Friday, June 4, 2010

Elevator Pitch

Then there's the emphasis on having an "elevator pitch," a 30-second summary that tells a person who I am and what I do. But I rarely talk to anyone inside an elevator.  Maybe I should. But my conversation is usually limited to figuring out if "S" means basement or street-level.

Wedged at the back of an elevator, I've been known to ask a person standing near the button panel to press a floor. Of course, in the days when I did have a job, traveling in the elevator meant knowing the location of sandwiches and salad left over from an earlier board meeting. Of course, many Monday mornings it was more about catching up on football or baseball scores listening to Tony from the mail room comparing notes with  other the Tony from the seventh floor. Inside elevators we are all captive audiences waiting to run out.

Maybe elevator speeches can be effective depending upon who is traveling inside an elevator.  But how are we really supposed to know? Maybe the best thing is to come right out with it: "Does any one know about a job opening, preferably one with benefits?"

If  someone speaks up, I would want to know more. But with my luck the doors would open, my source would leave, and I'd be left kicking myself for including the benefits part as a deal-breaker.  Timing is always important. But I could always follow him, assuming a him, and ask, "Excuse me. About that job..."

"I've got to go to the bathroom," he says, holding on to the chrome door handle.

"This will be real quick," I say, and notice that he's beginning to unzip his fly.  The man is actually going to flash me. How uncouth.  Instead, I turn back to the bank of elevators. I'm thankful when one lands on my floor. I go down, all the way down to "S" or street-level and find another office building. I'm hoping this time I'll get lucky and I enter the elevator.

This one is packed.  There's some kind of management meeting on the 24th floor. I know this because a number of people are holding agendas with the name "Bill Briggens" on top, and something about "Meeting Your Quotas."   It's now or never. We're passing the 19th floor and I have exactly five more floors to go before the crowd bails.  "Does any one know about a job opening?" I ask, and this time forget about the benefits stuff.

"Gee," I don't know, answers this one guy with a tattoo of a dragon blowing flames over his collar. He turns to the back of the elevator. "Any of you guys know anything?" Silence.  I know what I can do with that.  But then the dragon guy looks at me and says, "Why don't you just come to the meeting and ask?"

"Really?" I say.

"Sure," he says. "Anyway what do you do?"

I think for a moment. "I give speeches inside elevators."


Eggs Long Hand

My Aunt Jeannette first cooked this breakfast dish for me in her trailer.  She had long hands, hence the name of the dish, and made the dish with the last two eggs in her carton. When I've found myself in similar circumstances,  I think of her.

Two eggs
one slice of stale bread
1/2 a red or yellow onion or even two scallions
Handful of blueberries or strawberries
Pinches of Salt and Pepper
1 T Oil

Heat pan. Pour in oil. Heat oil.
Dice onion.  Saute in oil until soft and shiny.
Tear bread into one-inch pieces and cook in onion until crusty.
Mix eggs together with a Tablespoon of water or milk
Pour eggs over the bread
Put in your pinches of salt and pepper
Throw blueberries in the pan like you're rolling dice
Wait for eggs to set and serve immediately with lots of black coffee.

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