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New Elevators Sort Users by Rank

Elevator technology is taking a great leap forward from what you're probably used to. Newer models can be accessed by swiping ID cards and programmed and controlled by managers, either to give priority to certain users or track who is going where:

In downtown Denver at 1999 Broadway, a 43-story building, a law firm requested that the elevator have the capability to keep its attorneys away from employees of an office of the Internal Revenue Service with which it shares an elevator bank, says Jeff Blain, a Schindler sales manager who worked on the project.

At the 55-story Bank of America Building, at One Bryant Park in New York City, elevators can let bank VIPs ride separately from rank-and-file staff, says Michael Landis, Schindler vice president of marketing. Many of the bank's senior executives work on the 50th floor and are typically directed to their own elevator anyway, making the technology unnecessary. "But it's one of the features that they particularly liked and its one of the key features that won us the contract," Mr. Landis says.


Trying to hide from your boss? That's not going to work anymore:

The elevators at the 13-story Curtis Center in downtown Philadelphia, are built so the most senior executives can punch into the computer that they would like to see certain employees upon arrival. When employees swipe their ID cards to call the elevator in the lobby, they can be rerouted to the boss's floor.


Link via Geekosystem | Photo by Flickr user notacrime used under Creative Commons license

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Nothing new here. We've had access controlled elevators where I work for years now. You've got to swipe your badge through every door and elevator you pass through and everything is time stamped and your name and ID number is recorded. If you don't have access to the area, your card won't work and the door or elevator won't open. However, this is done for the purpose of securing sensitive business information and not letting it leak to competitors, terrorists, foreign countries, etc. Not for separating CEO's from the "common folks" like me who "just work here". I won't tell you the name of the company, but it's a big one. A really scary big one that pretty much owns and runs the world. Bwwaaa haaa ha.
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I was just about to write that same thing Will L. GM executives worked hard to insulate themselves from the actual workers. Special elevators, special parking places, offices far away from anyone who actually did any work. In the end, the executives were totally disconnected from the reality of the business. They were relying on reports on what was going on in the company rather than seeing what was going on for themselves. In the end they were making very uninformed decisions.
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This is a very bad idea.

But go ahead and copy one of the crappiest American companies of all time.

Yup, -GM- itself had a huge amount of Executive Isolation, including Elevators.

What could possibly go wrong, by creating an insular culture that separates upper management from smarter and harder-working people?
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I heard of a college with an elevator with access restricted to certain faculty and students of rank. The method of control is an RFID smartcard, which all students and faculty likely have anyways.
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