Close quarters

April 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm Leave a comment

Yesterday I had a totally new experience on my way back to the office. I’d run a few errands and had a heavy bag in my hand, so I decided the elevator would be a welcome reward for my efforts. A few people walked into the building after me, so I held the door open for them.

We pressed the button for the third floor. Nothing happened. I risked a sly glance at the little sign above the buttons. it said: “6 people or 450 kg”. There were only 5 of us, but 3 were rather heavy. In any case, it looked like we were stuck. One guy pressed a few buttons, but still nothing happened.

One woman said something about claustrophobia in a voice that I couldn’t tell whether she was serious or joking. Probably a little bit of both. Her possible need brought forth my inner galant heroine (I didn’t know she was there!) and I was calm and reassuring. I called someone at the office to organize help, and then we waited. In the meantime, it had gotten rather warm. Someone outside was knocking on the door. To no avail.

I wasn’t really in the mood to get stuck in an elevator yesterday, but then, I can’t say when I would be. Two thoughts comforted me. First, the confidence that eventually we would get out of there. Second, next time I’m conversing with a group of people who were once stuck in an elevator, I won’t feel left out. Not that I’ve ever been in such a conversation, but one never knows when such an experience might come in handy! Meanwhile, I sized up the other occupants, did a quick calculation and realized that we were definitely at or over the weight limit.

It’s one of those small elevators with a door outside and an inner sliding door. After ten or 15 minutes, somebody wedged his fingers in and gave it a nudge. It worked! The door openend and we were free!

We all walked out, and the woman who’d been waiting outside stepped in with the comment: “It does that sometimes when there are too many people.” Calling to mind the best way to overcome a traumatic experience, I stepped back in and rode up to the third floor. This morning I took the elevator as well. No problem.

Later on, it occurred to me that the elevator taught a lesson. It knows exactly what its limits and boundaries are, and is not willing to budge a millimeter if they are overstepped! If it had moved a few feet and stopped, we would have been stuck between floors. So, the moral of the story is: Know thy boundaries! Everyone involved could benefit!

I’m making light of this and might not be in such a good mood today if the “ordeal” had lasted an hour or two. So please, if you’ve had a truly harrowing experience in an elevator, don’t be insulted. It’s just comic relief about my own situation yesterday. Not a generalization. 🙂

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Entry filed under: Unexpected twists. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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