A couple of days ago we held a small celebration with friends, in honor of the completion of the installation of new elevators. The party was well deserved because for more than seven months we had to climb up to our fourteenth floor via the stairs. We let everyone know by phone that there would be merrymaking until late and everyone brought something to contribute to the fun. It was a shame that they arrived so tired and with an expression on their faces of having been cheated, because the brand new, recently installed Russian elevators announced with the flashing of their red lights that they were broken.
The officials who traveled to Russia to buy the new equipment had decided that it wasn’t necessary to spend the money to acquire the lateral guides for the elevators, a kind of track for where the car slides. They had diagnosed that the old structures, installed more than twenty-five years ago, were compatible with the new equipment and they began to install them. I’m not going to speak metaphorically or draw parallels between electromechanics and politics, but applying innovative transformations on demonstrably worn out tracks sounds familiar.
The end result has been little compatibility between the old Soviet elements and the new Russian equipment, which makes horrifying noises when going up and down, in addition to constantly breaking. Supposedly the installation is already done; in the business plan it must be put in writing with the word “completed” and soon the mechanics will be off to another building. However, we continue ascending most of the time by the stairs and we look like jokers to our friends, who think our party was a joke in bad taste, to inaugurate the elevators that don’t move.