The elevator class system

My building at work has two elevators sets: One that goes from the parking garage to the first floor and another that goes from the first floor up.

I work on the top floor, the 9th floor. Most days I don't think much of this, but other days I think about the commanding presence I must have hitting "9" on the elevator in front of the lowly people who stop at any of the preceding floors. After all, only the top floor has the balcony overlooking West Seattle and the Olympics. Everyone in the building knows this.

And, of course, there's a natural feeling of elegance being on higher floors, which has been subconsciously established by artificial hotel prices.

Sometimes my building minions ask on the ride up, "What do you do up there?" I politely reply, "Don't look at me in the eye. Who said you could talk to my greatness?"

It's a class system of sorts, and it feels good being at the top.

However, this feeling of superiority usually only hits me in the morning, on the way up. At the end of the day, being on the top floor is more of a drag. I'm already worn from the work day, and I have little patience to stop at every floor on the way down to pick up the minions. It's kind of like being in the back of the plane and waiting another flight duration just to get out to the terminal.

Also, there's the parking garage elevator.

The parking garage elevator has two stops on the way down. The first stop is reserved for senior executives at the companies who occupy the building (though some argue it should be reserved for the top floor royalty) and anyone else willing to pay more than their car payment for a parking spot. The second stop is reserved for the rest of us.

It's that stop that reminds me that I'm not even halfway up on the executive totem pole, not yet worthy of the preferred parking area. Occasionally, in my post-work daze, I'll accidentally step out on the first level and immediately have to hop back on the elevator with my tail between my legs. The executives who stepped out with me look back with the same grin reserved for a dog trying to follow its owner outside but running into the sliding glass door.

At the end of everyday, I hop out of the parking garage elevator at the second stop -- the bottom floor with the bottom feeders. I'm reminded of where I'm at in the world, at the bottom of the elevator class system -- for now.

Sometimes you're up and sometimes you're down. It all depends on where the elevator stops.