Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stuck in an Elevator

I just spent the better part of 45 minutes stuck in an elevator in my apartment building. The good news was, I knew I was on the basement level, which was where I was headed to go out in the car to run some errands, so I wasn't worried that I was about to plummet to my death. Someone had gotten off one floor above but when the car went down to the next level, it just bounced to a stop and the door wouldn't open.

However, in case you've never tried it, I am here to tell you that 45 minutes is a very loooong time to be stuck alone in a small box, wondering how long you'll be stuck in there and whether anyone realizes you're there. Thank goodness I'm not claustrophobic or I would have been a total mess by the end of it!

I kept banging on the door and yelling "hello?" in between ringing the alarm bell, feeling quite foolish the entire time. I didn't want to sit down because I've seen all the dogs that go in and out of those elevators and I know some of them don't wait until they get outside. Even though this building is kept very clean, ick, no, I wasn't going to sit on that floor if I could help it. Luckily, I had eaten dinner and gone to the bathroom before I left my apartment, so I didn't have any worries in that regard.

The exhaust fan was very loud, which meant I couldn't hear much. I couldn't tell if anyone knew I was in the elevator or was doing anything to get me out. I could hear someone else banging and yelling too, which made me think someone else was stuck in another elevator but when a man (who turned out to be the elevator repair guy) finally let me out, there was no sign of anyone else. He was suddenly on the roof of the car I was in and slowly opened the door enough for me to step up the one foot to floor level and climb out, asked me if I was okay, then slowly closed the door again and disappeared. I stood there, alone again, newly released and wondering what to do next - should I take the stairs up 14 flights?

A young girl of about 12 came in alone from the parking lot (I kept waiting for her companion to show up, the one who was old enough to drive. What was she doing in the parking lot by herself? She had several bags in her hands, perhaps she had been sent down to unload the family car) and I told her there was something wrong with the elevator. She said she'd heard someone was stuck and then got very big eyes and said, "that was you???" incredulously when I told her someone had just let me out. Then the superintendent arrived in another elevator, ferried us up to the ground floor where he got off to talk to the elevator repair guy, and she and I continued on up. I was glad to have her company and was a little nervous when she got off 2 floors before me, but I arrived at my own floor without further incident.

So now I'm home safe, cuddling my cat, telling myself I will never go out without my cell phone again. It might not have worked in the elevator anyway but at least then I wouldn't have been cursing myself for not bringing it. The one time I figured I wouldn't need it and I did! If I'd had it and it did work, I would have been calling the superintendent to say "get me out of here!!!!!!!!!"

I'm not feeling too ambitious to do anything now. I can't even remember what I was supposed to be doing with this evening. Having this happen on the same day as the fire alarm going off at 1:20 in the morning, leaving me to toss and turn for another 2 hours before falling back to sleep, is not a good thing. I'm thinking I might just call it an early night and crawl into my bed, pull the covers over my head and hope that tomorrow gets here soon. Surely tomorrow will be a better day!

1 comment:

Marcia DeCoster said...

Though I'm sure it was no fun while it was happening, it did make a good story! Glad it worked out and you weren't stuck for too long.