't intentional, as a co-worker may know you well enough. Sadly, though, the customers do not know this and can often feel the inner feelings are actually directed at them, so it is tenacious at times to be in such a powerful position.

Nasty co-workers, however, are those that are intentionally negative or so far buried in their issues that they just cannot break free of it it anymore. Or, are so far down they feel the need to lash out at others to elevate themselves. In my workplace, people like this very quickly find themselves out of a job, though. The atmosphere is just not tolerant to that type of employee, and they rarely last more than a couple to three months. And this is with many people reaching out to them, too.

It was an odd feeling to leave my workplace, and find myself in the elevators of doom and despair, so I felt it only natural in a sense, to cut that thickness with a knife, and I have to admit it was surprising that it spread as quickly as it did. And also, to become as permanent as it did.



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 10:36 PM
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Originally posted by skitzspiricy
reply to post by Libertygal
 


Your story really made me smile.

I think more people should do this sort of thing. That momentary connection can really make someones day.


Thank you for that, it made me feel good. Amazing isn't it, the power that we harness to do good or not?

I think if more people do this kind of thing, more people will do this kind of thing.. er.. heheheh



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 10:39 PM
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reply to post by ThisIsMyName
 


I think the indifference is the thing.

People are spending so much time worrying, texting, talking on their cells - they are becoming more and more detached from the people around them.

It seems like it is getting harder and harder to make new friends because people *feel* so distant and out of reach, almost like you are bothering them if you so much as speak to them. So I do, happily, but defiantly! People on the elevators have even gotten off their cells to chat. Now *that's* remarkable, IMO. heheh



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 11:14 PM
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I very much enjoyed reading about your elevator experiments. Human behavior is always intriguing. But it is the odd little social experiments we preform that really catch my attention. I find it fascinating how you destroyed the social paradigm with such simple gestures of smiling and salutations. BTW I commend you for your courage- which is extraordinarily rare these days. You are a social deviant and a hero in your office, I applaud you for it. Bravo!



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 11:32 PM
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Interesting to note how few males have responded to this thread...Jes' sayin'.
Anyway, mucho kudos to OP for bucking the accepted societal trend.



posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 11:52 PM
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Good for you.

I do this regularly. An organization I belong to, I am one of the worker bees. My unit takes care of all the aspects of the meetings so the rest of the people can enjoy their weekends. In this job, I spend a lot of time in elevators moving things from place to place. Both the regular and the service ones. The results of smiles and idle hello's and chit chat is amazing. You can almost see the walls fall down sometimes. People are so conditioned to keep to themselves and distrust others or maybe its the close proximity to strangers that does it. either way, it's pretty cool to see the reactions.

Also, the place I work, I have to cover for a person on cash while they are on their lunch. It's at a college. I do it there as well, and although the atmosphere is a little different, the results have been interesting, to say the least.

Smiles and positive energy is contagious.


Great story.
edit on 12-2-2011 by GAOTU789 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 13 2011 @ 06:13 AM
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What a lovely post OP, Thank you for sharing it. Very well written as well.
It is great to hear about something positive and how such a small thing can make big change.



posted on Feb, 13 2011 @ 07:06 AM
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Originally posted by freedish
I very much enjoyed reading about your elevator experiments. Human behavior is always intriguing. But it is the odd little social experiments we preform that really catch my attention. I find it fascinating how you destroyed the social paradigm with such simple gestures of smiling and salutations. BTW I commend you for your courage- which is extraordinarily rare these days. You are a social deviant and a hero in your office, I applaud you for it. Bravo!


If you really want to "destroy the social paradigm with simple gestures" quietly let slip out an enormous amount of rancid intestinal gas in an elevator that still has 30 floors to go.

It is especially interesting when you have been out drinking and eating bar food the night before and the temperature in the elevator is already way above what is comfortable, and ventilation is very poor.




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