There has been much ado in recent days about Shanghai’s “vertical traffic jams.” No, not the mad rush to get to the top floor of the Shanghai Post Museum (though we hear that place has been off the hook since our scoop). Rather, getting stuck in an elevator queue at the office.
If it’s not enough to spend 30 minutes in gridlock on the way to work, Shanghai’s 4,000 high-rise buildings — twice as many as New York City — are now so congested that many employees have to spend at least an extra ten minutes getting to the office. One worker even claims that “company staff have had to give up bonuses for early arrival because of the elevator problem.” Whether or not the thought of leaving home 10 minutes earlier to ensure financial reward has crossed their minds is unknown.
What is certain is that vertical traffic jams are now a “new hot topic among white-collar workers.” Blue-collar workers unfortunately miss out on all this hot conversation, because they don’t ride elevators.
Here at Shanghaiist we have our own recommendation for solving the problem of the time-consuming lift. Sleep in. Have a lazy breakfast at home. Go to work later. Get to the office at, oh, 11-ish? The elevators are pretty quiet by then.
If, for some reason, that won’t work for you, then we suggest displaying flagrant disregard for your fellow man or woman. Ignore this rubbish. First: push in. This is the cut-throat modern world of office life: there is no place for courtesy. Next, if you’re already in the lift and the doors are beginning to close and some poor soul is running towards them, arms laden with bags, pleading with you to wait, then jam your finger on the close door button and keep it there. Ride that button hard, until the doors are well and truly slammed shut and the elevator is in motion.
This will not only achieve the purpose of getting you into the office earlier — and perhaps enabling you to collect your bonus — but will provide you with a humorous visual image which can be evoked at various stages of the morning to supply light-hearted relief from the demands of your stressful job.