The Trouble With Elevators

We live in a 13 story building in downtown Chicago. There are two elevators that service our building, and anytime one elevator is “on hold” when someone is moving in, the place gets really backed up. One elevator is simply not enough to manage 240 apartments. It wouldn’t be so bad if you could take the stairs.

However, you can only take the stairs down, as the stairwell is locked, and it only goes all the way down on one end of the building. The fact that half of our building is made up of elderly people and the other half is students makes it even more interesting. The elderly people couldn’t go up or down the stairs if they wanted to, and the students don’t really think about it a lot of the time, I think. But there are certain times that it is definitely better to take the stairs: 7:50, 8:50, and 9:50. 9:50 is by far the worst as ALL students from the building are emptying out to head to chapel. But I digress, as Professor McDuffy would say.

We’ve already established that it’s a nightmare when one elevator is shut down. Well yesterday, one elevator completely broke. People waited for the elevator for 20 minutes sometimes, and I opted to always take the stairs when going down. But again, going up…we were out of luck.

It occurred to me yesterday evening while waiting for the elevator, how incredibly horrible it would be if the other elevator happened to break at the same time. What would we do then??

I got to find out this morning when that second elevator stopped working on Floor Nine. I discovered this when Stephen came bursting in the door to let me know he had to shower as quickly as possible because he was now running late for work due to the lack of elevators.

“I waited for 15 minutes before I found out the elevator was broken!” He gasped. He had just returned from racquetball and was rather sweaty.

“Wait, now they’re both broken?” I cried.

“Yeah, and there’s still people stuck in there!”

Eiyiyi. That’s one of my biggest fears. Ever since Jenna, Andrew, Alex and I got stuck in an elevator 27 stories up on the outside of a building in a glass elevator. I went completely hysterical of course. Elevators have always made me nervous. And now there were people stuck in OUR elevator! I hoped they were okay and that they would be rescued quickly.

Thankfully they were, and maintenance got the elevator up and running within a few hours. (Getting my friend and her baby stroller and groceries up 6 flights of stairs was difficult, but we managed.) The second elevator still isn’t working yet, and I have no idea why. But for now they’re propped open the stairs so we can get up and down them. Whew. Makes life a lot easier:-)

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