I Could Be Your Elevator Door Holder

My job would require standing in an elevator all day long.

No, I would not be the guy pressing the buttons. No, I would not be shouting out what’s on this floor and oh, here comes that floor and nice weather we’re having. No, I wouldn’t know how the red phone works or why it’s red and I wouldn’t spend time keeping track of the elevator’s capacity and how many people can or should be inside.

But I could be your elevator door holder — and you’d love me for it.

Sure, “being an elevator door holder” sounds simple. People with no respect for the position would simply say things like, “oh how boring you just have to hold open the elevator door.” But in fact, just like calling someone an eye-doctor doesn’t mean they just fix your eye. They do tons of other things like, um, tons of other things. So, while you may (at first glance) assume all I did all day was hold open the elevator door you would be sorely wrong.

As your elevator door holder I would also be an elevator door holder/motivator. I would motivate other people closer to the “OPEN” and “CLOSE” buttons on the elevator’s console to press the buttons if we saw you running. No more of this, oh here comes someone asking us to hold the door open and here I go trying to attempt to press the button in time and oh no I’m sorry but I just couldn’t get to it in time crap. I would use my almost jedi-like elevator door holding motivation skills to get you to do the right thing.

“I think you’d feel really great about yourself if you actually made an effort right now to reach out and press the OPEN button so that pour soul could make the elevator before the doors close,” I might say.

You would turn to look at me, turn to look at the haggard mother with the two kids hanging on her shoulders, with the three bags of groceries, with the stroller and the stuffed animals and you would all at once feel a sense of responsibility wash over your body and you would REACH OUT AND PRESS THAT BUTTON.

Ding! Problem solved.

As your elevator door holder I would also make sure that I was well versed in the escape hatch in the elevator. See, most people see people climb up through the hatch in movies where there’s a bomb attached to the elevator car or the cables are about to be snapped — and for the life of me (before my training) I would have had no idea how anyone could have gotten up there. I mean, there’s always the interlocked-hand lifter-uppers but most people hate getting their hands dirty. There’s the Matrix, use-the-walls to propel yourself up towards the apex of the elevator car procedure as well. There’s many ways to get up there but only one detail worth mentioning: the hatch is bad.

Did you know they make the hatch only big enough for people under 125 lbs. to make it through? Did you know that they do this to keep heavier people from wandering around outside the elevator because anyone who weighs over 125 lbs. and falls off the elevator car while exploring outside the hatch will die from the fall but that a 125 lb. person who falls will just sustain major injuries but survive?

It’s true.

I would know how the secret red phone works and how to open the hatch to reveal such a phone. While most people can’t figure out how to dial the damn thing because there’s only one grey button on it, I would be versed in being able to dial outside numbers (like your family members, to tell them you were OK) using clicking-sounds that only my mouth and tribal members of certain South American lands could make. I would know the secret “backdoor” button presses that would allow you to be taken to your floor, even if buttons for other floors before yours, were pressed. These are the secrets of being an elevator door holder and it’s just par for the course.

But above all, in being your elevator door holder, I would have to be willing to throw my body in between the rapidly closing, 10-ton-like looking doors — in the event no one would take my cue and open the doors for you.

And that’s freaky.

Because although most of us are fairly, pretty-much sure that the doors won’t close all the way upon “seeing” our bodies or limbs or heads poke through and inbetween the closing doors…we’re never really quite sure or confident that it’s going to happen. There’s a part of us that will tempt fate, cautiously placing our hands before the evil-eye sensors and then pull them back before the doors close for sure… There are few of us that would stand strong, thrust our entire body between the two doors, close our eyes and hope for the best…

But for you, as your elevator door holder — I would do it.

I would.


No, I’m not kidding.

C’mon, now.

Why you gotta be hatin’ on me?

I would be there for you in darkness and light. I would be there for you in malls and small apartment bulidings with old elevators. I would show up for you in doctor’s offices, libraries, stadiums and rehabilitation centers. Wherever there was an elevator and wherever you needed someone to make sure those doors stayed open…I would be there.

As long as I got benefits.

Benefits are KEY for an elevator door-holder.

