Friday, March 22, 2013

Stuck in an Elevator

When I left for work this morning I was preoccupied with thinking about all of the things I needed to get done at the office and how booked my calendar was with meetings.  While in my building's lift (elevator) I felt a quick jolt and suddenly found myself stuck between the 4th and 3rd floors.  Great.  My mind immediately started racing.  How long am I going to stuck in here by myself?  My mobile phone was 1/2 charged but I had limited reception in the elevator.  At what time do I call someone at the office to start shuffling my meetings around? Who has time to be stuck in an elevator?

I pushed the alarm button a few times but nothing happened.  Of course all of the lift information is only in Czech but I figured out that I had to press and hold the alarm button for at least five seconds.  Then a man's voice came across the speaker.  I explained to him that I only speak a little Czech, that the elevator didn't work and where I lived.  I guess explaining that I only speak a little Czech didn't register because he began to speak faster and use even bigger words and then hung up.

So I decided to call the service number that was posted.  All I got was a recording that, I assume, said was that they were not open yet and to call back later.  So then I called the "non stop" (24 hour) number.  I swear that it was the same guy I spoke with before.  I asked if he spoke English, German, French or Spanish.  Of course not.  So I explained again that I was a foreigner and could only speak a little Czech.  Again, he started to speak even faster.  So I asked him to slow down.  This cycle of fun when on for a few minutes.  He said he notified a woman about it.  I finally got him to tell me that it would only be another five minutes.

A few minutes later I heard a woman's voice saying "hello".  The head of my building's co-op went upstairs and basically rebooted the elevator so that it started moving again.  When I got out of the elevator I walked upstairs one flight to say "thank you".  There were two women there, one of whom is the concierge and she only speaks Czech.  She asked me if I need to go upstairs.  "No, I needed to head to work but I'm fine and thanks for letting me out".  She then yelled up the stairs to the woman who fixed the elevator saying "Mrs Bartová!  Everything is fine!  It was just the American!  Nice. 

I only ended up stuck in the lift for 15 minutes.  But it's a long 15 minutes when you're by yourself, in a foreign country, and with everything posted in a different language.  I guess next week I'll ask my Czech teacher for the vocabulary for "Help!  I'm trapped in this f*@#ing elevator!  Please get me out!"

1 comment:

  1. To the point: