Lingerie floor

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Lingerie floor

Post by Stevenloan » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:25 pm

"Marlon Brando worked as a department store elevator operator before he became famous. He quit after four days due to his embarrassment in having to call out the lingerie floor."

Hi everybody! What does "call out the lingerie floor" mean in this situation?

Thanks a lot!

StevenLoan
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Re: Lingerie floor

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:21 pm

It means that his job obliged him to verbally announce the arrival of the elevator at the floor housing the department which sold women's undergarments.

(Presumably, his overweening machismo could not withstand the mismatch between his hypermasculine self-image and his being associated — however indirectly — with any suggestion that he possessed a softer side.)
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Re: Lingerie floor

Post by tony h » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:22 pm

In lifts (or elevators) they used to have an operator who would announce to the occupants "3rd floor", "reception" or whatever and "going up" or "going down" for those considering embarking.

In department stores the lift operator would be required to announce the types of goods for sale on that floor. The lingerie department and the perfume departments strike fear and terror into most men. So the idea of being a young man having to announce in a clear voice "Ladies, clothes, lingerie and nightdresses" was clearly too much for Marlon Brando.



This clip portrays the fear of finding oneself accidentally in the lingerie department.
https://youtu.be/beN7FftWNCM
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Re: Lingerie floor

Post by Shelley » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:51 pm

Erik_Kowal wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:21 pm
. . . his overweening machismo could not withstand . . . any suggestion that he possessed a softer side.
And yet, in his later, larger years, he was known to wear muumuus.

In order to save money during a brief stay in a vintage, down-at-heel Denver hotel, I ran the elevator for about $5 a day. It was one of those really old ones, with two doors I operated manually: the inner, an ornate metal-work accordion-like job; the outer, a two-piece sliding thing with a long lever attached (like a hockey stick, sorta). It worked with an elaborate, knobbed handle that pivoted to go up or down and to start and stop. The trick was flipping the handle at just the right moment to get the elevator car flush with the designated floor. I have to say, that was one of the more enjoyable jobs I ever had -- and during a very strange time in my life, very strange indeed -- but interesting!

tony h, your link is hilarious!
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Re: Lingerie floor

Post by trolley » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:39 am

Did you have to wear one of those double-breasted uniforms with the pill box cap and chin strap? It just occurred to me that the elevator operator, the bell hop, and the telegram person all wore similar uniforms. I guess they were all a similar rank...unless you had some epaulettes.
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Re: Lingerie floor

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:57 am

I'd like to know more about why you ended up operating an elevator, Shelley. It sounds like there must be quite a story attached!
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Re: Lingerie floor

Post by Shelley » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:46 pm

Yes, it was a period of ups and downs.
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Re: Lingerie floor

Post by Stevenloan » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:08 pm

Thank you guys very much for your help. I really appreciate it.

StevenLoan
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Re: Lingerie floor

Post by tony h » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:26 pm

Shelley wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:51 pm

tony h, your link is hilarious!
Thank you. We find Father Ted and Dave Allen always cheer the day.
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Re: Lingerie floor

Post by BonnieL » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:30 am

Shelley wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:51 pm

In order to save money during a brief stay in a vintage, down-at-heel Denver hotel, I ran the elevator for about $5 a day. It was one of those really old ones, with two doors I operated manually: the inner, an ornate metal-work accordion-like job; the outer, a two-piece sliding thing with a long lever attached (like a hockey stick, sorta). It worked with an elaborate, knobbed handle that pivoted to go up or down and to start and stop. The trick was flipping the handle at just the right moment to get the elevator car flush with the designated floor. I have to say, that was one of the more enjoyable jobs I ever had -- and during a very strange time in my life, very strange indeed -- but interesting!
Shelly, that sounds like my dream job! When I was very young a local store still had those old elevators & elevator operators. Not only did they call out the floor number and the departments on that floor (which is how I learned the word 'mezzanine'), they also had to call out "going up" or "going down" before closing the doors. If I'm in an elevator alone or with loved ones who understand my idiosyncrasies, I still enjoy saying "going up" or "going down."

Yes, I'm an odd duck. :D
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