Kirst Bisset

If you thought Solange & Jay-Z had an elevator brawl...
27 October 2014

I don’t go out looking for trouble. I own a company and have a needy cat. Trust me, the last thing I need is drama. So my encounter in an elevator this morning took me by surprise. 

I was on my way to an appointment at Umhlanga Hospital. If you’ve ever visited this hospital, you’ll be very aware of what a ball ache the elevators are. If an available one reaches your floor, you jump in it no matter what direction it’s going in or who’s in it.

I was making my way up from level B3 to the 3rd floor and wondering why I hadn’t packed any padkos. By the time the lift reached the ground floor, I was the only person in it. In climbed three people, one of which was a child and one of which was my soon-to-be arch nemesis. As said nemesis entered, she announced that there were enough people in the lift. I feel it important to point out that the lift is equipped to carry 13 people at a total of 1000 kilos. (That’s 76,9 kilos per person. The average weight in that lift at the time couldn’t have surpassed 60 kilos unless everybody had a really large walrus for breakfast.) Consequently, the four people who were about to get in behind her (including an exhausted-looking mom with her toddler and an elderly lady) backed off.

 13 people, people!

Knowing how long they’d wait for another lift and, you know, being well aware of the fact that we could still swing a cat in there, I said to the crew outside “No, shame… There’s more than enough space in here. Please come!” I had no bad intentions and just wanted to ensure these people got to where they needed to be as soon as possible. They were very grateful and got into the lift with us.

Being kind blew up in my face. 

Madam on my left retorted with, “Oh really?” Now, I wasn’t sure if she was being serious or if her sense of humour was as dry as Gandhi’s sandal.

Oh, was she serious…


Woman: “You really think you know what this lift is going to do?”

Me: *blank stare*

Woman: You really think you can predict what this lift is going to do? I’m sooo glad you can look into the future.

Me: The lift can hold 13 people.

Woman: (Louder) And when this lift falls, then what? *sniggers from the whole lift*

Me: *Kanye shrug*

Woman: You CAN’T see the future, you know that?!

Me: The lift isn’t going to fall. Please relax. (Ok, I know… Telling a high strung person to relax is like telling me to hold off on the Patron. My bad.)

Woman: Oh, you don’t know the future! Nobody knows the future of this bloody country. It’s such a stuff up. We’re all screwed!


Without getting into a socio-economic debate, do you think this kind of woman knows the real struggles and pressures this country faces? I mean… Her biggest fear is falling to her death in a state-of-the-art elevator whilst there are people in that hospital fighting for their lives.


Me: Ugh, move to Australia then (Heh. Couldn’t help myself)

Woman: I’m just being honest!!! How DARE you?! We never know what’s going to happen here!

Me: I’m curious as to how you get through life with such a negative attitude.

Woman: (Hissing) You know what? You’re a nasty little bitch! Yes you are! I am older than you. Have some respect. (Ah, ageists… Love ‘em)

Me: *Smile and nod*


At this point, she was so over it, that she stormed out when we reached the second floor.

Us daredevils left in the elevator all had a bit of a giggle and I was told that her behavior was completely unnecessary.

The real kicker came when I reached the third floor and saw her climbing the stairs up to her intended floor, all the while screaming across the hospital, “You nasty piece of work! YOU! I hope you have an AWFUL life!” I just walked into my appointment and closed the door on that little incident.

So, what can we learn here? Well, if it was up to her, we would learn that being kind equates to being a nasty bitch, that taking the elevator is putting your life on the line, and that S.A. friggin’ SUCKS.


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