27 comments on “I Could Be Your Elevator Door Holder

  1. Thoughtsgalore - January 31, 2006 at 8:08 am -

    Oooh a cute elevator door holder. Hmmmm…I’d give up stairs to go on a ride with you. LOL.

    shallow huh…

  2. Jerry - January 31, 2006 at 8:57 am -

    So as long as you don’t unionize, I am fine with your social experiment. Personally, I hate sharing elevators somedays and on those days I would like to fire you and if you are union, I can’t do that on a whim.

  3. annabel lee - January 31, 2006 at 8:58 am -

    But, Pauly – what of the Muzak? As my personal elevator-door-holder, would you sing loudly enough to drown out the synthesized sounds of soft rock?

  4. Hilary - January 31, 2006 at 9:00 am -

    Questions though–where are you when I don’t need your elevator door holding services? I mean, do you just follow me around all day? Where would you go when I get settled in my office? You can’t leave, because what if I need to go downstairs to get a soda, or lunch, or get my dry cleaning? And what if I leave work early? Or take the day off? And will you make it back to my apartment before me, even with all the LA traffic, to hold that elevator for me too?

    So many possibilities. I see some potential flaws.

  5. Dave2 - January 31, 2006 at 9:02 am -

    Is there good money in being an Elevator Door Holder? I could so totally do that job!

    I wonder if you get really good at elevator door holding if you can move up to a career as a CELEBRITY Elevator Door Holder… somebody who is hired by hotels and other tall buildings to professionally hold elevator doors for the rich an famous. That would be sweet. When everybody else starts talking about their boring-ass jobs, you would get to chime in with something like “Yeah, well I held the elevator door for Angelina Jolie today!!”


  6. monkeyinabox - January 31, 2006 at 9:03 am -

    Friends with benefits, or just elevators with benefits (Like that Aerosmith song)?

  7. hadashi - January 31, 2006 at 9:08 am -

    as a kid, i thought it would be cool to be an elevator girl, because then i could press ALL the buttons ALL the time… yes, there is really a job called “elevator girl” in Japan. she welcomes you into the elevator, operates the buttons, and yes, she does hold the door. she also supposedly bows (because that’s how you greet peeps in Japan) an average of 2500 times a day.
    i swear i am not making any of this up.

  8. Pauly D - January 31, 2006 at 9:11 am -

    Jerry – It’s people like you who are ruining the potential elevator door holding unions. I hope you disappear like Hoffa did.

    AL – Oh, no muzak. Not when I’m there doing my job. I provide conversation and we will talk about things like, “Oh hey thanks for keeping the door open for me!” “Sure, that’s my job, ma’am!” “Well, you do a good job, sir!” “Oh, don’t call me sir — that’s what they call my father!” And so on…

    Hilary – You think too much.

    Dave – It’s not about the money. Or the celebrity. It’s about helping other people. Sheesh.

    Monkey – Elevators with friends who provide benefits.

    Hadashi – Where can I meet this “Elevator Girl?” And does she like churros?

  9. Michelle - January 31, 2006 at 9:12 am -

    Damn, we need more people like you in the world! I never use elevators (or escalators for that matter) on my own, far too scary for me to handle…

  10. C Ro - January 31, 2006 at 9:30 am -

    because anyone who weighs over 125 lbs. and falls off the elevator car while exploring outside the hatch will die from the fall but that a 125 lb. person who falls will just sustain major injuries but survive?

    That’s it. I’m calling Mythbusters.

  11. Lena - January 31, 2006 at 11:41 am -

    Pauly, are you drinking again?

  12. Amber - January 31, 2006 at 11:56 am -

    Yes. “Love in an elevator.” — I never knew how dirty (awesome) that song was until many years after I first heard it. Anyway. I was thinking — you could be the elevator door holder and I could be the girl who hums that song and hits the elevator stop button. See, I’m not trying to steal your fantastic occupation, I’m just trying to ENHANCE it.

  13. dgm - January 31, 2006 at 1:04 pm -

    if, as you say, you could be my elevator door holder, you’re more of a man than i am. i couldn’t handle all the ups and downs.

  14. Kristin - January 31, 2006 at 1:25 pm -

    I tried to leave a comment and it looks like it didn’t work. All I said was that I wouldn’t mind having you for my elevator door holder. Okay let’s see if this one works.

