ELEVATOR OF DEATH

I had a meeting at 11am this morning. At 10:50am, I decided I had just enough time to head off to Tim Horton’s across the street to grab a doughnut. It took me only five minutes to get my chocolate dip doughnut and I was inside elevator #5 at Pricewaterhouse Coopers Place in short order, going back up to my floor. Incidently, the building that EA leases their space from was named Vancouver’s “office building of the year” for 2006.

As the elevator rose to my floor on 12, it stopped like it normally did, except the doors did not open. I looked up. The LED display blinked off. The panel was blank. I pressed the door open button. It did nothing. I pressed for the ground floor. Nothing. I pressed for our reception floor. Nothing. Damn, I was gonna be late for that meeting.

I could hear people on my floor beeping in with their access cards, so I was definitely on 12. I looked at the panel again. There was a button for the alarm and there was a button to call someone. I’ve seen both buttons for over two decades of elevator riding. Today was the day I got to press one of those buttons.

I pushed the call button. To my surprise, someone answered in a less than a second.

“Hello?”

“I’m stuck in an elevator #5.”

“Do you know what floor you’re on?”

“Yeah, I’m on 12.”

“Is there anyone else with you?”

“Yes, there’s a supermodel with me and she’s giving me unwanted advances.”
“No, it’s just me.”

There was a flurry of chatter on the other end. Whoever I was talking to was radioing to other people. I began to eat my doughnut.

“Ok, we’re sending a security guard up to 12 to have a look.”

“Sure.”

“Are you having any medical conditions right now?”

“Um, no.”

“Can I have your name?”

“Sure, it’s Erwin.”

“What?”

“(lowly)Fuck.(/lowly) It’s Bob.”

“Ok, Bob, do you work for EA?”

“You bet.”

By now I could hear someone banging on the elevator door and yelling.

“Hello?!?!?”

“Yes, I’m here.”

“What’s your name again?”

“It’s Er-it’s Bob. Bob is my name.”

“Is there someone you want us to call?”

“Is this for next of kin?”

“Oh no! Not at all!”

“You can call my Mom if you want.”

“Are you doing alright in there?”

“Yes, I’m doing fine. I’ve lived a long, full life.”

“Oh ok.”

There was a silence for about a minute. My doughnut was now consumed. Then the voice returned.

“Is there someone at EA that we can call for you?”

“Well, I am late for a meeting, so maybe you can call my manager.”

“Ok, we can do that. We’ll also need your full info so we can compensate you.”

“I’m looking forward to getting that t-shirt.”

Just then the elevator started to move and it went up to 16. The doors opened and I was emptied out into a reception area for some stuffy company. I went around the elevator bank and proceeded into the stairwell. No more elevators for now.

I made my way down to 12 and passed by the elevators to get back into our studio space. There were three security guards there on walkie-talkies.

“You should probably get #5 looked at.”

Then I ran to my meeting as fast as possible since I was ten minutes late already. Turns out the meeting was delayed, so I went back to my desk. Soon after, one of the SEs, Derek came to my desk.

“Building security wants to talk to you.”

I went back out to the elevators. They didn’t even know that the elevator went up to 16 and let me off. They insisted on my full info so they could “compensate” me. I told them my real name and phone number, which a security guard proceeded to write down as “Earwin”. What the hell lady? I corrected her with incredible indignation.

I was trapped in the elevator for approximately ten minutes during which at no time did I even feel like I was in the slightest danger. What compensation could they possibly offer me? By the end of the day and for me that was 10:30pm, I had received no offer of compensation.

That was my first time I was trapped in an elevator. It was exceedingly devoid of excitement but perhaps that’s how all such stories should turn out. Here’s a list of elevator mishaps. The worst by far are the ones where a decapitation is involved and the head is trapped in the car with other people.

4 thoughts on “ELEVATOR OF DEATH”

  1. I just thought this was neat info from the wikipedia article:In areas with large populations of observant Jews, one may find a “Sabbath elevator”. In this mode, an elevator will stop automatically at every floor, allowing people to step on and off without having to press any buttons. Regenerative braking is also disabled if it is normally used, shunting energy collected from downward travel, and thus the gravitational potential energy of passengers, into a resistor network. This prevents violation of the Sabbath prohibition against doing useful work.

  2. I got stuck in the elevator of 4 star hotel in Portugal (pretty close to where little Madeleine was recently kidnapped, incidently) when I was 6, along with my 4 year old sister. Just us. We were in our bathing suits with towels wrapped around us, trying to get back up to our hotel room. I think we were stuck for about 30 minutes, for the duration of which time my sister screamed and cried. I don’t remember much about how we got out – I didn’t know about pushing alarm buttons at that age- but it was quite the experience.

  3. Wow! Sarah, that must have been scary for the two of you. If I ever have children, I’m going to teach them elevator safety… that and how to boil an egg.

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