Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I thought I had expelled my venom for the week, like a spitting cobra, after my nectarine jeremiad. But a chance event the other day reminded me that there's still so much injustice in the world which needs to be combated head-on. Here's what happened: I was waiting for the elevator at the hospital where I work (MJC Hospital). Like many hospitals, this one's all spread out, and there's a set of elevators serving each wing. Two sets, actually. So, like 4 elevators total. And there's a separate set of buttons for each pair of elevators.
So, as I'm waiting there, some dude comes along and starts to wait too. And after a few seconds, he goes and pushes the "up" button for the other elevators as well. A double clicker! Man, that gets my goat. You see, I actually think elevators are an amazing convenience. And we should be grateful to have these contraptions that whisk us up buildings in the blink of an eye (more or less), sparing us the work and drudgery of climbing the stairs. And we should be willing to wait a little while for one of these contraptions to come along, just like we've gotta wait a couple minutes for the microwave to get our Hot Pocket ready. And we should be aware that these things use energy to get us where we need to go. Not just energy to carry us up (which some people think about), but also the energy for the empty elevator to come down and get us. And when we double-click, we're basically consuming twice the energy.
And for what??? To save a few measly seconds? Can't we find something productive to do with those spare moments, like re-tying our shoes or finding inner peace? Can't we all get along?
Hey double-clickers! Do you hear that sound? It's the sound of the OPEC oil ministers rubbing their hands in glee, every time you push that other button! Cha-ching for them! It's the sound of more coal being strip-mined out of some bucolic West Virginia hillside, to meet our rapacious demand for elevator fuel! It's the sound of another nuclear reactor edging closer to meltdown, as the engineers throw it into overdrive! It's the sound ... of Mother Nature crying.
And in case you were wondering: yes, I do take the stairs sometimes. Say, if I'm going down. Or if I only need to go up one or two floors. But my office is way the hell up on the 5th floor! You've gotta draw the line somewhere ...