IT WAS A HECTIC DAY IN THE OFFICE

so I offered to pick up lunch for everyone. After collecting money and orders like a bookie, I was off to the deli. Fifteen minutes later, both hands and the crook of one elbow were filled with white paper bags in assorted sizes, some steaming deliciously and others filled with cold lumps.

As I headed to the door of my office building, I felt great relief when I spotted a woman eight feet in front of me heading toward the same door. I did a couple of trots, a skip and a shuffle and pitched forward to try to get in behind her. Without a backward glance, she managed to open the heavy door, snake through a 12-inch opening and let the door close quickly behind her in one swift, oblivious moment.

I grumbled as I shifted two bags to my left hand, clenched another in my teeth and tugged the door open. The woman was now only six feet ahead of me and headed for an open elevator. As I lurched forward, I was horrified to see the same disappearing act developing. A coattail whipped out of sight and was followed by the sound of closing doors.

"Going up," I roared and desperately shoved my Size 8-B foot into the Size 4-AAA crevice. She made a vague and indifferent waving attempt at opening the door. The "Open" button was clearly beyond her ambition. It took a series of grunts and a forceful ram to get in the door.

"Thank you," I bellowed sarcastically as I squeezed into the elevator. "You're welcome," she sneered.

I stepped to the rear and imagined throwing pasta salad at her head. The door opened and the woman floated out, but not before I noticed the sign on the door she entered. It read HELPING HANDS.