  15. better safe than sorry - January 31, 2006 at 2:30 pm -

    i wouldn’t be hating an elevator man, i think it’s a classy job, look forward to seeing you on duty

  16. sandra - January 31, 2006 at 3:50 pm -

    At 5’8″, I’d look ridiculous if I weighed 125 — not Nicole Richie thin, but not so healthy, either — so really, I think the elevator shaft thing is both height and weight discrimination. Otis bastards!

  17. Dave2 - January 31, 2006 at 3:55 pm -

    No. For me it’s about the money.

    And Angelina Jolie, of course.

  18. Fun Joel - January 31, 2006 at 4:39 pm -

    If we were under attack, and you and I found ourselves racing up the mountain to NORAD, would you hold the 10,000 pound doors open for me as I paused to tie my shoes, knowing full well that we might both be vaporized by an incoming nuke if we didn’t get inside in time? I know this doesn’t seem like such a seriosu question, but imagine what could happen otherwise. I might trip on my shoelaces, for God’s sake! And imaghine if when I tripped, it was on the threshhold of that closing door. The door might not be able to close all the way. Then not only would it allow nuclear radiation into the facility, but that annoying klaxon would keep ringing the entire time, annoying you to no end. So… wouldya?

  19. Pauly D - January 31, 2006 at 4:40 pm -

    Fun Joel – No. I wouldn’t. I have a bad back and the really heavy doors would cause my lower vertebrae to get knocked out of line. A normal elevator in an apartment building? Sure. NORAD’s doors? No way.


  20. Amy - January 31, 2006 at 4:52 pm -

    Who was it that said, “A crowded elevator smells different to a midget,”? Confucius?

  21. Rabbit - January 31, 2006 at 5:03 pm -

    Pauly D, you’re my hero! My mother is still hobbling around with one crutch and a cast, and no one will EVER hold the door for her. If it weren’t for my trademarked I-played-softball-for-awhile-and-watched-too-many-Indiana-Jones-movies dash and dive, I’d probably have to carry the poor woman up the stairs.

  22. Glen - January 31, 2006 at 8:01 pm -

    and I wouldn’t spend time keeping track of the elevator’s capacity and how many people can or should be inside.

    Imagine the awkward situations that would come out of that!

    Pauly: “Yeah, uhm, hey, don’t think you can fit on this one, pal.”
    Fat guy: “What?”
    Pauly: “Well, you see, my job is to make sure the elevator isn’t overloaded. You look like you’d overload it.”
    Fat Guy: “Excuse me? There are like 3 people on there.”
    Pauly: “Well… you do look pretty heavy.”

    Sheesh, I bet you wouldn’t say any of that stuff. But don’t worry, it would be awkward.

  23. Jacquie - January 31, 2006 at 9:35 pm -

    so how are you going to be in 22 places at one time???? Because you are in high demand my elevator door holding, book writing, karaoking, sci-fi loving friend???

    (I could go on and on with the adjectives but that would mean delving back into your archives to remind me of all the hats that Paul Davidson, aka David Paulson,wears. And frankly, I have more important things to do. ….. Ok, you’re right. I don’t. )

  24. Fun Joel - January 31, 2006 at 10:14 pm -

    I urge you to reconsider — the closing NORAD doors might actually REALLIGN your vertebrae into a more comfortable and less painful position. Especially if you position yourself properly.

    Remember, it was built by the Army Corps of Engineers — those guys can do ANYTHING.

  25. Pauly D - January 31, 2006 at 10:27 pm -

    Joel – Look, I know you like to flex your “Army Corps of Engineers” muscles by spouting out the trivia you know about them, but I don’t think anyone really would care about WHO BUILT the damn doors if they were crushing their VERTIBRAE? You know? You’d hear me screaming OHGODMYBACK instead of OHHOWNICEMYVERTIBRAE ARE ACTUALLY IN LINE NOW.


  26. Fun Joel - January 31, 2006 at 11:01 pm -

    (Actually, I just GUESSED who built Norad. I though — incorrectly obviously — that it might win you over.)

  27. the swede - January 31, 2006 at 11:56 pm -

    Joel, no one will ever win Pauly over. He’s a bitter, bitter man. And reminding him of his past in the Army Corps of Engineers isn’t a good idea. I hear he’s still not over that cylinder “incident”.

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