Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Never say never

When contemplating the venture into blogging, I vowed to never blog about work. Well, my mother always said 'never say never'. Early on, this freshman blogger is going to break her own rule...well kind of......a little. The blog isn't so much about work as it is the trials that COME with work.

Yesterday, we had a fire drill. Yes, the kind that they spring on you unannounced. Except I had a 'little maintence man bird' tell me about it 5 minutes prior to this mid-day treat. We all filed out as we should, made an accounting of all individuals and herded ourselves back into the building. I work on the top floor, and we exit and enter on the 1st floor. You can IMAGINE the scenario at the 1st floor co-workers and I have a secret weapon--the FREIGHT/SERVICE elevator. In many years of weather and fire events and drills, this elevator is much less used than the others.

Today, the fire alarm goes off this some cruel trick that our facilities management is playing on us? A co-worker heard people from the maintence area say that this was not a drill and to get out.............the MAINTENCE FOLKS are saying get out? We'd better haul ASS and get out. We all schlep down to the 1st floor, and exit, again take an accounting of people, and all gossip about the fire trucks, and traffic, and why the fire trucks left so early, yada yada yada.....idle chatter that gets the gals all fired up.

We get the all clear and herd ourselves ONCE AGAIN back into the building and off to our secret weapon, the freight elevator. It doesn't appear to be working.....but a group got on right before us, so we were befuddled at the lack of elevator lights. A co-worker pointed out that there was nobody waiting at the regular bank of elevators, so we abandoned the freight elevator idea, and moved on to the regular elevators. A car arrived, and I, as the first person in, held the 'door open' button. People kept streaming on...mostly my office compadres, but there were 2 others that didn't belong to us. A total of 12. TWELVE. PEOPLE. ON. AN. ELEVATOR. (I didn't know the total early on...thank goodness).

The doors close, and the car stops on the 2nd floor wherein a lady sees how full it is and waves us on our way. The doors close and the car stops on the 3rd floor. I'm thinking--'we'll stop on EVERY floor, ugh', and what do you know, there are two women looking in and the first one barrels her ass right on. With 12 OTHER people. I looked at my supervisor with a look that CLEARLY said "Oh no she DI'INT". My supervisor starts laughing, and in the meantime the elevator poaching lady's friend tried in every way to get on too, but she couldn't make it. She should be so lucky.

The doors closed again, and we proceeded. CA--THHHUUNNNKKKKK. Silence. Then 13 collective 'ohhhhhhhhh''s. 'Are we moving?' "NO"......and the lady that jumped on to make lucky 13, exclaims 'Sorry!!'. She should have thought that BEFORE she jumped on the completely full elevator.

Someone uses the emergency phone, and we get "do you have an emergency"?? WTF?? Don't these elevator phones connect with someone that KNOWS it's an elevator phone? Does it go to 911? We tell the lady we are stuck on elevator #2. So she asks 'what building??"....Uh, the building this elevator is in!!!!! Comeon--again, doesn't the phone go directly to someone who KNOWS?? We give her the pertinant information, and she tells us she'll send someone right away. Right, we all know how quickly building maintence works.

Well, I'm tucked into a corner with 9 people from my office, and the lady who jumped on when she shouldn't have. What do I think first? OMG, my I dig out an altoids gum, and honestly, at this point, I didn't realize anyone else was ON the elevator with us. I'm chewing my gum and frantically punching buttons. The buttons would light up, then go out, we'd hear buzzing sometimes, and the lady that got on when she shouldn't have proceeded to push and HOLD the emergency alarm. I was hoping my altoids gum fumes made her eyes water.

Really, in seemingly short order, our building maintence had pried the doors open and what do I finally realize? A VERY tiny, VERY PREGNANT girl was huddled in the middle where I couldn't see her. Some of my co-workers shifted to allow her and her friend (person 11 and 12) to move to the front where cooler air was streaming in--that lady that got on when she shouldn't have was pressing up against me to give the little pregnant girl, who was pretty panicky, some room. Gosh, I'm sorry if my BREASTS got in the way....

The maintence people proceeded to tell us that they'd hold the doors open for air, but we couldn't get off yet, because it was DANGEROUS, and the car could still DROP. I asked if they couldn't get the little pregnant girl off, and they all stared at her, but nobody really answered.

We finally got to climb a ladder and exit the elevator. This whole incident could have lasted 5 minutes or 5's quite a sight to see 13 people exit an elevator in such a manner. Now, listen, lets be honest, I'm not exactly a small individual......ladders and I aren't on amicable terms. How embarassing to haul my ample butt up a ladder and climb out of a stuck elevator.....with people STARING and casually drinking a big gulp.....geez.

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