Saturday, November 15, 2008

Feeling Trapped?

As I stepped on the elevator today, I thought to myself, "I hope I make it back in time and the next session has not started yet." I was at CltWordCamp, a conference type of event that focuses squarely on everything WordPress because I am going to be starting two new blogs over the next year and wanted to learn more about WordPress.org. We had just finished a meet and greet and were given a 15 minute break before the start of the next event. Knowing there would be some networking opportunities later, I ignored my bladder and ran to the car to grab some business cards.
On the assent to the third floor I suddenly realized my journey was taking significantly longer than it should have. None of the buttons were lit. "Ah ha!" I thought. "I had simply forgotten to press the button." After pressing all of the buttons, I realized I was not going anywhere. Prying the doors open revealed that I was lodged between the 2nd and 3rd floors as indicated by the numbers painted on the concrete slab outside the door. I could see that I had less than a foot of clearance to look out over the third floor.
After pressing the alarm button to no avail, I raised my phone to the small opening and got enough signal to text Andy Denton that I was stuck. Within a a minute or two I could hear Andy and a few others outside the door. Jason Silverstein and Steve Gunn showed up and let me know they were going to be getting help. They stuck around and provided me with a copy of the Charlotte Observer and The Eye to keep me occupied.
During my time in the elevator I spent my time whistling The Girl From Ipanema and briefly started to sing Aerosmith's "Love in an Elevator" before realizing how wildly inappropriate it was given my present company of no one. I did a few sets of push ups and joked around with the people outside the door. I think they were more nervous about my situation than I was.
As the seminar broke for lunch, the maintenance crew found they were able to pry the doors open wide enough so I could get some cooler air. I now had a one foot slot where people could stop by and take pictures (which have been contributed here). I was also fed pizza and salad through my small hole to the outside world.
I set out my business cards for Peer In Counseling Center and shouted things at passersby such as, "Do you feel trapped in life like I am trapped in this elevator? Then give me a call and let's talk!" and "Trapped in a loveless relationship is no better than being trapped in an elevator. Call me and let's get your relationship back on the tracks!"
After nearly an hour an half they were finally able to hand crank the elevator to the next floor and I was set free. I felt like a puppy that has been in the kennel all day. I didn't know who to talk to first, or if I should eat, or perhaps go pee (which, by this point I definitely regretted putting off).
I eventually gave my thanks, told a few more jokes about the situation, and went to slam back a few slices of pizza before the seminar started again. By the time I finally sat back down, my reputation had reached epic proportions. I was given a new name tag and for the rest of the day was known as "Elevator Man" or "The Elevator Guy." All in all I had a ton of fun with it, used it as an opportunity for networking and meeting some great folks, and even did a little marketing. Lisa Hoffmann would be proud.
So the next time you are "trapped," whether it be in a job, relationship, or elevator, keep in mind that it is what you make out of it and it can actually turn into a great experience.

9 comments:

Crystal Dempsey said...

Thank you for seeing the silver lining! :)

Andy Denton said...

Definitely the defining moment of the show.

Steph said...

today was YOUR day, Kevin. Cherish it. haha!

SamanthaPotion said...

Yay Elevator Guy! I have to say - on my way up to the 3rd floor this morning the elevator was very shaky and I had thoughts of it breaking. Better you than me :)

michael | buttons of hope said...

What a long strange trip it's been -- love the shouting marketing missives idea!

Dr Mike said...

Manual trackback.

I'm glad you were ok. That building is very old.

UTKevDawg said...

A family had twin boys whose only resemblance to each other was their looks. If one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold. If one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed the volume needed to be turned up. Opposite in every way, one was an eternal optimist, the other a doom & gloom pessimist.

Just to see what would happen, on the twins' birthday their father loaded the pessimist's room with every imaginable toy and game. The optimist's room he loaded with horse manure.

That night the father passed by the pessimist's room and found him sitting amid his new gifts crying bitterly.

"Why are you crying?" the father asked.

"Because my friends will be jealous, I'll have to read all these instructions before I can do anything with this stuff, I'll constantly need batteries, and my toys will eventually get broken," answered the pessimist twin.

Passing the optimist twin's room, the father found him dancing for joy in the pile of manure. "What are you so happy about?" he asked.

To which his optimist twin replied, "With all of this shit, there's got to be a pony in here somewhere!"

dieselducy said...

WHAT building was this elevator in???

UTKevDawg said...

@dieselducy it was at an older building in uptown Charlotte.