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The Dichotomy Of The Plimpton-Milstein Elevators

Based on true stories–the duality of elevators.

Plimpton Hall, situated at around 121st and Amsterdam, is home to primarily sophomore and junior Barnard students. The building spans 15 floors with four suites of six people per floor, meaning that Plimpton has the capacity of around 330 students, give or take (but based on the Battle Royale that is the laundry room, you would think there were more). How does a building with that many students get that many people around without losing their minds? The most responsive elevators on the fucking planet. Picture this, it’s two in the morning, you are lightly drunk and all you want in the world is to do your skincare routine and go to bed. You press the elevator up button, but you see that, unfortunately, the elevators are currently on the twelfth and fifteenth floors respectively. You prepare to turn around and stare at the RA wall for the millionth time, when you see that both elevators are coming down at lightning speed. You say a quick thank you to your higher power and one to the lord of elevators. The grating beep of the elevators lets you know that not one, but two elevators have arrived to pick you up, like a metal pumpkin, turned into a carriage to take you to the ball (your room).

However, there is always another side of the coin. For all of its advances, the Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning has one of the worst elevators I have ever had the (dis)pleasure of meeting. Do the doors slide open quietly with a soft bee-doo announcing their arrival, yes. Does the disembodied voice of a presumedly beautiful woman say “first floor” when they open, yes. Does it have the world’s worst algorithm on this planet, yes. You’re on the third floor. You and your supervisor just picked up heavy stacks of supplies to bring down to the first floor and taking the stairs is not a great option, since you are both struggling to hold onto your stacks of binders and supplies and one wrong move could send an avalanche of papers onto the floor. Perhaps this was not the day to flex on everyone how much you could carry. One of the elevators is on the fifth floor, while the other is on the eleventh. Perfect, the fifth floor is pretty damn close, and logically, it would come down. I think we all know the answer to that. My naivete got the best of me, as my supervisor and I watch in dismay as after standing idle for a few minutes, the fifth-floor elevator skyrocket to the tenth floor. The five stages of grief occurred simultaneously. First, denial–there was no way that the one on the 11th floor simply would not come down. Anger–the 11th-floor elevator was already THERE! Bargaining–those lords of elevators that blessed Plimpton were not hearing my calls, but I tried anyway, my arms were tired. Depression–Alexa, this is so sad, play Despacito. Acceptance–this is fine, the third floor isn’t the worst floor of Milstein to get trapped on, that long desk facing the windows? My new bed awaits. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the elevator that remained unmoving for the entire ordeal decides to come down from its pedestal. It stopped on the fifth floor, and then opened to us, the third floor, even the disembodied voice could not soothe our experience. Finally, we begin our descent to the first floor, and the doors slide open to chaos. There are a good 20 people standing there, a good portion of them are most likely late for office hours, rip. The minute we exit the elevator, it’s swarmed by tired, dead-eyed students, who forgot to budget elevator wait time into their schedule. We exit into Milstein proper, we are free.

horrible, bad via Bwogger

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