One of my biggest fears is being stuck inside of an elevator. I am not claustrophobic and I ride elevators on an almost-daily basis when I’m at school, but I have always had a fear of being stuck in one. Every time I step into an elevator alone, I have this unconscious thought: I hope this elevator doesn’t get stuck or have any accidents. Each time my fears are proven wrong because the elevator runs smoothly and I feel a little silly. BUT NOT THIS TIME.
On Friday I was at the library as usual, studying during my gap before class. Since I was on the fourth floor, I got into the elevator to go down. I had the typical thoughts in the back of my head, but I wasn’t expecting much. Press button. Doors close. Go down. Should be simple. But nooooo. The metal doors slowly came together and closed. I thought the elevator sounded a little off today, but I thought it was just me being paranoid like usual. The button for the bottom floor was pressed and it was lit up, so the only thing left to do was wait.
I kept waiting, and it didn’t seem like the elevator was going anywhere!!! No movement, no elevator noises, and the digital sign at the top of the elevator displayed that I was still on the same floor. This was exactly what I had been fearing all my life, so you can imagine how freaked out I was getting. Additional mashing of buttons didn’t help, naturally.
You should have seen my face. It was totally panicked and my eyes were crazily dashing left to right, alternating from looking at the digital display to looking at the lit up buttons to see if anything changed at all. It was my longest 40 seconds (or however long it was) in an elevator, ever. My phobia was getting to me and my heartrate was shooting up, so I finally pressed the “CALL” button, which is supposed to phone someone. Right below the button it said, “Button will flash when call is answered.” But of course, nothing ever flashed and no one ever answered. So I was really freaking out by then, but the door finally released its grip of death and slid open. Phewwww.
It also revealed that I was ON THE SAME FLOOR. The guy sitting at a computer nearby must have thought I was weird because I had just gone into the elevator and come back out on the same floor looking disgruntled. What the heck?!?!? I had a quiz in less than ten minutes and I still needed to go to the bottom floor to get the heck out of this library. I was like, “Hell no, I’m not using the same elevator again.” I went to the other side and used a different elevator, which had someone else riding the elevator with me, so I felt a little safer. Everything from then on went smoothly and soon enough I was greeted cheerfully with bright, bright sunlight blinding my eyes outside. FREEDOM. haha. And this is exactly why I have an irrational fear of elevators in the back of my mind! I wonder if anyone finally picked up my call inside of the elevator. I hope they did, because if they didn’t that means no one will ever answer a call in the event of a real emergency.
By the way, it doesn’t help at all that I read this article in the past: Up and Then Down. Sure, it’s a seriously more extreme case of being stuck in an elevator (41 hours stuck on the 13th floor), but after reading that (while already having a bit of an elevator phobia) one cannot help but feel a little extra paranoid in an elevator. *shivers* I wouldn’t want to work in a 50+ floor building…