There are so many opportunities, various routes we can take, diverse buttons we can press to initiate a process that might take us where we want to get to. But we can never foresee where we will wind up. This is a lesson for the simplifying-their-life kind of guys as well as for the control freaks. Life can’t be controlled. The only thing we might partly be in control of is our reactions to things that happen. And even this can be questioned for various reasons.


The most simply way to experience this is trying to access the fitness center in the UN Millenium Plaza Hotel in New York. During my last stay I had learned that I have to take one of the two elevators on the right hand side, not the two on the left hand side. This morning I gladly remembered this and pressed the ‘down’ button.

Of course, the left elevator stopped and the door opened. There was nobody in there. So I waited until the door closed again and the elevator would assumingly have left on its way to some other floor. Then I pressed the ‚down’ button again. The same elevator opened again. As there was no other person requesting this elevator, it just obstinately stayed on my floor and kept all the other elevators from stopping.

I have often wondered how much logistics and software have to be implemented in these elevator systems. Today I have learned: This whole thing has to be planned very accurately and obviously in this hotel they didn’t deliberate this problem to all extends. I went on with this procedure for quite a while and started to become desperate.

Then I developed the idea to outsmart this left elevator. As the door opened again I went in, pressed ‘lobby’ and went out again. Now the elevator was finally gone. I smiled. I pressed the ‘down’ button once more and was extremely convinced that one of the two right elevators would stop now. Don’t even think of it. Instead the second elevator on the left opened and out stepped a room maid. ‘”This is the 36th floor” she said. “I know” I helplessly called. “I am staying on this floor for quite a while now, but I want to go to the fitness center.” “You have to take one of the elevators on the right” she said. I almost fainted. “I KNOW”, I screamed, “but they just won’t stop for me. What am I supposed to do???”

“Keep on trying”, the room maid said, smiled, and disappeared into the same elevator she had stepped out before. What a sage advice that does not only apply for coping with elevators but for coping with life.