elevator anecdote

2008-05-31 23:59:59 -0700

The elevators in the building where I work have a long history of being unreliable. I work on the sixth floor. Until recently, the two floors below were home to a company that developed MMORPGs, Perpetual Entertainment. Sometime in the middle of last year, I was riding up in the south elevator with one of the Perpetual employees when the elevator suddenly lurched and then stopped. And stayed right where it was. We discovered by prying the elevator doors open that the elevator was nearly—but not quite—on the fifth floor; but the doors between the elevator and the floor would not open. However, we did notice in our survey a lever well beyond reach that we suspected would release the doors. Eventually we were able to contact the security guard at the front desk by cell phone and he arranged to have someone come out to fix the elevator and get us out, but it appeared that this would take more than a half an hour at best. Meanwhile, there was a very loud, almost unbearable alarm going off in the elevator. Annoyed at the alarm and impatient with the delay, the Perpetual employee vowed to take action. I resigned myself to being stuck indefinitely. But the Perpetual employee grinned widely and drew from his backpack a genuine, full-scale, tempered steel longsword. He gleefully brandished the weapon, then reached up and prodded the release catch on the doors that we had seen earlier. We crawled out, leaving the alarm sounding in the elevator for another couple of hours.