Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker

I wonder if this is apocryphal

There was once a skyscraper, decades ago, where people complained that the elevator was too slow. The workers complained to the managers, and the managers complained to the building's owners. The complaints grew in intensity. Finally, the landlord of the building knew they must act.

So they called in a research team to figure out what to do. And the research team measured everything - how many stops the elevators had to make, what speeds could be safely managed, the algorithm by which a press of a button sent an elevator to a particular floor. They also looked at sociological factors, such as what people did while they waited for the elevator to arrive.

After all this study, the research team made a recommendation - put in mirrors by the elevators. And the building's owner did. And all complaints about the slow speed of the elevator vanished. Because now people had something to do while they waited - they could look at themselves.

And this research had such an impact that it spread, so that nowadays most skyscrapers have mirrors near their elevators. The novelty has never worn off, even though, at this point, an entire generation of office workers have grown up with mirrors next to the elevators.


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