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Lift is a mystery

LiftI work on the 7th floor at work.

Today I go buy a sandwich and drink at lunchtime from the ground floor. Then head back to my office on the seventh.

I get in the the lift on the ground floor. There is one other person in the lift, the floor ‘2’ button is already lit up, so I press the ‘7’.

The lift ‘bings’ and stops at floor 1. There is no one there. No one gets in. No one gets out. The guy and I in the lift look at each other without saying anything.

The doors eventually shut .. slowly .. and we carry on.

The lift ‘bings’ and stops at floor 2. A guy gets in, murmers somthing about “Being really lazy and only going one floor, sorry” and the presses ‘4’ by mistake. ‘Shit’ he says – and presses ‘3’. The guy who was originally in the lift with me who I assumed was going to floor ‘2’ doesn’t get out. So who pressed ‘2’ then?

The doors eventually shut .. slowly .. and we carry on.

The lift ‘bings’ and stops at floor 3. The guy who got on at floor 2 gets out. A woman gets in, and presses ‘6”.

The doors eventually shut – oh no they don’t! At the last moment, a guy shoves his foot in, the doors re-open and he presses ‘5’.

The doors eventually shut .. slowly .. and we carry on.

The lift ‘bings’ and stops at floor 4 where the guy from floor 2 had pressed the button by mistake. The guy and the girl who got in at floor 3, look at me and the other original guy as they’re naturally expecting one of us to get out. No one moves.

The doors eventually shut .. slowly .. and we carry on.

The lift ‘bings’ and stops at floor 5, and the guy who got on at floor 3 gets out.

The doors eventually shut .. slowly .. and we carry on.

The lift ‘bings’ and stops at floor 6, and the woman who got on at floor 3 gets out.

The doors eventually shut .. slowly .. and we carry on.

The lift ‘bings’ and stops at floor 7, and eventually I get out.

The guy who’s been in there from the start … stays in the lift!

I’m very confused.

32 responses to “Lift is a mystery”

  1. Take the stairs. It’s good for you!

  2. Anthony says:

    7 floors of stairs does nothing but make you sweat, especially if you’ve just come in form the cold and haven’t taken off your coat yet.

  3. Andrew says:

    The first guy slipped into a ‘lift trance’, missed his floor, didn’t want to show his embarrassment or delay the lift further, so was waiting for everyone else to leave the lift and correct his ‘mistake’ in private.

  4. N.o.rthener says:

    People in lifts going up 1 floor are evil. People going down one floor are worse.

  5. Andrew says:

    Alternatively the first guy was hoping to increase his chances of sharing the lift with a ‘celebrity’… was he still there 15 minutes later?

  6. Peter says:

    Geoff, that’s the funniest blog entry I’ve read in ages!

  7. Hang on! You mean ‘Elevator,’ don’t you? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Luka says:

    Totally agree with the comment of Ian (the voice of reason).

  9. I used to work on the 7th floor. Over the course of three years I had an ‘every floor except 6’ journey and an ‘every floor except 1’ journey but never the magic jackpot of ‘every single bloody floor from 1 to 7’. I’m jealous, obviously.

  10. Stairs says:

    Have you ever been in a paternoster?

  11. geofftech says:

    The irony is, is that with my speedy gait, it would have been faster to take the stairs.

    Magic jackpot indeed! Maybe I should definetely buy another EuroMillions ticket tomorrow.

    You still can’t beat it though when people embarass themselves by getting in at (say) ground, thinking the lift is going up, but it’s not – it’s going down instead. So they have to go down to the basement first, then back up, before continuing their elevated journey.

  12. Tower Block (not a) Prisoner says:

    Try living on the 9th floor Geoff, with 2 lifts to choose from, it’s great!

    My story is this – Arrive home cold & weary, note left hand lift is at Ground, hurrah, press button to open door, but lift mysteriously then goes up to 9, before coming down
    v-e-r-y slowly, with no-one in it.

    Right hand lift door then opens, which one shall I take?

