Monday, July 21, 2014

Is there a problem?

I had my first bad elevator experience a few weeks ago at Sears in the Southcentre Mall.

I had to get from the 1st floor to the 3rd to check on a product. I grabbed the escalator at the 1st floor but only made it as far as the 2nd due to the next escalator being out of service. So, on to the elevator. I get in, press the button for 3 and sit back to watch my journey through the glass. I rise to the 3rd floor and BAMM! It stops with a noisy jolt.

The door does not open. Instead, I'm sensing movement. Downward. The elevator is sinking. Slowly, like about an inch or two per second. Now this is one of those pneumatic elevators with the big pneumatic lift under the cabin. So I'm relatively confident that whatever's wrong with this stupid elevator, at least I'm not going to go careening down the elevator shaft until I hit bottom.

Regardless of my slow-motion fall, I'm still wondering if this device is going to let me out at some point, so I pick up the receiver and press the call button. All I get is a busy signal. Perfect. I try again. Busy.

I'm just about to get out my cell phone and consider dialing 911 to report a Sears shopper trapped in a malfunctioning elevator when the elevator reaches the 2nd floor and stops. Great. This is my chance to get out of this death trap and run for it. Nope. The door does not open because the elevator doesn't quite reach the same level as the 2nd floor.

But then, movement back upward, at regular speed. Will I make it this time or am I destined to live out the rest of my day in a loop of almost getting to the 3rd floor only to slowly, deliberately fall back to almost the 2nd floor?

The elevator makes it to the 3rd floor. All the way. Without a sound. Or a jolt. The door opens and I scramble to get off this beast. I spot two salespeople directly in front of me, waiting for their next victim of the Sears Saturday furniture sale. I say "That was the worst elevator ride I ever experienced in my life."

They stare at me with a silent, blank stare that can only mean, "So I guess you're not getting the sofa?"

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