Random Life Events: Timing, Making Decisions and Changing Behaviors
I got stuck in an elevator yesterday.
Although I don’t have claustrophobia, this is one of my recurring nightmares, probably triggered by some of the movies I’ve seen.
Like everything in life, random situations are about timing and making decisions.
I went to the restroom, but the one on my floor was occupied.
I could have gone to the restroom in the gym, but I decided to take the elevator to the second floor and use the facility there.
The elevator ride is short, only two floors. I could have taken the stairs.
On my way down, the elevator door did not open. I waited for a few seconds, but when the Floor 1 button did not light up, I punched the Call button.
An automated voice announced the location of the elevator, and the auto-dialer called some service number. A nice lady answered the phone, took some information from me and let me know she made a service call.
She asked me if I had a cellphone number to call for updates.
Since I was just going to the bathroom, I didn’t take my phone with me. (Who uses their phone while using the restroom?)
I could feel the elevator slightly swinging, like a tire on a rope.
I started to think about several scenes in movies and TV shows where people are stuck in an elevator, like the Bruce Willis movie “Die Hard.”
After a few minutes (I didn’t have my phone and I don’t wear a watch, so I didn’t know what time it was), I decided to stop thinking about those scary things and instead take advantage of this “break” and relax.
I sat on the floor and breathed deeply. In and out. In and out, trying to relax. It was working.
Sometime later, I heard a faint knock from somewhere. It was the building manager checking to see if someone was in the elevator. I could barely hear her.
I yelled my reply and said I am not from the second floor office, but from the office below, on the first floor. I think she said something about getting someone to fix the elevator.
I could still feel the elevator gently swinging. Sort of like being on a large ocean liner. More strange noises were happening. Sort of like a mechanical groaning sound. Or maybe something from a Halloween-themed movie.
Then, an alarm started screaming and the little fireman’s’ hat indicator lit up. It was so loud this totally rattled my calm and relaxed state of mind. I had to cover my ears, but could still hear the high pitched buzzing whine.
Pushing the “Cancel” button didn’t do anything. And I also thought, “If I cancel the call, will that cancel the help on its way?”
I kept pushing the Help button. This time, no one answered the call.
Finally, I felt some more movement, heard some more noises, but still not the normal elevator feeling. It was a strange scraping sound. And finally, the door opened. The building manager and the building engineer apologized several times.
I just nodded and went to my office.
Good thing I was on my way back from the restroom, rather than going to the restroom. I wasted nearly an hour inside that elevator.
Next time, I am going to take the stairs. Or use the restroom in the gym, on my floor.
In any case, I will definitely take my phone with me.