3.26.2009

At first I was afraid

And I'm still kinda petrified.

See, part of my job in the admissions department of Grande Ole DreamSchool is that I take people out on tour. I was certified last week to do this by myself, or with another new person, without a supervisor leading. And today? I went out on my very first non-supervisor tour. It was just me and James, a fellow newly-certified admission employee. Each tour lasts about 75 minutes, depending on how many questions people ask.

During these tours, we do a LOT of going up elevators in various buildings. I've heard stories about tour groups getting stuck in elevators, but they were always quickly rescued.

Now. I have a bit of an elevator phobia. It's not too intense, but I still don't like them very much.

So of course it figures that today, my first non-supervised tour, we'd get stuck in a flippin' elevator.

Picture this: we're at the last stop of the tour. We've already been walking around and talking for an hour and fifteen minutes. We could have taken two elevators up to the 8th floor, but that would have taken a while since the elevators were busy -- people were going too/from classes. So we all crowd into one. 14 people in an elevator.

We're fine up until the 6th floor. We stop, and a teacher gets in. The doors close, but we don't go anywhere. After a few seconds, James and I kind of laugh and say, "Oh, this happens all the time. Give it a minute." Cause it's true, sometimes the elevators are just slow. It's an old building.

After about a minute, we start sinking slowly. Not gonna lie...I freaked out then. I remember clutching the back of James' arm VERY TIGHT, and we looked at each other in the eye and we both simultaneously thought, "oh SHIT." I pretty quickly went into NannyMode--I had to take care of these people, they were MY responsibility, and I didn't have time to be worried or freaked out.

We pressed the CALL button, and told the operator we were stuck in X building in X car. He replied, "Okay," and then was silent. James said, "Really, this happens, they'll have us out in no time!" and there was some nervous laughter.

In the meantime, we found out that one of the moms on tour is REALLY claustrophobic. We barely had room to breathe in there, so she was trying hard to remain calm. So James and I were trying to distract her by telling stories about us, DreamSchool, puppies, ANYTHING! And everybody else in the elevator was helping too.

After ten (yes, TEN) minutes, we finally call the operator back. He tells us they're still working on it.

After fifteen (yes, FIFTEEN) minutes, we hear somebody banging on the outside of the elevator. A guy yells, "HEY, WE CAN'T GET YOU OUT SO WE CALLED THE FIRE DEPARTMENT."

Oh good, great. Thanks.

After twenty (TWENTY) minutes, we called the operator AGAIN, and were told that the fire department was stuck in traffic and wouldn't be there for "a while." The poor woman with claustrophobia was really having a hard time, so one of the moms called 911 on her cell phone and demanded that we get let out immediately, somehow, but NOW.

After twenty-five (TWENTY-FIVE) minutes that felt like an hour, one of the dads suggested we pry the doors open. We didn't know where we were in the building, but we decided to give it a try. Three guys were able to pry open the first set of elevator doors, but we were greeted with two concrete doors.

After some pushing and shoving and grabbing various levers, the guys FINALLY got the second doors open. We were down halfway below the basement--we had to crawl up out of the elevator and into the basement. But we were out.

James and I apologized sixteen million times...we were both so embarrassed, but there was nothing we could do. James was late to a class of his, so he took the people who wanted to leave back to the visitor's center and went to his class. I, meanwhile, had to finish the tour alone. We didn't want to take the elevator so we walked up 9 flights up stairs, talked about the area, and walked all the way back down to the first floor, and the tour was over.

It was about then that the adrenaline started to wear down. I was shaking from the rush and utterly exhausted from everything. It was pretty crazy, let me just tell you that. Now, several hours later it's like it never happened--like it was a weird bad dream.

I will say this: NO MORE LARGE GROUPS IN ELEVATORS FOR ME, that's for sure!

Edited to add: My mom asked how far the elevator actually sunk--6.5 floors.

6 comments:

lifeofadancer312 said...

DAAAAAANG
that's scary!

Monica H said...

I just had some really bad thoughts involving the elevator in between floors, people crawling out and it still sinking. eeek!

Sorry, but that would have scared the hell out of me. Not the being trapped in the elevator, but everything else.

What would the fire department do if there really was an emergency- like a fire!?!

erin said...

OH MY LORD! I don't think those students will be choosing Dream School if they haven't already. I would have been petrified too but I'm glad your okay!!

The Nanny said...

Haha Erin, my tour partner and I were thinking the same thing...I highly doubt they'll choose DreamSchool now unfortunately!

Kaitlyn said...

Between this and the previous post, - my word. Dream school is exciting!

Bethany said...

My gosh, your Dream School is an exciting place, lol! I'm glad everyone was okay, that would have been so scary!