Saint John — “So it’s up, but it’s also forward a bit…”
Siobhan McLennan, provincial public safety inspector, explained in detail what was expected of the escalator during her visit on Thursday, March 16.
The escalator nodded in return. “I see now the wrong I have done in the past.”
The escalator, who prefers to be called Otis after the big yellow sign sometimes posted at its base, expressed embarrassment for its checkered history. “I think what confused me was when I was moving, but people would walk up me like they wanted me to be stairs.”
Otis undulated its balustrade and added: “When I am stairs, I am much more confident.”
It was expected by Saint Johners that Otis’s repairs would be accompanied by a whirlwind of festivities.
“I was thinking a ribbon cutting, at least some fireworks,” said Harvey O’Leary, who plays guitar less than 10 feet from Otis’s landing platform. “But Otis is as modest as an escalator gets. It’s who it is: deep within its tracks, its truss, even.”
Some attribute Otis’s newfound positivity to the new public safety inspector’s approach.
“It’s about encouragement,” said McLennan. “That’s how we all reach our potential, whether you’re human, escalator or whatever. Otis doesn’t do it for the change that falls into its gears.”
McLennan added that Otis does not require words of affirmation from everyone it conveys to a higher level.
“But, you know, a little pat on the hand railing now and then wouldn’t hurt.”