The elevators in our building have a curious recorded floor announcement. The female voice has an unplaceable accent: nasal, snooty-almost-schoolmarmish, vaguely Canadian. Probably the result of a focus group on pleasing intonation gone wrong.

I rode the elevator down today with a construction worker. We didn’t speak. As we emerged from the car I heard him mutter to himself “damn foreign elevators.” And he clomped off.

I’m really not sure he was kidding.