Sometime last week, not long after I started my new job, I noticed that the elevator in the San Francisco federal building doesn't have buttons for 12, 13, or 14. At first, I wondered if this was just extreme superstition -- A lot of tall buildings don't have 13th floors (the elevators go from 12 to 14). Perhaps they planned on getting rid of the 13th floor, but thought people would just think that the 14th floor (indeed, the real 13th floor), would be unlucky as well, and decided to excise the whole three-floor block surrounding 13 in the hopes that figuring out that the 16th floor is now the 13th floor would require too much math for the average government employee.
But then I noticed that the number indicator on the elevator doesn't go from "11" immediately to "15." Rather, it goes from "11" to "XX" to "15," in the same way that the express elevator displays "XX" when zipping from the 2nd floor to the 10th floor. I surmised that some number of missing floors are present in the building, and wondered if there was secret government stuff in there from which the public were excluded. Nuclear weapons? Detainees? Extraterrestrial biomatter? Barney Frank's colon? What could it be?
And so, I asked the Internet. Apparently the 13th Floor is where the San Francisco FBI offices live, which is pretty cool. The 14th Floor is the district office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. I'm assuming these places have their own special elevators, or perhaps heliports. The 12th Floor is still a mystery. That must be where the truly secret stuff is.