Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stuck in an Elevator and a New Health Card

Now that I'm on a shift that doesn't have me at work during all of the business hours of the day, I decided it was time to hit up a government office and and get my health card. John was amazing enough to set everything up for me so that all I had to do was go in, skip the line, show them my birth certificate and that's it.

I got lost on the way there. I wandered around Yonge & Sheppard for about twenty minutes before I finally figured out where I was trying to go. I talked to the receptionist and she gave me a priority ticket to go to the front of the line (did you know government offices even have these? I didn't). I got up to the counter and filled out the application. She asked for proof of my address and I gave it to her. She asked to see my birth certificate and I gave it to her. She asked for something with my signature and I gave her my driver's license. She looked at it and in a patronizing tone said, "We don't recognize out of province licenses."

So I asked "What do you need then?"

She said "Do you have a Visa or a Mastercard?"

Yes, the government of Ontario places greater credibility on a piece of plastic issued by a private company, signed without a witness and at most a hologram to prevent counterfeiting than a government issued piece of identification. Figure that one out.

Anyway, the point is that I got my health card. So that's one more thing I can check off my list.

Today's excitement occured when I left the apartment to go pick up my watch which was out being cleaned. The doors on one of the elevators in the building has been acting weird for the past day or so, opening really slow and then closing just as slowly. When it stopped on my floor to take me downstairs, it opened really slow, but when I hit the button for the floor it closed right away, so I'm thinking "Great!".

Then the floor indicators shut down, the elevator doesn't move and the door won't open.

My first thought was "How long does it have to be like this before I'm officially considered to be stuck?"

My next thought was "How come I'm always too lazy to charge my cell phone and bring it with me?" followed by a wistful regret that this experience wouldn't make me change my ways.

By the time I'd had those two thoughts I decided it was appropriately long enough to call the emergency phone. It rang twice, then I heard "Your call will be answered by the next available representative" and then it hung up on me. After doing that four times, I gave up on it and started ringing the alarm.

Then the elevator started moving. But it was moving so slowly, I couldn't tell if I was going up or going down. I started yelling, hoping that there would be someone on one of the floors that could hear me. Once or twice I thought I maybe heard someone but I couldn't be sure because the walls of the elevator are so thick and well insulated.

So I yelled and rang the siren for a little bit. I was feeling pretty good about my calm under pressure. My heart rate was up a bit, but I wasn't panicked or anything.

After about 10 minutes someone knocked on the door. I yelled "Can you help me? I'm stuck in here." because for all I knew it was just some random person who has no idea how to rescue someone from an elevator (myself, for example).

Next I heard the strain of metal and then saw a little gap starting to form as someone pried the door open. On the other side was an older gentleman who didn't speak a word of English, so I still don't know if he was actually someone sent to help me or just a random passerby. I thanked him profusely and emerged from the elevator to find myself on the very bottom floor in one of the lower parking garages.

And then I got on with my day! Although I was a bit squeamish about elevators for the rest of the day.


  1. Calm under pressure - CHECK!
    Time to sign you up for SCUBA!

  2. OMG! Thank goodness you got out ok. I think you'd better talk to someone about that emergency phone....

  3. Yeah, they had the elevator shut down after that for repairs but now that it's back up and running, the door is still acting wonky so I'm not convinced that it's fixed.

  4. Better stick to the stairs until you know it's fixed for sure. Think of it as exercise! You would hate to get stuck in there late some night.

  5. Easier said than done! I can only use the stairs to leave the building, the doors to the apartment floors are locked for security.