Lorraine Lee

World Trade Center

Too Happy at Work

In the end, it was all of those heart-stopping miseries with the elevators at 2 World Trade Center that prompted Joan Greene to tell her daughter, Lorraine Lee, "to leave that building, to get a job somewhere else," Mrs. Greene said.

There were the elevators that stopped unexpectedly. The elevators that dropped a few floors. Then there was the elevator that actually zoomed up when it was supposed to go down — then plummeted a bit before stopping, safely, as if nothing had even gone awry. And since Ms. Lee, 37, regularly went out to the plaza for a smoke, it was annoying to spend all that time taking the elevator down from her office on the 101st floor.

But Ms. Lee would not listen to her mother because she loved her job as an administrative assistant at Aon Consulting, even though she traveled each day from Eltingville, Staten Island. And it was also true that Ms. Lee had quit smoking for eight months before the terrorist attack, and did not need to make all those trips to the plaza anymore. "She loved the people there," Mrs. Greene said. "She loved her boss. And she loved the view."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 2, 2001.

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