This saturday 4/14 I had the experience of being trapped in an elevator. There are way too many lame movies and tv show episodes that show people trapped, panicking, making confessions, thinking their life is over, yadayadayada boringboringboring. What is it really like?
It's a pain in the ass. I was helping someone move along with a few other friends. We jam packed the service elevator at her new place, cram ourselves in, and then hit the door close buttons. The doors close, the elevator jerks, and then it stops. So we had only went a few feet if that. The buttons on the elevator had become completely unresponsive. Take a look at how packed in we were:
At least we had a shiatsu massager if we got stuck for a long time. While in the elevator, there was no sense of panic or desperation like you see in a movie. It was just kind of hot, stuffy, and having to stand straight without any room to move it really unpleasant. We tried different button combinations. Called the doorman. He was sending someone to somehow manually move the elevator, if possible. Who is the guy that is going to be able to manually turn a wheel that moves an elevator, Popeye? The other option was going to involve calling the elevator help line and having the company come out to the building. My saturday was rapidly going to hell. Moving is already brutal, now we are all stuck in an over-packed elevator with 3 cm of movement, indefinitely.
As our options dwindled for rescue, there was still no panic that I could discern, just major inconvenience. We were only 20 minutes from being done the move when this happened! Our friend on the phone, who was relaying conversation with the doorman, was insistent that something was hitting the buttons. It wasn't. We began examining the connections between where the crap jammed into the elevator touched, and the elevators walls...hmmm, Scott sees something to save the day...a damn cushion was wedged into the elevator door somehow! The cushion ripped out of the door jam, elevator is functional again, 20-30 minutes of our lives wasted.
Basically, the elevator has a mechanism that will not allow it to move up if any part of its door does not fully shut. This is handy so that you do not lose a limb, or get strangled if some part of a shirt or hood gets caught in the door. However, you would think the door would just re-open, not shut and then power-off all of the elevator button options.
There was no lesson learned from this. When packing, moving, storing, I am still going to cram in too much stuff in an effort to get it over with as fast as possible.