He pushed the up button and a lady came up just as he removed his finger. Her finger zeroed in on the button like a heat seeking cruise missile.
“I got it,” Abe said politely.
“I’ll push my own buttons if ya don’t mind,” she said gruffly.
Abe smiled. “Well it won’t come any sooner.”
“And how do you know that,” she said.
Abe hesitated. “Well… I really don’t know for sure.”
“Don’t you think that is something you should be sure of before you go misleading people?”
Abe smiled again. “I suppose you’re right.”
“You give up pretty easy,” she said. “Don’t you have any fortitude?”
Abe pushed the elevator button.
“I thought it wouldn’t come any sooner,” she said.
“Maybe the signal got crossed,” Abe said.
“But the light is still on,” she said.
“Maybe the light works and the signal for our floor doesn’t,” Abe said and quickly added, “I said maybe.”
She smirked and they waited. Her finger again zeroed in on the button. This time tapping it like she was sending Morse Code. “That make ya happy?”
“Perhaps you are confusing it by now,” Abe said politely.
“It’s a machine,” she said. “It takes consciousness to be confused. I bet you’re in accounting. You can count beans, but ya can’t come in out of the rain.”
“Actually,” Abe said. “I am in accounting. What about you.”
“What are you going to do stalk me?” she said.
“No,” Abe said. “I told you where I worked, the polite thing to do would be for you to tell me where you worked.”
“Ya sound fishy to me,” she said. “Maybe I should report you to security.”
The elevator arrived and passenger rushed out. Abe held the door open for the woman and gestured her to go first.
“I ain’t gittin’ on that elevator with you,” she said. “You’re liable to try something funny after the doors close.”
“Her comes a gentleman now,” Abe said. “We’ll all ride together.”
“How do I know you guys aren’t in this together?” she said.
“Ma’am,” Abe said. “If you just step inside I’ll wait for another elevator.”
“What’s the matter?” she said. “Are you too good to ride up with me?”
The three of them got on the elevator. Abe stood at the control panel. “What floor?”
The man said, “18.”
Abe looked at the lady. “What floor?”
“18,” she said smugly.
“Listen lady,” Abe said. “I’ve had about all I can take from you this morning. I’m not interested in you or your floor or anything about you. I’m just trying to be polite.
When you and this gentleman gets off at 18 I have no intention of even looking at you nor will I give any thought of you again. I will gladly alter my schedule so that we may never cross paths again. Do you get my point!”
“18,” the gentleman said.
The old lady snarled as she got off.
As the other man got off he turned back to Abe, “She’s my receptionist: nobody gets past her.”