I cannot even begin to tell you how much I hate North Carolina’s Elevator Queen.
I do not mean that I hate Cherie Berry as a person. I hate and despise the ironic cult following that has cropped up around her due to her position of being North Carolina Commissioner of Labor, as the Department of Labor that she runs has the responsibility of inspecting the safety of all elevators in the state. Berry, whose first name is pronounced like the French word, “chérie,” and not the fortified wine originally from southern Spain, “sherry,” has her face and name placed in every elevator in the state because of this, as each elevator must bear a certificate of inspection.
This has, for some unfathomable and unholy reason, resulted in an ironic fan club/merch line created independently of her by mostly younger and mostly white people concentrated in Raleigh and Charlotte. Everything from songs about her to shirts bearing her likeness with the legend, “Cherie Berry Lifts Me Up,” underneath are just some of the manifestations of this micro-trend, with the parody account of @ElevatorQueen being probably the most public and lingering instance of it.
However, North Carolina’s Labor Commissioner has more duties than just inspecting elevators. That office is responsible for prosecuting wage theft and ensuring the health and safety of North Carolina’s workers, and in those obligations Berry’s record is far less sterling.