When one of the chain supermarkets here wanted to build a large store on a lot too small to accommodate it, they made it two stories so as to reduce the footprint.
The neighborhood was abuzz.
At first we heard that they planned to put a Starbucks up there, which didn’t sound unreasonable. It was obvious during construction that there was going to be a nice veranda up there. We discovered that no, it would be the location for paper products, toiletries, snacks, laundry supplies, and wine shelves, meaning that ‘most every trip, we’d have to schlep our carts up there.
Once up there, it isn’t bad. It’s more like a mezzanine, I suppose. The outer wall is glass and looks out to the veranda which now has umbrella tables, outdoor furniture and plants for customers to enjoy. The inner side looks down into the colorful produce section and the deli beyond.
An elevator was mandatory.
Said elevator is upfront, in the center of the store near the floral department. Tables of flower displays flank the doors to give customers something to distract them from watching the hydraulics through the stationery see-through elevator doors as it goes up and down. There are transparent doors on both sides: push your cart in, mash the button, and the doors in front of you open when you arrive, allowing carts to continue in a forward direction. No U-turns necessary. Got the picture? Just like hospital elevators for stretchers.
There are stairs there, too, which sort of wrap around the elevator. sigh. I should have taken a photo.
One look at the call station buttons lets customers know this is one high tech elevator. I did take a photo of that.
Firefighters and emergency personnel knew exactly what to do, but what about the customers? They’d stand there, waiting for someone already up there to come back down to enable them to shove their carts inside as soon as the doors opened.
Where the hell was the call button to get the elevator down?
As one who once stood first in line, hoping her frozen yogurt wouldn’t melt before she figured it out, let me say in the customers’ defense: nothing on that fancy panel looks like a pushbutton. Eventually, an employee came over and pushed the disk under the words Buzzer Reset.
The elevator cometh.
There is a wine bar upstairs. I felt like I could use a glass by the time I got up there.
Eventually someone added a helpful sticky tape note:
I smile to myself now when I see that little sign now. Perhaps the people who designed the thing should have run it by someone who was actually going to use it.
It’s by understanding me, and the boys, and mother, that you have helped me. I expect that is the only way one person ever really can help another.”
― Willa Cather, O Pioneers!
If you die in an elevator, be sure to push the Up button.