Daily Prompt: Glass
8 Floors in a glass elevator – a true story.
I have never really liked heights; I’m not petrified, but also not the girl you’re going to find hanging from the end of a bungee cord or jumping out of a plane anytime soon. It was pretty evident when riding the glass elevators at the hospital, that I am not alone. A high percentage of fellow riders, like me in the beginning, always seemed to gravitate toward the doors so as not to feel like they were standing on the edge of nothingness as the lifts busied themselves between floors.
As interesting as it was to see people shuffle around so they didn’t have to look out at the great expanse that is the atrium the lifts nestle into, it was the snippets of conversation that I was unavoidably privy to over an 8 day period, and the human interaction in these small spaces that were the most fascinating and every so often a little frightening.
Here are just some that I remember…
There was the tall well-dressed man with slightly greying hair, but plenty of it for his age, discussing a patient’s diagnosis and possible outcome with who I was guessing was a colleague on the other end of the phone. Not something you want to hear when you’re a visitor.
The attractive couple; one with a stethoscope around his neck, that were standing closer than they needed to be, as there were only three of us in the elevator. Although fairly easy going, even I blushed as she leaned in closer to intently listen to what he was saying, their noses almost touching. Work flirts? Risky!
There was a young woman who looked like she was ready to burst into tears as she tried hard not to throw her phone at the glass wall of the elevator.
“How can you do that to me? What sort of person does that? What sort of person are you?” she screamed quietly, exiting very quickly when the doors opened.
The researcher who quite loudly and in a very matter of fact manner discussed with the woman next to him how young patients rarely fared as well as the older ones when it came to cancer treatment!
Are you shitting me; I obviously don’t look like a doctor or nurse, I’m in a cancer hospital so there is a great possibility I am a patient’s family member. As the doors opened and the pair got out I was left frantically thinking where my husband stood in that equation, young or old! Young or Old!
And then there was the team of four men with clip boards that were discussing what happens when there is a lack of digital emergency call displays, and how if they aren’t installed correctly it’s a liability. “Were they talking about this hospital? Because I only heard 30 seconds of the conversation and my husband is on ward 8!”
So here is my small piece of wisdom, passed on freely for anyone tempted to continue a conversation in a small glass space with a stranger present. I can hear you. It is not a cone of silence. I can hear what you are saying and if you are in a hospital you may be accidentally scaring the shit out of me.
If you are the stranger in an elevator and it has glass walls, step close to the edge press your forehead against the cool, thick glass and look down…that will at least give you something else to think about as conversations you don’t want to hear, continue around you.