Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thank God for Facebook!

Yesterday I babysat for a friend. Her one-year-old son is a happy little boy, and very easy to watch. If he gets cranky simply turn on some music and he'll start dancing, if he cries, take him in the bathroom to look at himself in the mirror, he gets so enamored with his own reflection he forgets what he was crying about.
Minutes after mom left, the little boy fell asleep and I was left to watch TV and fiddle on my laptop.

I arrived back at our apartment building around 10:15 or so and headed up in the elevator. I pushed the button for our floor and the door shut, but it didn't go up. So I hit the button for our floor again, still nothing. After hitting it a third time, I finally just hit the 'open door' button.
Nothing happened.
This is when I also realized that the place where there would be an 'emergency stop' button had only a hole on the panel; the emergency stop button had been removed!
So, one by one I hit every button, every few seconds hitting the 'door open' button, just for good measure.
I look at the shiny, smooth silver door locking me in, I look around at the three, shiny walls creating a box around me. There is no way I can open the door from the inside.
It's at this time that I realize, I think I left my cell phone in the car...
I check all my pockets. I check them again.
Yes, definitely left it in the car.
I push the alarm button several times, but there is no one in the lobby to hear me.
At my feet is my laptop case and I consider that I really have nothing to lose if I try to get on the internet.
Fortunately, I am able to grab 2 bars from our wireless router in our apartment, even from inside the elevator. There I am, sitting on the floor of the elevator logging on to Facebook- where I know people will be active at 10:30 at night.
I immediately post as my status that I am locked in an elevator and if anyone could please call my husband to contact the site manager.
Signed on to Facebook chat is a man I used to work with about three years ago, whom I haven't talked with since I left that job. I apologize first for not keeping in touch with him and ask if he could please call my husband for me, because I am stuck in an elevator. At first, he thought I was just making a strange joke, but then, after laughing, agreed to call my husband. The phone call must have interesting, "Um... I don't think you know me, but I am calling because your wife asked me to. She is stuck in an elevator at your apartment."

Then, I instant message my little sister, who is living in Tennessee, and she calls my husband. Apparently without introducing herself, and then immediately hung up.
My husband said both phone calls were very odd.
Also, the friend I was babysitting for saw my Facebook status and called Biruk, too.

While all of this was happening, two people finally heard me hitting the alarm and called the site manager for me (he never came, or he came and didn't speak, because I couldn't see anything, only hear). They stayed for a while and talked, but then left when the fire department arrived.
I'm still not sure who called the fire department.
I heard their voices, panicked, asking if I was okay.
"I'm fine. The door just won't open. There is no hurry, I'm not hurt."
Ten minutes later a burly fireman dressed in the characteristic pants and suspenders forced the elevator door open with a crow-bar (I think that's what it was).
And Biruk was on the other side of the door, laughing at me.

Technically, I was probably saved more by the two individuals I never actually saw when they entered the lobby and heard the elevator alarm than by social networking. However, I still think that Facebook potentially could have been the resource I used to get help. Either way, I am thankful for Facebook!

The experts (okay, the elevator repair man) aren't sure what the malfunction was, but now the entire six-floor building can thank me for the 'out of order' elevator and the extra stairs they will have to climb.