Magdalena Fournier-- only the first name was
on the small bronze plate above the left pocket
of the impeccably cut jacket of her brown
uniform-- had to be one of the last elevator
girls around. All the other elevators in the
Universal Building were automated.
Only this executive suite car at the far end of the
lobby maintained an elevator manned by a young
woman in dress browns as her mother had been
twenty-two years before where she had met and
married Dad who had been a teller for First Legacy
Bank (now Bank 21) just off the main lobby.
He stepped on at 10:21 in a crisp Brooks Brothers
suit, the kind her father always wore when he came
to afford it. Her age, the young man's hair was short
and the color of her uniform and only a small scar
on the left temple-- probably a hockey injury--
gamely marred the perfection of a face that surely
belonged on a movie billboard.
"How do I look?" he flashed a big-screen smile..
"You know how you look," she smiled back,
"except the knot of your tie is just a wee-bit askew."
Before his incredulous eyes could find the mirrored-
finished brass-plate next to him, she had set the
tie as straight as it was in the first place. There was
an intimacy about the gesture-- their respective
eyes this close-- that sent a thrill though her.
Now she set the Otis in motion and they were
on their way.
"Think you'll get the job?" she asked.
"You know I'll get the job," he flashed that grin
again. "They'd be foolhardy to miss the opportunity."
"You're a confident one," she returned.
"While I'm at it, the interview, just pick the place
you want to celebrate."
"My, you are a confident one," she said.
They rode the rest of the way in silence louder
At ten to eleven, he stepped back on, a changed man.
"I didn't get the position," he announced. "I didn't
know some program named TierPage."
"I'm sorry," she consoled him.
Then the grin was back: "Don't cry for me, Magdalena,
I'll learn this TierPage nonsense and be back in a week."
First, she wondered how he knew her name-- the name-
plate on her uniform, of course-- but the first thing that
came out was: "I'm on my break in five minutes. Want
to have coffee?"
"Absolutely not," came the quick reply.
"No?" She was hurt.
"I want to do this thing up right," he followed quickly.
"Nothing less than Sebastian's on the mezzanine here,
when I'm working in the Universal Building like you, but
with you out of uniform into something smart and chic
that will make heads turn like the turnstiles at old Yankee
Stadium, the one that Ruth, DiMaggio and Mantle built
with their bare hands and Louisville Sluggers."
"How do you know I'll accept dinner-- I mean coffee
is one thing," she started weakly before he cut her off.
"You'd be foolhardy and reckless to pass on the
opportunity," came the confident retort.
On the ground floor, he emerged and turned with the
agility of the athlete he obviously was.
"Thanks for straightening my tie. It was fun. See
you next week."
She watched him go as the CEO of Brentmore
Investments stepped on board.
"Nice looking young man," he remarked amiably,
"does he work here?"
"He goes to work for your company, sir, in about
"Marvelous," the gentlemen nodded as he opened
his Wall Street Journal and they headed northward.