Thursday, June 24, 2010


The agent of my doom?
After laughing at my intrepid removal men on Tuesday for being trapped in the lift, poetic justice caught up with me. Last night I got home to find the lift had broken down, so I had to walk 172 steps up to the front door of the apartment.  There had been two men working on the (intimidatingly old and worn-out looking) lift until late in the evening, so I assumed it would be working when I got in this morning.

Down the lift shuddered, to the first floor.  The doors came open, and I skipped down the stairs.  Only to see rain spraying in the back door, so I turned, and got right back in the lift, pressing the button to ascend.

And I waited.

And shortly, the doors opened at the floor of my apartment, and I got out, and went in, and grabbed an umbrella.  Then I dived back into the lift, and pressed the first floor button again.

The lift descended.

It reached the first floor.  The light on the first floor button went out.  The doors did not open.  I began to think that this was not standard operating practice for a lift.  I pressed the button again.  The light didn't change.  I pressed the button for the ground floor.  The light came on, but nothing happened.

I pressed all the other buttons.  Each one lit up, but the lift remained stationary.

I pressed the alarm button.  A bell rang.  I waited for rescue.

No rescue came.  I pressed the alarm button again.  Again, the bell rang.

No rescue came.

I banged on the door of the lift, feeling slightly ridiculous to be doing so.  I'm a captain of industry, I'm not meant to be defeated by the failure of elevator equipment.

Luckily my phone worked inside the lift, so I rang the management office to ask for help.

Unluckily, the guy in the office only spoke Cantonese, and I hadn't even learnt "Wan lip ah" (I'm stuck in the lift.  Ah.) at this point, so we were both non-plussed.  He shouted what sounded like a series of numbers, and then I gave up and put the phone down.

I banged on the door again.  The guard banged on it from the outside.

Nothing happened.  I pressed all the buttons again, and still nothing.

And then, after another couple of minutes, the lift lurched, descended another floor, and the doors opened, allowing me to flee.

Outside, the rain was tipping down, coming in too fast for the drains to cope.  At every doorway, I saw a crowd of surprised, umbrellaless commuters, as I stormed past in a hurry to get to the office, still managing to get soaked from foot to head by the rain.

From head to foot, you mean?

No, from foot to head. Walking with my umbrella up made little difference to this unwanted hydration, because the water was two inches deep on the pavement and the rain kept bouncing up and spraying me. I spent most of the day drying off and smelling like a wet dog.


RedCraig said...

Funnily enough roughly the same thing happened to the lift in our office last week. Some of the folks here got stuck inside one evening - turns out the alarm button rings the reception of the building and not the lift company as one would assume.
After 30 mins of shouting, cro-barring the lift door open between floors and not getting out, they caught some one attention.
Turns out the fire alarm had gone off and the lift's default behaviour is to STOP!
chargrilled office worker if there had been a real fire.
The mind boggles - only in Ireland eh?

Mr Cushtie said...

Crikey. They had a crowbar with them in the lift? That sounds a bit more ... agricultural than most software development teams.

I suppose stopping the lift in the case of a fire is neat and tidy - you get to collect all the freshly cooked people from one place, rather than having to walk around finding them. I'll be taking the stairs in the future though...

Post a Comment