Thursday, March 12, 2009

Postcard from the Kaisha 3

First let me pose a hypothetical question:

If you find yourself as the Button Bitch in the elevator one day at work, what do you do when you are master of the door and there is a party on both sides bowing to each other?

Do you:

A) Sigh with impatience and push the "close" button voraciously, barely giving the parties enough time to get in a couple bows a piece?

B) Think wicked thoughts and purposely hold the doors open until one of the parties, after some never ending bowing, collapses from the onset of sciatica?

C) Everything in moderation - hold the doors open for 3-4 bows each or until one of the parties shoots you the stink eye?

D) None of the above?

Elevator politics are so fierce aren't they? Where to stand, whether to talk, avoidance of becoming the Button Bitch, trying not to spew when the guy in front of you and his dandruff-dusted shoulders get a little too close. Riding the elevators everyday at the Kaisha is riddled with issues. I am constantly inner-monologuing about whether to submit and do Button Bitch duty, or to let some other schmuck do it. Some of the factors I consider are whether I know the other potential-Button Bitches, and if so, I consider whether I like them and run through my inventory of memories to recall whether they have ever snubbed me before; whether they got on the elevator before or after me; whether they look like they're itching to push the buttons or wouldn't deign to touch them; and whether I like their outfit or not. It's a categorical mine field! Trust me, there are a couple Secretaries I am just waiting for the chance to accidentally-on-purpose close the doors on.

I have the most issues with the Secretaries, surprise surprise, I know. If I don't make like I am trying to be Button Bitch for them and just flounce off the elevator it's like I am equating myself with a male Professional. If I do become their Button Bitch, I have to wait for them to toddle off the elevator, sometimes ever so slowly, while they bid goodbye to their Secretary-sisters from another floor. With the male Professionals, if I become their Button Bitch they either get all Western and insist that I go first or they just take off running. If I'm doing the running, I look like I'm asserting my inner Western Woman (the thought scares me too). Yes, it very well could be in my head, but I do feel that how you behave towards others on an elevator speaks to who you are, or at least what kind of "you" you are projecting.

Not that it's any surprise, but for the record I am an A girl. I can't stand to hold the door open any longer than necessary to let the two parties act like those alternating pecking rooster toys that each peck in turn when you squeeze the metal handles together, bound to continue forever until the hand of god, or my pretty manicured finger, comes to the rescue.


Nikki @ Blasian Baby Notes said...

LOL, what an interesting analysis of the elevator situation. But your right, even with "western" companies there is a system to getting off and on the elevators. Thus, I try to take the stairs whenever I can

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Thanks for stopping by Nikki! I would much prefer to take the stairs but over thirty floors in heels is a little too daunting first thing in the morning!!!

Rydangel said...

just what exactly is proper elevator protocol in japan. personally, i just hop in the back corner if i need to ride a few floors(my college dorm room was the penthouse suite-13) or if i'm only going 1 or 2, i try to hop in last.