Hi there tout la gang,

We don't have much to say about research in practice at the Café right now

but we are talking policy and practice over here now: Literacy Enquirers.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

model trapped employees go for a smoke

I am not sure why I am so hooked on this story. Maybe because I have spoken to so many model trapped employees lately.

a model trapped employee goes for a smoke 2008:
Have you seen the New Yorker article by Nick Paumgarten called Up and Then Down? He tells the story of Nicholas White who, on his way outside for a smoke, was trapped in an elevator in New York City’s McGraw-Hill building for forty-one hours.

He occupied himself with thoughts of remaining calm and decided that he’d better not do anything drastic, because, whatever the malfunction, he thought it unwise to jostle the car, and because he wanted to be (as he thought, chuckling to himself) a model trapped employee. He hoped, once someone came to get him, to appear calm and collected. He did not want to be scolded for endangering himself or harming company property. Nor did he want to be caught smoking, should the doors suddenly open, so he didn’t touch his cigarettes.

You can watch a time lapse video of White in the elevator from the building’s security cameras. I have been finding it mesmerizing. What would I do?

a model trapped employee goes for a smoke 1945:
Just as fascinating is the later tale from the same article about "the Empire State Building incident of 1945, in which a B-25 bomber pilot made a wrong turn in the fog and crashed into the seventy-ninth floor, snapping the hoist and safety cables of two elevators. Both of them plunged to the bottom of the shaft. One of them fell from the seventy-fifth floor with a woman aboard—an elevator operator [she lived!]. The operator of the other one had stepped out for a cigarette."

Then there is the blazing-Christmas-tree elevator-fireball thing.

Not too sure how this connects to literacy research and practice but just thought I'd like to share this internet tidbit.

P.S. Literacies #8 is at The Learning Centre and will be shipped next week!

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