Stuck in an elevator

No, the title is no metaphor.  I spent the last half hour stuck inside an elevator of the MRB3 building.  A grad student and I had boarded on the second floor of the building.  She left on the seventh floor, and I waited a bit longer as the elevator climbed to the ninth.  The door twitched on my floor, but it didn’t open.  I hit the door open button, but nothing happened.  I punched the eighth floor button, and the elevator moved downward a floor.  The door, however, stayed shut.  I was trapped!

Happily, claustrophobia has never been a problem.  The wobbling of the elevator motion was starting to make me dizzy, though.  I looked at the control panel, and I saw lots of interesting options if I were a firefighter.  Then I looked down and realized it was time to phone a friend.  I plunked down onto the floor and swung open the telephone box.  I pressed the silver button, and in seconds I was talking to the police department.  Meanwhile, the elevator had developed a mind of its own.  It descended to the basement and paused there.  The police seemed unsure who to call, but soon I got the sense that things were happening behind the scenes.  The elevator began to rise again, stopping at the second floor.  I soon heard someone outside, messing with the door.

I started talking with the service fellow in the elevator bay.  He had tried pressing on the door to encourage it to retract, but he didn’t think he had found the “sweet spot.”  Silence descended again.  I began singing some Billy Joel.  The service fellow didn’t know his greatest hits, so I switched over to Tennessee Ernie Ford.  He joined in on the chorus of “Sixteen Tons,” and helpfully he knew the other verses.  We finished our duet as police service officers joined him.  Soon, the elevator specialists were on the scene.  One climbed on top of the elevator car and declared the the door motor was a total loss.  They opened the door, and I stepped into the elevator bay.

I took the stairs up to my office.


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