The building has four floors. The lift's buttons are set up so that the number on the button you press is also the number of the floor the button instructs the lift to stop at. A voice announces the number as you exit. And on the bit of wall next to the lift doors on each floor is a large plank of information to do with where everything is and why you might want to go there.
Some people mentioned that they found it difficult to discover, after they got there, what floor they were on, and I was asked by a manageman to solutionise the improvable. I think that's how he put it. Solvify the crevasse. Bradbury the topknot.
I tried to resist. If your problem is you can't find out what floor you're on, your problem is much bigger than not being able to find out what floor you're on. But no. Then what about a sign directing you to the plank? No, this would appear deliberately unhelpful and maybe sarcastic. So I was wafted into the reprographics alcove and ordered not to come out until I'd stated the obvious.
I printed an A4 sign that said you are on the first floor. In bold Helvetica, I think, although it could've just been something that looked a lot like Helvetica. Taking care not to repeat myself or make any signs for places that didn't exist, I printed similar but not exactly the same statements for the other three floors. By which time the laminator was purring like a distant helicopter, ready to attack anything, regardless of colour, typeface or grammar, and as I fed it the four signs I patted its lilac flank and whispered the words the work we're doing here is vital to facilitate the smooth running of this organisation, whatever this organisation is. I switched it off after it'd passed the fourth sign, and went to the lift in a more businesslike manner than usual, so as not to appear to be gloating.
The lift has its own internal plank which includes information on all the floors and rooms except it doesn't mention a thing about room number six.
I leapt out onto the fourth floor and began mashing the this is the fourth floor sign against the wall opposite the lift with my forehead and elbows and the aid of a substance that strongly resembles but is significantly less effective than blu-tack, while people who've never not known what floor they're on stared at the sign and then at me and shook their heads and started conversations like
Are you really...
But there's already a...
and moved off with faces like funeral rain. I returned to the public waiting area and sat behind the enquiries desk and imagined a future where every wall was a sign, the comic sans smeared up it like abbatoir splashes and the apostrophes scurrying like lice. And I was doing nothing to stop it. I opened a Twix and carried on with the paperwork.