Its a pleasantly warm summer Saturday in the City. My Fiance and I are heading out for early dinner and drinks in the neighborhood. Because our building has not had any improvements since the 1960's, when we press the 'down' elevator button, it stops on its way up, without any indication of its direction, and we get in. Another famous eye roll as I feel the car head toward to penthouse, instead of toward the lobby.
On the 11th floor the doors open, and a shabbily dressed 20 something gets in. I of course cannot help but stare at her unbrushed hair, which hangs like dirty laundry around her shoulders, around which is draped a grungy sweatshirt. My eyes drop to her feet, where I see Teva sandals, complete with ankle straps fastened. I check my watch again to be sure that it is in fact 6:30pm on a Saturday night. To my surprise, a Merrill Lynch canvas tote hangs from her ill dressed arm. The elevator stops again, this time on the 9th floor. A well dressed woman in her 30's steps in. Glancing briefly at the sloppy 20 something, the well dressed woman's attention is caught by the Merrill Lynch tote. "Do you work at Merrill?", the well dressed woman asks, trying to conceal her disbelief. "Used to, I was actually laid off recently", the shabby girl replies, trying desperately to smooth the mass of greasy strands escaping from her scalp. The well dressed woman continues to eye the sloppy girl, and shuffles in her Hermes Birkin bag to retrieve a leather business card holder. She falteringly opens the case, and I can see that the black ink reads 'JP Morgan Chase' above smaller font detailing her contact info. (My Fiance and I are quietly standing in the back of the slow moving elevator.) As if she is literally thinking out loud, I read the well dressed woman's face as she holds the business cards, hesitates, then replaces the leather case into her Birkin. (Inner monologue of the woman: "Should I offer this poor thing my card and tell her to call me for an interview? I mean look at her, she looks like she hasn't seen soap in a week. Laid off or not, come on, this is just scary.) The door mercifully opens in the lobby and our awkward little foursome exists the stuffy elevator.
The poor girl dressed like an extra from a Nirvana video did not get the well dressed woman's business card that night. She probably (and hopefully) went back up to her apartment and burned her Tevas.