My "Elevator Maid" Needs To Find A New Job

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I moved last week but for about a year I lived in an apartment where I wasn’t allowed to use our elevator unless the “elevator maid” was present. What’s an “elevator maid” you ask? It’s literally just a woman who rides the elevator with you and pushes the button for whichever floor you’re trying to get to. You might be thinking, wow how luxurious! You truly are living the life in China! Don’t even have to push your own buttons!

See the thing is, these maids only work from 7AM-9PM, and when they aren’t on shift, the elevator is turned off and locked. Meaning any time I come home after 9PM, which is pretty often (hardo alert), I have to walk up 90 steps, and risk eating shit or having a heart attack, just to get to my apartment. This is hard enough sober but after a long night of drinking it’s a death trap. I have friends with body sized bruises from falling up or down my stairs late at night and I know I’m next.

However, the part that angers me the most about this situation is that even when the maids are on duty, they act like I have just ruined their day every time I come home and they have to get out of their chair to push the elevator buttons. When I come in the lobby door they give me the stink eye and let out an audible sigh that screams “I can’t believe you are making me do this shit.” News flash! You don’t have to do this shit! Modern elevators were specifically designed so you don’t have to do this shit. For the love of god just stay in your seat! I got this! You’d actually be making everyone’s life a lot easier if you just called in sick for the next year. Here is a clip of my “elevator maid” on a “good day”. I say good day as instead of letting out a disgruntled *sigh* to signify I had just ruined her day she decided to just let out a burp as soon as the doors closed.

(Allow me to preface this video but saying: No I don’t live in the projects. It’s a historical building that was built in 1932 so the lobby just looks a bit rundown. It’s called vintage chic.)

To clarify,  elevator maids are not a common feature of Chinese apartments.  In fact, I don’t know a single soul out here that also has to be chaperoned by some random women every time they take the elevator.  Sometimes I’ll have a friend over and they’ll just get in the elevator and push the button themselves like a normal person and, lo and behold, the lady absolutely loses it. It shakes her to the very core of her existence.

“What are you doing?!?!”
“Uhh, just heading up to a friend’s apartment.”
“You don’t do that here! We are different from other apartments in Shanghai!! Only I push the buttons!!”
“Lady…you’re scaring me…”

Now If this is just a symbolic job that was created to employ the elderly I don’t really have a problem with it, but at the very least don’t give me attitude every time you have to do a job that I would gladly do myself, and maybe, just maybe, trust me to use the elevator on my own after you go to sleep. I mean it’s not like you’re a taxi driver just coming to terms with Uber, your job has been obsolete since the 1960s…

QZ “Only one of the 270 detailed occupations listed in the 1950 US Census has since been eliminated by automation, according to a working paperby Harvard economist James Bessen. The one exception: elevator operator.”

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