Well, today was my turn in the barrel, to paraphrase the punch line from a very very bad joke. The reassignment of my second “bossette” took place today and I had to move one cubicle (veal pen) to the right. Do you realize what an inconvenience this is to the attorneys? While we are being moved, our computers and other peripherals are unplugged. We are helpless. We have nothing to do except assist with the move, wander down the halls, get coffee, visit the ladies’ room, visit with our friends, etc., etc., etc.
Because of this unforeseen down time this morning, I didn’t get around to taking a break for lunch until after two o’clock. (For me, “taking lunch” usually means getting up long enough to run and grab something from the vending machines if I wasn’t smart enough to pack lunch or too lazy to walk over to the Park Shops — like a food court, but in our office building.)
While waiting for the elevator that would take me back up, I hopped in the first one that came along. You ignorant SLUT!!! It was going DOWN. I cursed at my own stupidity because now I was stuck. My office is on the 44th floor, the snack bar is on 40, and floors 39 and below aren’t accessible from the elevator I was riding. I had no choice but to go all the way down to the lobby and back up again.
Just about the time I was making peace with that fact, the elevator stopped and jerked abruptly, like it was hung up on something. This was the 8th floor. The display kept blinking 8 and “EX” (Express?) back and forth. It clearly was stuck. I hit the red button to summon the troops.
The alarm from Hell went off, the bastard bell of a thousand fire trucks. It was dreadful. It was actually, now that I look back, the most dreadful part of the entire experience.
Finally a security guard called to me and the first thing he wanted to know was if I was alone or not. I told him I was. I then asked him to call my boss, gave him her first name and phone number and told him to tell her where I was. He said he would. I waited a few more minutes; I could barely hear myself think over the noise of that damn bell. I finally decided to sit down. After all, I had a bag of Chee-tos and a 16-oz. bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper to keep me company. Didn’t look like I was going anywhere anytime soon.
I remember grousing earlier about not being able to even have a few minutes to myself to eat lunch. Looks like someone had been listening. I plopped down on the floor of the elevator, crossed my legs, Indian chief style, broke open the Chee-tos and soda and had a nice quiet (well, except for that yammering BELL) little snack.
After about 10 minutes, the noise from the alarm ceased and the disembodied voice of the security guard came back on to tell me the elevator would be moving shortly. I stood back up, brushed off the crumbs, and pressed “44.” He said when the elevator stops, jump out. (No, I’d much rather ride around in the elevator ruining my hearing with the bell that won’t shut up.)
When I got back to my desk, I thought sure I’d get at least SOME reaction from my boss. She was nonplused. After a few minutes at my desk, I went into her office and asked, “The building at least called you, didn’t they?”
“Call me for what?” she asked.
Ah, that explained it. “I was stuck in the elevator.” (I thought sure she thought I’d run off for good; turns out I wasn’t even missed.)
She expressed shock and dismay and asked me repeatedly if I was alright. Actually, I was. I never felt in any danger, once the car stopped. I knew they knew I was in there and I knew I’d probably get out pretty quickly.
After I returned to my desk, I got a call from our Librarian telling me that the building had just called to tell her that my boss was stuck in the elevator. They didn’t even get the message right. (How could they hear anything over that damn bell?! I wasn’t surprised.)
Maybe the reason I was freed so quickly was because they were under the mistaken impression a partner was stuck in the elevator? Hmmm.