auntysarah: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] auntysarah at 05:46pm on 30/09/2010
It's said that one makes ones own luck. I'm sure lots of us have met people who are perpetually angry, to the point of being enraged, by life's trivia. Being directly descended from such a person (who fortunately has decided he isn't on speaking terms with me), I have noticed that quite often, such people create the means of their own rage.

I feel the need to relate a particular example that just happened to me. I was not the enraged one, but was (indirectly) the instrument of someone else's rage. I very much expect right now she's complaining to anyone who will listen about the "terrible rude and annoying woman" she met today. I'll relate the facts of what happened, and let you decide if I am indeed such a terrible woman, or whether this person was entirely responsible for their own minor inconvenience, and subsequent (and seemingly quite disproportionate) anger.

Imagine, if you will, a shopping centre. Floors 0, 1 and 2 are retail floors. Floors 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are parking floors. I had paid my parking ticket on floor 1 and was making my way over the lift to return to my car on floor 3 (I wouldn't normally be so ecologically unsound as to drive there, given it's within walking distance, but I was passing it on the way home from elsewhere).

Standing by the lifts (for there are two - we shall call them LeftLift and RightLift) was a lady with a pushchair. Clearly not wanting to take the pushchair on the escalator down to floor zero, she had pushed the "down" button. It should be explained that LeftLift and RightLift are controlled by the same buttons - which one you get is up to the computer.

Wanting to go up, I pushed the "up" button.

By some coincidence, or perhaps design, both lifts arrived simultaneously a few moments later. A muffled sound emanates from LeftLift, "Doors opening". The same muffled sound emanates from RightLift. Above LeftLift is a display which has just stopped showing the floor number and now has an arrow pointing up. Above RightLift, the equivalent display shows an arrow pointing down.

"Going up!", announces LeftLift. "Going down!", announces RightLift.

The lady with the pushchair gets into LeftLift. I follow her in. She pushes zero, which illuminates, and keeps her finger pressed on it. She seems to be placing herself almost in the way of me accessing the panel. I am able to reach round without invading her personal space, so I do and press three.

The doors start to close. Pushchair Lady opens her mouth to speak. The words that come out are, "If this goes up, I will be really angry", but the actual meaning is clear, "I am using my eye lasers to give you cancer!"

The doors have finished closing. "The lift said it was going up, the other one had a down arrow", I volunteer.

The lift starts to rise. Pushchair lady gives me a stare designed to kill at a hundred metres.

"Oh"

She is not impressed, not impressed at all.

"Third floor! Doors opening!" I leave the lift and don't look back, but I can feel her eyes boring into my skull until the very moment the doors close. I have no idea if the lift carried on up, summoned from the upper floors. I expect that if it did, she may well have gone thremonuclear.

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