Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Office

I work in the 14th floor of a 20 story building, so I use elevator at least 4-5 times a day including my trip to gym during lunch time. It’s a nice elevator with steel plating on the walls separated by tiny pieces of mirrors. If I am alone in it, I spend my few seconds looking in the mirror. I feel safe and kinky, make ugly faces, smile and grin. Sometimes I look up in the mirror on the ceiling and see how the top of my head is getting bald.

This elevator is only for level 12 through 20. For up to the 12th floor there is a separate one. So, this one is usually not that crowded. For the past one year, ever since I moved to this office, I had only two people (strangers) wished me ‘have a good day’ as I stepped out of the elevator at my floor. Most people keep staring on the floor until they reach their level. I do the same most of the time. Sometimes I take a peek at people without letting them know that I am looking at them, especially those who come with intense smell of perfume. Some smell make me want to puke, so I will hold my breath until they get out.

Most of the people are sad. Or may be they appear sad to me. Some of them are busy working attentively on the blackberries and storm out when the door opens, leaving a lot of shoe taps on the granite floor. I even want to tell them to slow down.

I was depressed for about two days last week. My wife’s friend and family lost their 8 months old baby girl. Those two days, I didn’t look at people, I didn’t look straight; I didn’t give people eye contact. I don’t know why. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child. I was hurt for that family. I saw the child wrapped in cloths and placed in a tiny coffin. She looked beautiful. I looked at the Dad and Mom of that baby, but couldn’t keep my eyes on them for long. I had no consoling words for them but my wife told them that their baby is with God. I believe all babies goes to heaven when they die. They are innocent.

It made me wonder why people rush all the time as though if they slow down they would miss something important. I was comparatively slow last week, didn’t care who else was sharing the elevator with me, didn’t care if they looked at me. It made me wonder what hope we have apart from Christ Jesus and it hurt me to see people live hopeless life, some of them in a state of denial.

I drank more coffee and ate more food.

There are three safe havens for me in my office - an empty elevator, empty rest room and my cubicle. I love it when there aren't anyone else in the restroom so that I can makes faces looking in the mirror.

My boss is a cool man. He keeps talking about flying radio controlled airplanes, which is his passion. He even fly real airplanes and showed me a picture of him flying a single engine Cessna. But he has no commercial pilot license. He wouldn't micromanage me at work unlike many of my ex-bosses. He shows me the software he uses to edit his home videos and teach me how to use it. He can keep on talking about movies in which I have no interest in. But I put up a face as though I am interested. But it's difficult to do it for long time.

There are more than 10 different flavors of coffee in the kitchen. Some of the people in our office looks restless and I doubt if it's due to excessive coffee drinking. I listen to Dr. Bob Marshal in a Christian radio station and according to him coffee is only good for doing enema. It's a cleansing liquid it seems. He says organic coffee can cleanse-out toxins from our body if used in enema; but drinking any coffee through mouth would make only negative effect. I still drink a minimum of 2 cups of coffee everyday.


Anonymous said...

Much of what you shared here I can relate to. Isn't it (unfortunately) amazing how so many people go through their day in a daze-like manner...and as an isolated being, unaware that all of us are connected through our humanness.

I thought your words were beautiful of noting the details of the mirrors inside the elevator, saying/not saying hello to others, how you'll sometimes glance at others/sometimes not. The types of coffee in the breakroom, your bosses chats about his love for model planes and flying, how you respond, your gladness that he trusts and knows you enough not to micro-manage you.

When I lost my brother way back when I was 17 I remember being so incredibly sensitive to and aware of all the little treasures all around me that I had previously took for granted. For the first half of my Senior yr in High School, I noticed everything...to the blades of grass. Thus, your awareness last week, after the loss and funeral of your friend's baby...I can understand.

Funny how a big loss (especially a death) shakes us to begin thinking about life's preciousness, huh?! If only we lived and walked day-by-day with such gratitude and awakeness.

This blog was good for me, as it caused me to think about how much more vivid and rich life can be (and was years ago as I mentioned above) if we slow down a bit to acknowledge the miracles that God provides each and everyday.

Beautiful post, Bino.

~Amy :)

RJW said...

You are so funny and so sweet!

Kinky? You know all those mirrors are two-way and someone is watching you, right? ;)

We are sorry for your friends; we went through the same thing when our eldest daughter was born. A couple from our child-birth class lost their baby within hours of her birth. Even though they have other children now, I still feel vaguely guilty when we see them, as if we remind them of their loss. Silly, I know.

Your office building is lucky to have you walking in everyday spreading the fragrance of Christ. And we know you do...

Grace & peace & love to you.

Nicole said...

Lol, you crack me up bro! looking at yourself in the mirror is one of my hobbies too! Shush, don't tell anyone! We all have days where we don't want to talk to anyone or even acknowledge people, at least I know I do. Thanks for sharing your days at the office with us! I was glad to tag along! It was fun! lol! Wow you are pretty funny! Oh and coffee is good for you, keep slugging it down! I am a coffee BEAN!

Love ya bro!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Bino M. said...

I tell my wife the best way to slow down in our life is to visit a hospital or nursing home once in a while. It's so easy to get busy with life, not seeing the life around us. How precious are people but we wouldn't realize it until we see the fragility of life in this world. Yes we do have hope but there are so many who are in pain and heartache. It's the small things what matters most in relationships, it's not the diamond rings and expensive gifts but small things such a smile, visit, hug, letter or phone call.

My cousin and sis-in-law were pregnant at the same time, but my cousin lost one of the twin boys after giving birth in the 24th month. And I know what you mean when you say you feel vaguely guilty. I have seen it in our family. It's silly but still...

Thanks! I wish the coffee I drink flushes impurity from my stomach :)

Joel B. said...

Comedian Steve Wright once said something like, "My grandfather used to make us stand still in the closet for minutes at a time, facing the door. He told us it was elevator practice." ;)

The elevator in the hospital that I used 4 to 6 times a day is only six floors. It's amazing how quickly a person can go from walking into the elevator to standing perfectly motionless, to standing at attention when the elevator gets to their floor!

The awkwardness of elevators for me is that sometimes they reach the floor and everyone's ready to "escape" the awkwardness of standing there not relating to others, but yet the door takes, like, half a year to open! Hehehe.

I'm one who usually likes to say "have a good day" to people when they get out. Sometimes my personality is "standoffish" in the elevator, but I'll still say have a great day. Other times I try to make 'small talk' with people. I guess it all depends upon my mood and the general 'feel' I get from others - (discerning if they want to talk or be left alone). But in general, I'm not a "small talker" and it's usually up to someone with a more outgoing personality.

By the way, I'm glad you didn't share about passing gas in an elevator... LOL

Bino M. said...

Lol... I can very well relate to the awkwardness of elevators, standing there still and ready to "escape".

I don't know about passing gas though :)

lydia joy said...

I am so sorry for your friends loss, it brought tears to my eyes just reading it here!! I can't imagine losing a child!!

Leonard said...

Actually two safe havens...

I edit elevator security video for a twenty story building, me and Phillips would like to thank you for the endless hours of entertainment in an otherwise tedious job

Best Leonard.

Condolences to your friends.

RJW said...

Ahahahahaha...I thought Joel was funny, but Leonard!!! THAT was GOOD! :)

Joel B. said...

Hehehe... yep, very funny Leonard. :)

BTW my comment about passing gas came from a recent experience my coworker and I had in an elevator. We walked in together on the first floor and right away you could tell someone who'd been in there had had beans for lunch. ;) We were just hoping that when we got out on the sixth floor, no one would walk in and think it was one of us! We would have simply blamed each other...