I have a thing about elevators. It’s not unreasonable or anything – it’s just a blinding fear that the cord will snap and the elevator will plunge to the ground, killing me and everyone on board. Completely normal. Usually I manage to keep my elevator fears at bay. I live in a building with an elevator, so I am on one pretty much daily. But, those are short trips of just a few stories. When I’m in a tall building, it’s a different story. Space Needle, Sears Tower, Empire State Building? I was a complete mess.
I spent this last weekend in Nashville, where I stayed at the Hotel Preston. The building had eleven floors of hotel rooms, plus the lobby and a lower level. On Saturday I was on the elevator from the fourth floor to the lobby when it made a bit of a groaning sound and lurched before the doors opened. I leapt off the elevator the second the doors opened. I told myself to make a mental note not to get on that car again, but I lost the note and got back on the elevator a few hours later – along with twelve other women.
The doors closed, we started to move upward, and then the elevator just…stopped. I immediately had a minor stroke. Also? Maddie isn’t the only one who has nervous flatulence. Sorry, ladies.
The other women on the elevator were all really calm at first. They teased me for freaking out. Amy even suggested we all jump and maybe it would jar the elevator. That didn’t make me too happy. I was closest to the buttons so I pressed the elevator emergency call button. It rang, and rang, and rang…and NO ONE answered.
This is when other people started to have minor strokes.
My cell service was spotty, but I managed to get a text out to my roommate Casey.
I then used my twitter account (thank goodness I didn’t close my account last month) to announce that we were stuck on the elevator. Other women did the same things, and right away we started getting responses from our non-stuck friends, who told us that they called the front desk on our behalf.
R Kelly’s song, “Trapped In A Closet” started running through my head, but with verses altered to fit my situation.
I used the emergency button again, and finally someone answered. She said that the authorities had been called, and they would be there to help us “shortly.” Armed with that vague information, we tried to stay as calm as possible. Fifteen minutes went by with no change and no new information, so I used the emergency button again. We were given the same vague response that help would be there “shortly, ” and that is when the whole elevator revolted.
Did I mention there was a pregnant woman on the elevator?
It started to get REALLY hot and stale in the elevator. Someone pried open the doors a bit so we could get some fresh air, although it didn’t make that much of a difference. A few women started to have real and true panic attacks. Surprisingly, I was not one of them. I think that was because I felt so bad for the other woman and the mom-to-be that I stopped thinking about my fears. And also because I was sizing up all the other women, deciding who I would have to eat when it turned cannibalistic. I wondered if I’d drank my last Diet Coke.
Finally, after the LONGEST 45 minutes ever, the elevator finally moved to the lobby, where we spilled out in a happy mob. A bunch of our friends greeted us – but there wasn’t one representative from the hotel. Not ONE. They knew we had a pregnant woman on the elevator, they knew we had some women with panic issues, and there wasn’t a single person who greeted us with water or apologies or anything. In fact, the hotel seemed completely annoyed by the whole thing. Since I was closest to the emergency phone, I can say with confidence that the woman who spoke with us most of the time seemed completely annoyed by the whole situation. They didn’t keep us well informed – all of our help information came from our friends via text or twitter. Pathetic. I even found out the next day that the manager of the hotel stopped to take pictures of other guests instead of coming to our aid.
The Hotel Preston is about to face the wrath of thirteen pissed-off bloggers.
My other roommate Emily and I were over the elevator after that, and took the stairs up to our fourth floor room. I was determined not to use the elevators in the hotel again, until I remembered that I had a very heavy suitcase. So I got on it again, on the exact same car. But this time I made sure my cell phone was fully charged, and I had soda and snacks. The only thing I planned on cannibalizing was a Little Debbie Snack Cake (she didn’t stand a chance).
The “Elevator 13”
Jennifer, Play Groups Are No Place for Children
Victoria, Vdog + Little Man
Me! – The Spohrs Are Multiplying
Heather – The Queen of Shake Shake
Emily – DesignHer Momma
Amy – Amy in Ohio
Hebba – JeepGirl17
Shannan – Mommy Bits
Ali – Blessed Treehouse
Sandy – Organize with Sandy
Jenny – Mommin It Up
Dawn – Kaiser Alex
Cortney – Once A Month Mom