Elevator Training

This is not about the intellectual skills needed for being transported in an elevator. If you are reading this at your workplace it is likely that you have successfully concluded an elevator journey this morning. This is about what could have happened during that short vertical journey. It is about reaping the benefits from that forty-second-upheaval to your workplace.

The elevator has gravitational benefits that can greatly enhance the efficiency of physical exercise. If you have ever tried to squat down in an elevator you know what I mean. During deceleration you get a perfect workout. And since the duration of that workout is capped by the number of floors you travel, sweat won’t be too much of a problem for other elevator users. Besides squating there’s stretching, tiptoeing, and leaning, which can all, if conducted with some care, benefit our physical condition while sparing our fellow passengers from the side-effects of our upheaval.

But physical exercise is not the only operation with prospective return of investment in the field of personal elevation. There’s also a mental exercise: intentionally push the button for a couple of floors too few or too many, and observe if you still remember that if the elevator halts. You might need some practice, but it can greatly enhance your alertness. And there’s an IQ exercise: try to reconstruct the elevator’s algorithm from its stopping behavior (as it might upset other users, don’t request too many stops). More commonly practiced is a communication exercise that has already made school as the famous elevator-pitch. And finally there’s a role-playing exercise that can draw on movies like Silence of the Lambs or The Departed. But that is not recommended to novice elevator users.

The elevator can quite obviously serve as pars pro toto for the rest of society, with all her upward-pushing and sky-rocketing metaphors. We leave it as an exercise to the reader to extend the spirit here portrayed to other domains, such as airports, libraries, sidewalks, supermarket lanes, traffic jams, public transportation, and – the workplace itself.