I arrived at work this morning and, as always, I was in a rush. The line up at Tim Horton's drive through was 20 cars long but we waited. The traffic report on the radio predicted an easy drive down the 400, but in the real world we never hit anywhere near the speed limit for most the way down. So by the time I got to the office, I had to pee, I had to get ready for a meeting ... damn it, I was in a HURRY. Our elevator moves at the pace of a bureaucrat in a rush -- you can feel yourself age as it ascends and decends.
The bong sound let me know that it had arrived and I stepped on with a woman with a disability who was riding up to the second floor to pick something up that was needed for the day programme on the main floor. The door closed with the speed of a glacier racing for the equator and we began our long ride up. I didn't want to just ride in silence so, not recognizing the young woman, I asked her what she did at the day programme. She told me that she answered phones and worked in the office. Then she explained that she had to go upstairs to get something that she needed for her work.
We were quiet for a second and then I smiled at her and said, "This is the slowest elevator in Toronto!" She smiled and then agreed.
"We're lucky it's this slow," she said smiling back at me.
I feel very lucky about many things, but this elevator isn't one of them so I said, "Why are we lucky?"
She looked confused that I didn't get it so she said, slowly, "Because people with wheelchairs use this elevator."
As someone who uses a wheelchair part time, I still didn't understand. "Why is that lucky for them?"
"Because," she said like she was talking to another dumb staff who didn't get it, "then they don't have to rush to get in, it goes slow so they can relax."
"Oh," I said.