The lift at work is very small - it claims to fit 9 people - but frankly I wouldn't want to be stuck in there with more than 4 others. And I speak from experience having spent an hour stuck there this afternoon.
It all started off like a really good idea. A group of people were visiting the office for the first time. We'd had a good meeting and I said I'd take them upstairs to see the other office before they went off to catch their train. There was a short debate about whether they had time to do this - but decided they had - little knowing that the quick trip up the lift was going to take up the rest of the afternoon.
Now I'm no lover of confined spaces so when the lift jolted and ground to a halt I was about to lose it -until one of the others in there with me said she was scared - so I decided to keep calm and let her lose it instead. I rang the alarm - three times - then got through to a dialing tone and guess what - hold music. A disengaged voice told me I was third in the queue. Not quite the reassuring words I wanted to hear to be honest. Finally a human answered.
"We're stuck in the lift" I said. "Stuck in a lift" they said, amazed. It was as if I'd been put through to a wrong number. Eventually, after being passed onto some else they took the details down and said they would get an engineer to come. I asked them how long this would take and was told to call back in 5 minutes. We couldn't get through to them again.
Fortunately, one of my fellow captives had a mobile on her. So we rang our colleagues and they called the fire brigade. After about 30 minutes of captivity we could hear the sirens wailing. They were marvellous. Fortunately we were almost on a floor so they prised open the outside doors and managed to open the main doors enough to pass through cups of water and reassuring words. One chirpy fellow asked if we could squeeze through the two inch gap. Not at the moment, we said, but leave us here for a couple of weeks and we'll try.
By this time, 45 minutes into the ordeal, we were sensing freedom in sight and started to get hysterical. Photo's were taken - I took a good one of fellow captives, one took an interesting shot of partly opened lift doors.
Then in the way many things end, things had to get worse before they could get better. The lift engineer turned up, assured us all would be fine - then made the ceiling fall down. We later found out he had to stand on the lift to press some button or other. We did a bit of hysterical screaming, lift door opened and nice fireman lifted us to safety.
It's the stairs for me in future..