Saturday, December 06, 2008

elevator malfunctions of my own life

We here at Drunken Housewife Dot Com like to run a topic into the ground. Give us a dead horse and a stick, and we will go to town. Before we change the topic back to The Drunken Housewife's Neuroses and Her Really Weird Children, a bit more on the elevators:

* During the time in my life when I was a sole practitioner of the law, I had a couple of really great clients who paid me by the hour to handle anything that came up, big to little. One of those clients had built a little condo building with a new elevator installed in it. That elevator was a lemon, and one of the condo purchasers was obsessed with that elevator. The elevator never actually risked anyone's health while I was involved (at a safe distance from the actual thing); it was just oh so very, very slow --- well below the speed it was warranted to rise at. Every so often the condo purchaser would make a big stink to the developer (my client), who'd call me on the phone, I'd get out the file again, and I'd fax another demanding letter to the elevator manufacturer, who'd send out someone out to go time the elevator and tinker with it but who'd basically do nothing. The nice part of this was that then I'd collect a few more hundred dollars.

* I did once climb out of an elevator between floors, which is a truly stupid thing to do, but I didn't know that at the time. I was a freshman at Boston University, living in that infamous, massive three-pronged monstrosity of a dorm, Warren Towers. The elevators were an endless source of annoyance, and I lived on the 14th floor. Before I gave up on them and took to using the stairs almost exclusively, I was in one with several other students when it stopped between floors. After some little time, a bright freshman pried open the doors, and we discovered we were between floors. We all climbed up and out. One of the other freshmen asked me for my phone number, and the only lasting trauma from that experience was that I embarked upon a near-epically dysfunctional relationship of sorts.


hughman said...

question -

is obsessing over elevators "really weird" like your children?

Anonymous said...

i lived in los angeles during the northridge earthquake. upon returning to work at UCLA post quake, the elevator in my building would scrape the sides of the shaft as it went up and down. my lab was on the 14th floor and i was not prepared to walk up and down several times a day.

Missy said...

No, obsessing over elevators is a survival skill.

All it takes is one decapitation story involving an elevator and suddenly, multiple stairs seem much more practical.

Missy :-0

Anonymous said...

My son's hand got sucked into the space between the door and the wall at Ikea a few months ago.

It was one of those enter-at-the-front/exit-at-the-back elevators and there were no signs (except the large advertising posters which I was looking at when the incident went down.) At the split second the door began to open, Julian rested his hand on the elevator door and just like that his fingers/hand/arm got dragged in.

It was terrifying. I thought his arm would be ripped off. I could not pull him free. I started screaming for help. A crowd of ten or so people dropped their meatballs and came running to try to pry the door open so we could free him. Eventually, with 4 or 5 men pulling against the door, I was able to rip him free.

He had a very bad bruise and huge swelling, but no broken bones nor torn skin.

Now, Ikea has a sign. :)

Julian and I are still jumpy in elevators. We stand as far from the doors as we can, and I try to resist the urge to shout at people, "stay back!" when they get too close to the doors.

Anonymous said...

An elevator got stuck between floors here, at work. The danger of it shifting suddenly is apparently real enough -- even when help arrived, they made us climb a ladder and out a hole in the ceiling of the elevator. A very smallish hole, mind you (says a gal with ample hips). From the top of the ceiling, we then stepped out the door on the floor above. I thought it was all an exciting adventure!

Anonymous said...

I was in an elevator at Lake Tahoe that went into a very slow free fall due to being overloaded.

It was really more of a slow downward drift, but enough to make one of the women begin shrieking.

Could this widespread fear of elevator malfunctions be one reason they're always featured prominently in soap operas? Not that I watch any. ;)

Anonymous said...

we had an elevator like that in grad school, but it was ok because i was young and strong, i took the stairs.