The following are strictly personal views/observations and in no way reflect the views of the Peace Corp nor the federal government of the United States.
Last week I got stuck in an elevator with four other people.
The elevator was about half the size of the standard American elevator and was not equipped with an emergency phone.
After all five of us packed into the elevator the doors closed with an ominous slam, and we knew a problem was afoot when the floor buttons had been repeatedly pushed and the result was nil.
Once we had come to the realization that the doors were not going to open nor was the elevator going to move we began pushing the buzzer button. The buzzer button’s purpose was to make a faint humming noise in the corridor right outside the elevator; needless to say, no one came rushing to our aid since no one outside a three foot radius could have heard the noise made by the buzzer button. We then discontinued use of the buzzer button and concluded that yelling would be a more effective means of attaining assistance from someone outside the confines of the elevator.
We saved our energy, since we knew we might be in the elevator for a potentially incalculable period of time, by only yelling when we heard someone in the corridor outside the elevator. Our yelling must have seemed overly calm because despite our calls for assistance still no one came to our aid. After about twenty minutes of hollering a gaggle of children had appeared outside the elevator door.
The children didn’t do much in the way of helping, instead they harassed us like we were ‘a cat in a bag’. First, they said dirty things through the door in various languages; then, proceeded onto prying the elevator doors open just enough to stick a screwdriver through the crack between the doors. Eventually, the children tired of us and went onto other malevolent activities. Thus, we resumed our systematic yelling.
Finally, we were able to elicit the help of an adult. However, he would only help us after he went to the store. So, he left us with ‘a lick and a promise’ of his assistance upon return. We neither saw nor heard from him again.
At this point, we gave up on getting out of the elevator and began to take pictures to document our escapade. During this documentation period the elevator doors miraculously opened. When the doors opened, standing on the other side was a man who was borderline coherent due to excessive alcohol consumption. If he was the one who opened the doors, we will never know; because, as soon as we exited the elevator he began to chase us. Thusly, the five of us sprinted up four flights of stairs to our destination apartment with the not entirely coherent but shockingly spry drunk man on our heels.
Total time clocked stuck in the elevator: 50 minutes