I live on the 30th floor; which results in a lot of time spent struggling to get cellphone reception for just one more round of Candy Crush to kill time in the achingly slow building elevators. More often than not, one of the elevators is down, resulting in the remaining two elevators resembling a can of packed disgruntled sardines during the morning rush.
I’m a fairly skilled small-talker – a talent I solely contribute to my five years spent slinging shrimp to the crème de la crème clientele at the local Red Lobster – but after living in the concrete jungle for three years, I’ve stopped greeting people in the elevator; I just stopped giving a shit.
A few mornings ago, as I entered the elevator cesspool, I was greeted by a “good morning!” from somewhere amidst the crowd. Every cranky passenger that was picked up received an equally enthusiastic greeting. Thirty floors later when we finally hit the ground floor, I was curious to see who this cheerful greeter was (and ask him what he spikes his morning coffee with). Out emerged a average-looking guy I had seen a few times before – average height, average build, average clothes – but as he walked through the hall towards the door, I realized that everyone he passed gave him a big smile and nod (including the crustiest of the concierges).
I spent the rest of the day greeting unsuspecting strangers in elevators. Some were startled, most seemed amused; but all of them smiled and reciprocated.
As I walked into the elevator today after a long day in the financial salt mine, the elevator doors opened and in the corner stood the original elevator greeter. Before he could open his mouth, I smiled and greeted him with a “hey!”
Total Kindness Cost: $0