Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stairwell A vs. Stairwell B: Who will be the winner? You? Or me? Or something like that.

"In North America tens of people die and tens of thousand people get injured every year from the falls on stairs." From Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety

(I'm sure I could've found a more relevant, and/or dramatically stated, U.S.-centric quote, but whatever. You get the point.) 

The building I work in has two stairwells. Stairwell A is located at the main entrance of the building, and is next to the elevators. Stairwell B is located near the parking lot.

Each floor has 24 steps per stairwell, but Stairwell B divides the 24 steps into 3 sets of 8. It's a circular stairwell, with a small landing at the top of each 8. Stairwell A has is divided in 2, with 2 sets of 12 steps.

I was talking to someone in my office the other day about my trick for walking more: I try to take the stairs as often as possible, and I've even started using the basement level restroom so that I get an extra trip.

I prefer Stairwell B for a couple of reasons: 1) it's closer to my office 2) there are windows in that stairwell 3) I get to go outside for a few feet before reentering our building (our building is built into a hill; the basement level is half stuck in the side of the hill). I like the way the stairs are broken up into chunks of 8. For slower people or if you're carrying something, it seems safer to me to have a landing there. Again, I'm sure I could've found something relevant to this topic that bears out my theory, but somewhere in the back of my grew-up-watching-This-Old-House-and-other-various-construction-related shows, I feel like I've heard it said before by people with knowledge on this topic, that fewer steps in a row is safer stair desig. So without corroborating evidence, I believe in it. Yes, I believe! I am a believer in the concept of breaking up a flight of stairs into more manageable, shorter chunks. Hallelujah, I believe.

Why am I telling you this? Because when I suggested that this person take the stairs (she was complaining about not walking enough and missing the sunshine, two issues that a simple walk down the stairs could fix), she freaked out on me.

Yes, she literally freaked out. I guess she saw someone fall down in Stairwell B (I haven't seen the accident report yet, and yes, those do come through my hands, so I'm not sure what the exact circumstances were. Maybe that person was looking at their cell phone, or their shoe was untied, or they had low blood sugar, or maybe they were pushed!), and she seems to have an unnatural fear now of that happening to her. And THEN she had the audacity to suggest the Stairwell A is safer for exactly the opposite reason I think the other one is safe! (Wait. Did I get that right? Oh, use your own logic and work it out, the point is, SHE'S WRONG.)

Anyway, did I mention that this person, without fail, drives me up the wall several times a day, EVERY DAY? Don't you think that for this reason alone I am justified in my deep and undiluted annoyance with her? I mean, right?


To all my friends advocating peace, love, charity and kindness:

I try.
No really, I do.
Okay, fine: I tried.
For a little while, I did. I tried. But then her she had an idiotic computer question, and another issue, and then she stuck her nose in my business, and then she talked to me like I was her child, and then she had more computer problems that an 8 year old could solve and then...

Okay, fine.
I will try harder to be kind in the face of rampant idiocy.
No, I mean, I will try harder to be kind.
I will be kind.
Starting now, I will be kind.
I will.

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