Monday, August 04, 2014

Buttons, Alarms and Firefighters

The elevator stops.

The door does not open.

We wait.

We push the up button.

We push the down button.

We push the door open button.

The door does not open.

We push the alarm.

It rings loudly, painfully loudly.

No one comes.

We push the help button.

A phone dials.

A recorded voice says: Hanging up.

It hangs up again.

And again.

And again.

We're trapped.

Buttons are randomly pushed.

Door Open.












Nothing works.

It's getting hot.

It's getting stuffy.

We look, there is no fan.

I call 911.

Joe pushes help.

Both answer at the same time.

I am talking loudly into the phone.


Joe is talking loudly into the speaker.

The woman at 911 thinks I'm panicking.

I say I'm not.

But I may be a bit.

She puts me through to the fire department.

I feel like a kitten in a tree with a cell phone.

A voice calmly, very calmly, tells me a truck is sent.

The help voice is going to notify someone.

We wait.

We stifle the urge to push buttons.

This is harder than you think.

We hear voices.

Above us.

Below us.

A man calls out to us.

We answer.

He tells us that we aren't up to the second floor.

I joke.

"So we're only half way to heaven then?"

He says.

"There's a few more floors after this one."

Oddly comforting joke.

The door opens.

We can see out.

But we are no where near the second floor.

The top three feet of the elevator is above floor level.

The door closes.

A voice to someone else.

"We're going to have to lower them down."

A distant voice.


I worry they can't.

I cannot crawl out of the space we just saw.

Simply can't.

I am less reassured.

What if ...

Inner voice says, "Shut up."

I do.

Another voice, "We are going to lower you down."

And another, "You'll be out shortly."

It's very stuffy in the elevator.

 A voice, "You're going to feel it move."

The elevator feels like it's been struck on the side.

Damn thing deserves it.


We move down.

The elevator jerks and drops.

It feels controlled.

Finally a voice, "Just another inch."

A final drop.

The door opens.

Several firefighters are in full gear are at the door.

Like a very grim greeting committee.

I rush out, thanking them as I go by.

Joe follows.

We are free.

And safe.

And the air is fresh.


You live your life in sentences.

Not paragraphs.

This was one of them.


Anonymous said...

This happened to me once - I recalled how I felt as I read your words - scary experience and one I hope you never have again!! Hugs to you and Joe! Susan

Maggie said...

So glad you are free!

... and how lovely that, at least this time, the inner yelping voice could be quieted.

I bet nothing looked as good as those firefighters when the door finally opened.

Tamara said...

Oh - I hate being trapped in elevators, although the trapped in the elevator scene in You've Got Mail is one of my favs! Glad they moved it so you could roll out!

Karen said...

Oh Dave and Joe
What a terrible experience. Something one NEVER forgets!
So glad it wasn't a prolonged ordeal!

theknapper said... glad help came relatively quickly and the help was helpful.

Liz said...

(((Dave and Joe)))

Anonymous said...

Emergency phones that don't work should result in a heavy fine for the building owner. You shouldn't have to have a cellphone on you to be rescued. That's what the phone is for.


Things will fail, and elevators are designed to fail safe (by stopping). This is good - but not having the phone working so people can get out should not be allowed to happen. Heavy fine=phone that is checked more often.

This could be a far more serious problem - you were inconvenienced and scared, but someone else might not make it.


Anonymous said...

Yikes! How scary. I'm glad you're safe and sound.

I would have been totally panicking.


wheeliecrone said...

Terrifying! Absolutely terrifying!

Anonymous said...

Ugh..., as one who's been there, so sorry that the two of you had to experience that. Glad all is well. M.

Mary said...

Oh how horrible. I agree with Littlewolf - in some situations panic is appropriate, even if it isn't helpful, and being stuck in a lift with no one answering the help button is one of them!

So glad you got out safely and without too much drama.