Monday, April 2, 2012

Type-A Love in the Elevator

As a neurotic law student, I have many quirks and pet peeves. Passive aggressiveness tops my list of pet peeves. Undermining my intelligence is directly below that. Thusly, riding the elevator in the University's apartment building, coincidentally named 'The Tower,' is always an exercise in self-restraint. (For those of you who need to brush up on your British History to get that joke, google Anne Boleyn or any of the other wives of Henry VIII.)

The apartment building happens to be gorgeous. It was built in 1920 and served as a hotel for a couple of decades. It's known for its Art Deco style. High ceilings. A gorgeous stained glass window over the entry doors. Expansive windows. Wood paneling in the common areas. Crown molding. The details are what make the Tower so gorgeous. They also distract from a hundred years' worth of filth.

Many people consider it a shit-hole. I'm from New York though, so this gorgeous building evokes in me the nostalgia of times long past where New York was bustling with the construction of Art Deco buildings.  I always wanted to live in a place like this. But now that I've been here for six months, it's time to leave.

You see, the downside of this building is that it's inhabited with neurotic law students such as myself. We're all Type-A. The people that put on airs of being Type-B, cool, level-headed students are filthy, lying, study ninjas. Those are the ones you have to watch out for...

Hundreds of Type-A twenty-somethings inhabit the Tower. People never leave their doors open because they're always furiously studying. The only sounds of life come from the great outdoors where the homeless scream to the heavens and jacked cars explode with their built-in alarm systems, indicating their almost certain death. The only point at which these Type-A twenty-somethings meet is in the elevators (or at the gym but that's an entirely different rant for an entirely different day).

For the first few months I lived in the tower, one to two of the three elevators worked at a time. Interacting with people was a necessity. Entering a Tower elevator is an experience.

First, no one speaks and no one introduces himself. You'd think that, as Type-A, law students, everyone would want to interact with each other. After all, your peers could be your future meal ticket at a big firm. Networking in the legal profession is key to success. But no, Type-A law students do not talk in the elevator. They are too engrossed in their phones, their thoughts, their musings on life, whatever goes on in their gigantic Type-A brains.

Second, door-holding is a thing of the past. I couldn't understand why no one holds the elevator for each other. I cannot count how many times I've rushed to enter a half-open elevator with one person inside, but it closes in my face. Why did that skinny (expletive) fail to hit the <ll> button indicating 'open?' It's pretty much a social norm. You see the person hustling and you press the button. It's not as if they haven't seen me. Oh no, almost every time I've been shut out, I have stared straight into their evil eyes. They lazily lean against the elevator wall, stare at me, and then pick up their iPhone to start texting. They're probably texting their law school bestie about how they shut out some sweaty, chubby brunette running for the elevator. The one elevator that was working at the time. And they live on the 20th floor. Unfortunately, after about five months of this nonsense, I caved. I stopped trying to change the culture of the Tower by holding the elevator open for people. I stopped asking an aggressive "Really?" when my peers let the elevator close. I stopped hustling. I now saunter. Moreover, when I see some poor law student entering the building, I pick up my pace, enter the elevator, and hope to god that security detains them long enough that the elevator door will close and I won't have to be near them. I have changed my character since being indoctrinated with law school.

Third. My biggest pet peeve. The Lobby Button. Oh, I cannot even begin. I live on the twelfth floor of the building. That's about half way up so I'm usually the first person to get in an empty elevator and we pick up people as it descends. Almost all of the time, I'm headed to the lobby. I push the lobby button as soon as I enter the elevator. Every student that enters observes the elevator panel. They look at it. They pause. And then they press the lobby button.

Are you serious? It's lit up. You looked at it. It's as if they don't trust that somebody else has pressed it until they felt it for themselves. Yes, only your magical touch will make the elevator descend to the lobby. You are the king of all lobby buttons. I feel like this undermines my intelligence. I'm the only one in the elevator and you still need to make sure that I was competent enough to press the button.

Even as I write this, I realize how ridiculous this rant is. But, I have counted the number of times that I have entered an elevator, pressed the button, and somebody else does not feel the need to re-press it. Four. Four times in six months.

As I need to find meaning in everything, I have determined that this is a good indicator of which law students are team players or Alpha fe/males. Team players trust that other people are capable of performing at or above their level. Alphas feel the need to constantly assert themselves. Their pressing of the lobby button says, "Hey guys. I know you think you were right, but I'm going to recheck your work just in case."

tl;dr I need to move.

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