“Hold the elevator please!” shouted Corinne as she sprinted into the luxurious office building. She was too late as the doors closed and signaled the readiness of the elevator to climb up 12 stories. As she reached for the button to recall the mechanical ladder, she caught a glimpse of a pair of red suede shoes just as the doors came together. “Damn, I’m going to be late for this big meeting” she whispered to herself.
“Hey, let’s take the stairs” said Toney. “I don’t want to be late either and the big news is going to be revealed today.” Run the stairs? No way Toney. I would be a sweaty mess if I did and that would be way too uncomfortable for me. “OK! See you upstairs”.
Corrine leans her bags against the wall as she pushed the elevator button again and again as if it would respond quicker. Her anxiety begins to increase with every passing minute. Corrine works for Sam Daily’s Software. She was the secretary when Sam first began the company 10 years ago with 5 employees. She has grown with the company and her current position is Senior Manager of Operations and Client Relations. She has worked hard and diligently for everything she has attained despite the lack of a college degree. She does have a high school diploma but some of her colleagues think she is unworthy and incapable – especially Ann Torrez.
Ann is an Ivory League graduate. She studied at Cornell University and received her degree in Computer Science. She is extremely professional and opinionated and has the credentials to back it up. She has been in sales management for the past 8 years and has been the company’s top producer for the last 5. She is engaged to Sam’s son Rich and the two are set to be married in the fall. Rich, unlike his parents, is a lover of the outdoors. He hates sitting behind a desk and maneuvering through what he calls “computer crap”. He wants no part of the company and has stated his position publicly.
Another three minutes has gone by and the elevator seems to be hitting every floor on its way back down to the lobby. Corrine is practically gasping as she can only imagine the meeting starting without her. She gives a second thought about following Toney up the stairs but its 12 stories up and at 49 years of age she doesn’t think it would be a smart idea so she continues to wait.
She begins to recall what she saw as she ran into the building. The elevator was just opening and the people were entering. She believes that there was enough room on the elevator for her to fit but they must not have heard her cry to wait. The red suede shoes were positioned on the left side of the elevator. If that person would have hit the release button I would have been able to get on the elevator and make it to the meeting on time. But hey, it’s not the first time I have missed the ride up and I’m sure it won’t be the last as the people in this office building are coming and going at a frenetic pace.
Sam and the other members of the management team are gathering at the large conference room. Ann and Toney have papers in hand and look excited about the up and coming meeting. All they knew was that Sam called for a mandatory meeting with all management staff to make an important announcement. All week the rumors have taken flight. Who is being fired? Who is being reprimanded? Is the company in jeopardy? Are we all getting raises?
Suddenly the doors open and a teenage kid strolls off. She passes Corrine and gives her a sly smirk then heads towards the vending machine. Corrine dashes into the elevator only to find that every floor has been lit by pushing the corresponding button.
“Ah… C’mon!” She sighs. I’m surely going to be late for this meeting and walking in late while Sam is conducting a meeting is not a comfortable feeling. That little kid was in this elevator playing around and pressed all of these buttons. Who is she and why is she in this building and not in school she thought. Oh well she signaled the doors to close and begin her ascent towards the 12th floor.
On the second floor the doors open and shut. The third floor the doors do the same. As she came to the fourth floor some people ask if they are headed up or down. Going up she replied and the doors shut yet again. Fifth floor, sixth floor, seventh floor passes. Eight floor, ninth floor then …a chalkboard screech that brings the elevator to a halt. “What NOW!” says Corrine.
The doors open on the tenth floor and the emergency light flashes. Now she has no other choice but trek up two flights of stairs to make it to her destination. Slowly Corrine makes her way up the square box staircase one step at a time. She remembers how she used to be able to run these steps years ago two, sometimes three, times per day. Now with all the excess weight gain, the tragic losses in her life and the increasing demands of her job she has no time for extra activities.
Now finally reaching the twelfth floor she flings open the door and maneuvers through to her office to drop her bags then head straight to the meeting. She opens the door and everyone freezes, turns and looks at her and she feels mortified.
“Surprise!” Corrine is standing in pure shock.
“Congratulations on the promotion to making partner” says Sam.
“Partner?!” said Corrine.
Yes didn’t you get the memo? I know how much you love the Girl Scouts so we had them deliver the memo to your office this morning.
Still stunned, Corrine remembers the young girl from the elevator. She smiled.
“Thank you so much Samantha! I am grateful for this honor.” Corrine is now being smothered by her co workers and the office celebration is underway. Shortly thereafter Corrine notices an uneasy conversation occurring between Ann and Samantha. From the corner of her eye she notices that Ann seems furious about something and Sam is trying to diffuse the energy. Suddenly Sam dismissed Ann and her daily ride partner Sue.
Sue was Ann’s assistant and errand girl. Everyone knows that Sue would do anything Ann asks. She picks Ann up and drops Ann off every day to and from the office as well as brings her coffee and lunch. As the two women exited the party, Corrine notices Sue’s left foot just before she cleared the door and on it was a red suede shoe.