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Thank goodness for elevators. While on them, time is suspended. The goal is to get to your destination by going up or down floors, but along the way there can be some pleasant surprises. Elevators can be great places to meet people because you’re in close quarters and there’s no time to waste. If you see someone on an elevator that you wish to talk to, you need to do it fast.

This is quite good practice for meeting people and learning the art of making conversation – like my daughter and I did last week at Longworth Hall, an office building in Cincinnati, Ohio. I stepped off the elevator on the wrong floor and saw a young man with a kind, freckled face.

“Oops, I think we got off on the wrong floor.” I said.

“Where are you going?” he said, as he stepped on the elevator with us.

“Oh, my daughter was here to have some pictures taken.”

I had this feeling that my daughter and I were meant to meet him, but I had no idea why.

“There are so many interesting companies in this building.  Where do you work?”

He told us the name of the company and said that he composes music for animation films.

“Wow,” I said. “My daughter’s a singer songwriter. She writes her own music.”

He smiled at her. “I majored in songwriting in college,” he said.

“You two need to talk to each other,” I said. “You have a lot in common.”

At that moment the elevator door opened and we all stepped off.

The young man introduced himself as Michael. We stood in the lobby and talked and talked about music. We asked him how he got into composing and he said it was his parents who had him learn many instruments when he was growing up. He gave my daughter helpful advice on which music courses to take in college.

After twenty minutes of chatting, we had to go. But first, Michael and my daughter exchanged phone numbers to keep in touch.

At that moment, I was very grateful for elevators because they connect people to one another faster than you can fill a glass of water. If we had passed Michael in the hallway of Longworth Hall, we would not have met.