Sunday, 28 October 2007

Brain-dead? Try this!

Clients and colleagues getting on your nerves?

Clearing your inbox no longer creatively fulfilling?

Join skivers across the country, and regain concentration: take a ride in the lift! Oh, shiny beacon of hope in the bored worker's day! This humble contraption can be four by four feet of peace and silence in a world of office chaos.

The first recorded evidence of a lift was recorded by bath-lingerer and all round genius Archimedes in 236BC. Eureka indeed. I'm sure if Archie was here today, he'd be skiving his engineering internship by riding the lifts with us.

Travelling upwards in the world, however, can be an unsettling experience. The obligatory Hollywood "Elevator Shaft Scene", an action movie staple, has scared off many a potential passenger. I, for one, can only imagine the tension in the rope when larger gentlemen join our crowd.

But for those who dare (even when the 8-person limit is exceeded) there is much to gain.

Put scare-stories and Casualty episodes to the back of your mind, because riding the lifts is:

1) Statistically the safest form of transport you can take. There are actually more accidents per hundred people walking to the shops than there are riding the elevator.

2) A great way to look like you're hard at work while taking a much-needed mental break. If you're travelling from floor to floor, and happen to be joined by a colleague, logic dictates that you're needed for work, wherever you're heading. Little do they know that before they arrived, you'd been miming to Britney, squeezing your spots in the mirror and attempting to sleep standing up for 15 seconds at a time.

This trick is essentially a more sophisticated version of what the office manual calls HITS syndrome, or Hiding In The Storeroom. It can also be combined effectively with Tip 2, the Flapping Piece of Paper (see here).

NB. If your elevator has glass sides, and you continue ascending out of the top of the building, you may either be in a shopping mall, or a Roald Dahl story, and as such, will not be available to work. Congratulations!

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