|My view, after they got the doors open.|
But, here I am. And I am finally ready to share my elevator story. I hope I haven't built it up so much that now y'all are going to experience a huge letdown. It isn't that exciting. Anyway...here goes.
Yesterday was exactly two weeks since I had gotten into the elevator at work.
I was on my way home, and waiting for the elevator, when I realized that I couldn't find my keys. I ran back into the office, but still couldn't find them. I walked over to our main office to see if I had left them there. Still no keys. I checked m bag again, still no keys. I went back into my office another time, and finally found them in a pile on my desk. I went back to catch the elevator again, now at about 5:15 pm.
I typically park in the lot across the street, but I was running late that morning and figured the lot was probably already full by the time I got to campus. I pulled into the basement garage, which seemed like a good decision since it was supposed to storm all day. So on this particular day, rather than getting off on the ground floor and walking out the front door with my colleague, I was taking the elevator from the third floor all the way to the basement. My coworker had just gotten out on the ground floor, the doors shut, and I had started to go down when the power in the building went out. The elevator stopped and the lights went out.
My first reaction was to wait and see if the power would go back on. The lights turned back on pretty quickly, but it wasn't moving and the light for the floor was still out. I waited a few minutes (maybe more like seconds, but it felt like awhile), and then started to ring the bell, as someone was ringing the bell in the elevator next to me too. Someone came over to the elevator fairly quickly, and I could faintly hear her saying, "Is someone in there?" I responded "Yes!" She said the firemen were on their way and would be there soon to get me out. I told her "Okay! I can't really hear you very well though." I figured I must be further towards the basement than I thought, and she was either on the ground or the first floor.
Now, if you know me, you know that I love safety. In fact, one of my favorite volunteer responsibilities at work is serving as one of the floor captains for the fire and tornado drills. I am fairly good at staying calm in these type of situations and helping to provide directions to others. I figured, okay, they know I am here. Someone is coming. Just be patient. Find something to occupy yourself while you wait.
But I am not going to lie, I started to get a little scared. I was doing my best to stay calm, but my hands were shaking as I started to text a few folks to let them know that I was in the elevator. I figured it didn't hurt to try to catch a coworker who might still be in the building. Just as I was going through my phone book, my sister happened to call. I told her what was going on, and talked to her for a few minutes before I hung up the phone. Didn't want to miss any important communication.
The longer I waited, the harder it became to convince myself not to freak out a little. Because naturally, my brain was racing with a million thoughts:
What if they can't get to me and I have to crawl out a ceiling tile to get out? That kind of sounds horrible. Thank goodness I am already almost to the basement. Hmm. What would MacGuyver do? Wow, I'm old. If there was a student in here with me, they wouldn't even get that reference.
What if I am in here for days? I don't think I have any water or snacks. Seriously. Where did I put that last LaCroix? Not even any gum? Fail. And why is my phone down to 20% battery life already? Stupid Jurassic Park game is draining the thing. They should build all new elevators with phone charging stations, just in case. Except the power is still out...so...no.
What if this is the start of the zombie apocalypse? A total Rick Grimes situation. They are going to open the doors on the other side, having already eaten everyone else, and I am not going to be able to fend all of them off. What is in my bag that could be used as a weapon? Why don't I have more friends that are trained police officers or know how to use a cross bow? And why the heck aren't they in the elevator with me?
I suppose that is what you get when you watch all three seasons of The Walking Dead in a two-week span. A sign that I need to turn off the tv. Don't worry fellow Union staff, I would never bring an actual weapon into the building.
Eventually, I posted to Facebook. Best decision I have ever made. Because when my colleague and I started messaging back and forth, that is when I knew more of what was going on outside of the elevator, and also when I started to realize that perhaps they knew about the woman in the other elevator, but they didn't know about me. That's when I really got scared. Until I got a call on my cell phone to confirm that the the firemen were about to get me out. Finally, some sense of calm.
Nothing was more exciting than when the doors opened. I was indeed between floors. Slightly more in the basement than the first floor. The firemen had to lift me out of the elevator, since it was a pretty big drop. Not the glamorous moment that it sounds like. I just wanted out. I couldn't even tell you if they were attractive firemen. We can just assume that they were.
There were students cheering for me as I got out. And one taking a picture. If someone sees it, please tell me. In the future...resist the urge to take a picture of someone who had been stuck in an elevator for an hour being basket carried by two firemen without their permission. Embarrassing! Well, unless the firemen were really attractive, and you are providing that picture to me and only me. Then you are a kind soul.
It also became clear that the power was still out in the building. I couldn't really tell from inside because it was so stinking bright inside. Walking out into the dark parking garage was a little eerie. But I got a full day of free parking out of it. I suppose that makes up for the whole ordeal, which was about an hour in total.
Someone asked afterwards if I would have preferred a companion in the elevator with me. Maybe yes. Because it was definitely scary to be in there by myself, especially as my head was running through all kinds of scenarios. But I don't think I would want to be in there with someone who was less calm than me. That would have been horrible. And no way that I'd want to be in there when it's packed. It was warm enough in there with just me!
I got back in the elevator yesterday. I hadn't been planning on it. But I left my phone in my office at the end of the day, and parked in the garage when I came back to get it. Walking up four flights of stairs sounded exhausting. So I got in. I went up. I got off. And it was fine.
I took the stairs back down. No need to push it.