This morning I was working on a post (not this post) and my phone rang. It was my son. He said, “Hey, Mom.” I said, “Hey Chip, how’s it going?” In a calm voice he said, “I’m stuck in an elevator.”
The fire department had been called and he was just waiting, more bored than anything, I think. I did the Mom thing and told him to not open the doors. I had heard it could be dangerous to try to crawl out because it could suddenly start back up. He’s used to me doing the Mom thing now and just replied, “I know, I know.” Then he added something about having seen that in the movies. His phone was breaking up so it was hard to hear everything…probably because he was stuck in a blooming elevator!
I called back a few minutes later and the fireman were there. I could hear them shouting down to him. He said it sounded like they were up above him. Apparently, he was stuck somewhere between the 5th and 6th floors.
It took a while, but after about 45 minutes, they got him out.
Update: I talked with Chip later today and asked him what he was doing when they finally got him out. He said it was taking so long, he had sat down on the floor, opened his briefcase and was working. After he had been working for a while, he said the doors suddenly opened up and he looked up to see three fireman standing there. I could not stop giggling at the mental image of him sitting in a suit and tie on the floor of the elevator working out of his briefcase. What a way to start your workday!
Have you ever been stuck in an elevator? Not a good feeling, is it? I’ve been stuck twice. The first time was when I was a teenager working as a Red Cross volunteer one summer in a hospital. I was only stuck a few minutes that time and magically the elevator started moving again.
The second time was while I was on my honeymoon. We were staying at a well-known resort in Hot Springs, Virginia and were on an elevator in the oldest part of this historic hotel. The elevator suddenly came to a halt and the lights went out. It was pitch black dark and super hot in there, I don’t think the elevator was air-conditioned back then.
We held tight to each other and I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest. We couldn’t see anything since it was so dark. After a while when it appeared no one was coming, we yelled for help. A voice that sounded far away answered back and said they would get help.
After waiting what seemed like forever but was probably just 5 or so minutes, I decided I’d had enough and tried to pry the doors apart. They were hard to open but I managed to pull them apart. We were about 3-4 feet down from the floor overhead and were able to crawl out. Of course, I’ve since read that it’s best to not do that because the elevator could start back up.
I bet this happens a lot more than we realize. Have you ever been stuck in an elevator? Where? When? Did it have a phone? Did the lights go out like it did in the elevator we were in? How long were you stuck? How did you get out? Did you crawl out or get rescued? Did you refuse to ride in an elevator for a while afterwards?