Goddamn it I’m shaking, and I didn’t go through anything super uber scary. I mean, I did, but on the scale, there are far worse things. But it’s been a little while, and I’m still sitting here, heart pounding, having trouble getting air.
Here’s the scene. I’m taking Trix out to pee. It’s 30 degrees C or 90 degrees F outside. Since I live on the sixth floor of an apartment building, I take the elevator. I get in the elevator. I’m slightly worried since intermittently over the last week, one of the elevators has been kinda fritzy. It will lock up and refuse to let you out or open or anything. It will just keep clicking like it’s descending into the bowels of somewhere, but you’re not going anywhere. I would hit open, but it wouldn’t work, so I would hit the alarm bell, which would snap the elevator out of its funk and it would continue to its destination. I had just said to Steve, it’s happened a couple of times now, I wonder if I should warn someone.
I got in the elevator, and it did it again. Only this time, the alarm button trick didn’t work. I could feel it jamming, catching, trying to continue, jamming.
what makes this extra terrifying is I cannot get any cell phone signal in this elevator. So I cannot call 911. So all I have is this damn alarm.
Some elevators are cool and the alarm actually goes somewhere. Not this one. It just rings a bell. So I held down the button.
Where does this bell go?
I think it just goes down the shaft.
But what if noone’s in the office in the lobby? What if they don’t hear it? It’s kind of like saying “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody’s around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Riiiiiiing. Riiiiiing riiiiiiiiiiiing!
By this point, Trixie is starting to loop out. I think the bell is just the right pitch to bother her ears. She has started doing circles around me, sniffing, searching for an exit.
I’m now starting to loop out, feeling how hot it is. I wonder how long until this heat will start to affect Trixie? It’s like leaving her in a hot car. I’ve decided this bell isn’t working, so I’ll try another strategy!
HEEEEEELP! I’m in the elevator and I can’t get out! Riiiiing! Heeeelp! Riiiiiing! Heeeeelp!
Some children hear me screaming.
Just open the door, you’re in the lobby.
The door won’t open.
Do you want us to call the manager?
Yes, yes, please!
I’m thinking I’m saved. I’m saved.
And I am, because the elevator summarily decides to let me out. I come out and find out that the poor kids could not get through to the property manager.
Do you know what that could have meant if the elevator hadn’t decided to be nice and release me, or if it had decided that releasing me between floors would be just duck duck duckeroo? I could have been in there for an untold amount of time, or staring at an open shaft! Trixie and I were put at a significant amount of risk I think. And I couldn’t call 911 myself because of the lack of a cell phone signal. I couldn’t call, couldn’t text, couldn’t nothing.
I got out and I was on the war path. I called the number, fully expecting to have to leave a seething message. I got a poor fellow where the phone was being forwarded to. I let loose on him, and he understood my frustration. He then said he would call the property manager and have her escort me up to my apartment, since I was afraid to get back in the elevator alone.
I called him again, and asked just where this property manager was. It was then that he said she wasn’t home.
which means, boys and girls, if he couldn’t have answered the phone, which he doesn’t have to do because he’s not the super for this building, who knows when it would have been answered. What in Christ is their plan if an emergency happened?
He was nice enough to come up and take me up in the elevator. then I said to him, what do I do at 10 tonight when I have to relieve Trixie? Nobody is going to hear the alarm bell ringing. I don’t plan to spend the night in the elevator. He agreed to escort me down and up. I’m going to ask him if he’ll do the same tomorrow morning at 7.
I think this makes clear that Williams and McDaniel, the ones who own this building, need to do better when it comes to emergencies. Why have an alarm in an elevator if it doesn’t go somewhere where someone will hear it? It’s foolish to think nothing will happen. Stuff happens in elevators, even the best maintained ones. And these elevators are suuuuuper old.
Oh, and why not fix the plumbing too so we don’t have a goddamn Noah’s flood one day when it finally goes kaboom? The whole infrastructure is failing. I get the sense you keep patching it. One day, patches ain’t gonna do it. I love living here, but Jesus Murphy! We lost property managers who were awesome because I think they burned out on patching, patching, patching, patching things. Now we’re down to one property manager for two buildings, and we just can’t seem to get a manager back. I’m afraid. I really am.
So…please hope I don’t get stuck in the elevator again. It’s not a happy feeling, especially knowing that I have no way of getting help myself. I called head office, and left a kind of scattered message, we’ll see what happens.