Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Annoyance 103……Small Talk in Elevators

I can sit and watch T.V. in silence for hours.

Sometimes Jeff and I are on our computers in complete silence for hours.

I don’t always have to be talking.

This unfortunately is not the case for most people.

I always know when I am about to get on an elevator on the boat that someone is going to say something to me.

Look….I am all about meeting new people and striking up conversations….but not on a 10 second elevator ride.

I am also not about mindless conversation.

For example the other day I entered the elevator and I pressed “4” and a man on the boat looked at me and said “Four huh?!”

And I said “Uh- huh”

And then he said “Wow four.”


Was he marveling at the number four? Or was it that I was going to four? What just happened?

I was on an elevator ride a few months ago with a couple all dressed up in formal wear.

We were traveling along when suddenly the man screamed.

It scared me to death.

His wife hit him and he said “Sorry it was just to darn quite in here!”

So you can’t be quite for 7 seconds?

The worst is if you wear any shirt with words on it.

I got on an elevator on the boat once with a shirt on that said “Arlington.”

A woman on with me immediately said “Ohhhhh Arlington…are you from Virginia?”

“No” I said

“You must be from Arlington Texas then?” She said

“No” I said

“Well what does it mean?” She said

“It’s a horse racing track in Illinois” I said

I then realized that underneath the word Arlington on my T-Shirt there was a huge picture of a horse racing track.

She was very disappointed that I was from neither Arlington, VA nor Arlington, TX.

I just want to travel on an elevator in silence.

It’s really not hard to do.

When I get on elevators on the boat now I cringe because I know eventually someone is going to say something to me that is mindless.

“Is that an ipod you got there?”


“Oh neat”

“Going to 12 huh?”



“Gym huh”

“No I am just wearing work out clothes”


“La Cantana ….what’s that?”

“I don’t know it’s, my Mom gave me this shirt”


Then the elevator dings and you get off and the person who initiated a conversation doesn’t even say “Bye”.

So what was the mindless conversation we just had all about?

Have you ever noticed how at company meetings it's always the guy who just sits patiently in silence who looks a million times smarter then the ones who ramble on and always have to be talking?

In improv sometimes you are in a big group scene and everyone is fighting and talking over each other but its always the guy doing silent object work in the back who looks the wisest.

There is power in silence.

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