BEST ELEVATOR (1998)
For nearly 60 years after the Young Quindlan Department Store opened in downtown Minneapolis in 1926, elevator operators shepherded the well-heeled between six floors of merchandise, eventually depositing exhausted shoppers at the Tea Room. The store closed in 1985 but the operators remain, sliding steel grates shut and swinging throttles on two of the building's three elevators between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays, and from 9 to 3 on Saturday. If the attendants get tired of passengers' questions, they don't show it. Most will cheerfully explain that Young Quindlan is one of three buildings in the state with elevator attendants (the other two are an edifice in St. Cloud and the Pioneer Building in St. Paul). The most frequently heard stupid passenger quip? "This job must have a lot of ups and downs." The discreet staff's private rejoinder? "Yeah, with a lot of jerks in between."