Falling Down Stairs


The CFO announced at our all-company meeting this morning that one of our colleagues had fallen down the main stairwell at the office yesterday.

Falling down stairs

(That stairwell has a marble-like tile surface, so if you were to take a fall on it, it’s gonna leave a mark, no question about it.)

As a result, the stairwell is closed until the building architect can figure out a way to make it “safer.”

One clumsy person ruins it for all of us.

I thought about raising my hand and proposing that those of us who like to live dangerously be allowed to sign a waiver acknowledging that we’re willing to walk up and down the stairs at our own risk.

But I didn’t. I just sat there.

Then a strange thing happened . . .

Others began to raise their hands and weigh in on the uneven surfaces, the depth perception in the stairwell being off somehow, etc., and as they did, the futility of what was happening seemed to grab me by the throat . . . I felt something — hope? resolve? IQ points? — draining out of my skull, so I discreetly got up and left the meeting — my silent, feeble protest against what’s happened to us as Americans.

On the bright side, at least she wasn’t in a car accident. I’d have to ride my bike to work . . .

  3 comments for “Falling Down Stairs

  1. MS
    30 Jan 2009 at 12:53 pm

    I get your point, and it does seem a little ridiculous, but this kind of mandate is nothing compared to the asinine list of rules at one place I used to work.

    If it were only one clumsy person, I might agree with you, but this one is the straw that broke the camel’s back. This is about the third or fourth person in the last 9 month, and because it’s an office, those are Workers Comp claims. It would be stupid if someone didn’t do something about it by this time.

    I happen to hate the new stairs, because there is something about them that make it visually difficult to discern one step from the next when you are going down. Going up doesn’t seem to be an issue because you can see the shadows on the riser…no such thing going down. It looks like a sand dune, where one ripple flows into the next…except there’s no flowing and the sand is as hard as asphalt.

    One person mentioned to me that “you shouldn’t be looking down at your feet when you’re going down stairs, you should have your head up and be looking forwards”. I bit my tongue, didn’t laugh in the person’s face, and vowed silently to never walk anywhere in front of them again because I fully expect them to be the very next person to take a spill down a staircase.

  2. s
    30 Jan 2009 at 1:25 pm

    i stood on the top of the stairway and looked at it for a while. maybe i should try squinting my eyes and walking down.

  3. PE
    30 Jan 2009 at 2:05 pm

    I wanted to mention something to you, “s” — you don’t *have* to provide a URL to add a comment.

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