    I think there is a lift Gremlin who knows you are there but loves to mess
    you about and show you who’s boss, Remember ‘Hal’the computer in ‘2001’ a Space

    I usually walk down. I think you should use your Tube Challenge legs and run up 2
    at a time in future.

    P.S. I have escaped

  13. Simon says:

    We had a paternoster at Uni, it was great fun, expect the bloody thing kept breaking down when people rode around the top or bottom…

  14. geofftech says:

    Wasn’t HAL called so, because it was all one-letter up from ‘IBM’ ? Or is that an urban legend?

    You’ve escaped what?

  15. RossP says:

    Heard this one before?

    A guy lives on the 10th floor of an apartment block.

    In the morning, he gets in the lift and travels to the ground floor and heads to work.

    When he comes home, he gets in the lift, and travels to the 5th floor, before walking up the remaining flights of stairs to the 10th……

    …but, on days it is raining, when he comes home, he travels all the way to the 10th floor using the lift!


  16. Yes, Ross, I have.

    But I shall leave the solution for others to work out.

    Those paternoster things look cool. I shall have to find one.

  17. Chris says:


    It’s simple!

  18. Anthony says:

    I, too, know the answer to this, Ross, but nor will I give away the solution!

  19. Tim says:

    Oh man I hate those paternoster things! There was one at Leicester Uni when I was there… I dreaded using it in case I got my head trapped or something equally ridiculous!

  20. #12: hear, hear!! When Geoff gave me the BBC tour, I don’t remember a lift; we took the stairs and he took two at a time! Agree, I think he should forget lifts and use stairs.

  21. Chris says:

    *dons whiney voice*

    I wanna go on the paternosterrrrr!!!

  22. Anthony says:

    Those paternoster things look absolutely deadly! I’m surprised there are any still working in England in the age of health and safety! I want to go on one!

    And the term “paternoster” lends them an ominous air. A sense of cataclysm and fear.

  23. geofftech says:

    The word “paternoster” just reminds me of word “nosferatu” – and I have no idea why. It’s very early – well, late. I really should go to bed.

    Oh, and he’s a dwarf. And only when it’s raining does he take his umbrella which allows him to press buttons higher than he can normally reach.

  24. Camilla says:

    woo. I have just discoved Geofftech it/you is very cool!!

    Maybe the dwarf has an exterior stairwell?

  25. Mikey says:

    My uni also has a paternoster…is it just a uni thing?

  26. J-Ro says:

    We have the world’s studpidest lifts in that they have no buttons on the inside. You select your floor outside BEFORE entering. Pity the poor visitors who don’t realise this and dive in the lifts as the doors are closing then look around for the buttons while the other occupants stand about smirking at their idiocy as the lift sails past their desired floor.

    More annoying than people who go one floor at our place are those that walk in the building, press floor one then if the lift doors don’t open immediately they leg it up the stairs. We then have to go up one floor at a time without even having anyone to tut at – hmpfh!

  27. Fimb says:

    Hmm.. Scared and intrigued by paternosters. Must try one out!

  28. Tower Block (not a) Prisoner says:

    #14 – Escaped from the Tower of course!

  29. Peter says:

    Paternosters sound cool. As for #15 – does the lift wait for ages at the 5th floor, or is there a need to change lifts to another one that’s the only one that goes up to floor 10, which normally involves a long wait?

  30. Paolo says:

    Geoff you make me laugh…regarding the lifts: I live in Italy at the 7th of a 8 floors building. When I go out the lift is always at the ground floor but when I am at the groundfloor most of the times the lift is always at the 8th. Do you think is a simple Murphy’s law? I calculate roughly I loose 4/5 minutes a day waiting for my lift…more than a day a year!!
    Probably more people live in those flats at the 8th?? Doesn’t seem so! Is there a masterful plan to make me loose five minutes a day of life? Please help me!


  31. Stew says:

    So what’s the origin of Paternoster Square being called Paternoster Square?

    Surely it’s not named after a lift system….

  32. Jamie says:

    Sorry to bump this one but I, for one, don’t know the answer to the riddle. Seeing as how everyone was so kind not to spoil the answer, can someone please explain it for me?

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