Have you ever been stuck in an elevator before – one of those old rackety ones in older apartment buildings. No? Well, let me tell you… It’s no fun.
I lived in a 32 kvm apartment when in the fall of 2007. The apartment was on “vindsvåning” – the attic floor (5th floor, in this case) It had been converted to an apartment. I had the only laundry slot available that week: 7am on a Saturday. I dragged my blue IKEA bag with my smelly clothes out the door and into the elevator. The elevator closed and started to go down… and abruptly stopped, about half a floor down.
I thought, okay, this isn’t good. I didn’t speak or read Swedish so I had no idea what to do. I hit the little button and it made a loud beep but that was about it. Shit, what next?
For some reason, I had my cell phone with me, so I sent a Blackberry message to my friend Josh.
“Hey, I’m stuck in the elevator.”
“Nope, I’m stuck and I don’t know what to do. Any ideas?”
“Hm. Yes, stay where you are. I am going to come over and take photos of you stuck in the elevator.”
“Shut up. Okay, you are no help. I will call 112.”
112 is the emergency number, the equivalent of 911 in the US. So I dialed it, a nice man answered, and I told him the situation. He asked if I pressed the emergency button in the elevator and I said I did but nothing happened. (Of course, I had no idea at the time that “Tryck i 10 sekunder” meant to hold it in for 10 seconds. I thought it meant hit it in rapid succession 10 times, which I had tried!)
So he sent over the fire department, who was there in about 15 minutes. They broke the lock on the elevator door and helped me out. It took all of 5 minutes and I can now safely say I know how a kitty cat feels when it is rescued from a tree. It feels great!
I am surprised with the number of older elevators in this country that more people haven’t gotten stuck before. Or maybe they have, but because they are #TrulySwedish, they are afraid to share the story with someone. Or maybe they have, but were smart and literate enough to know that they were supposed to hold the emergency button down for 10 seconds to get the elevator help desk on the line.
But the #TrulySwedish aspect about this story? The fact that I had to wake my ass up at 7 on a Saturday because that was the only time available for laundry. It is #TrulySwedish to have to plan your life around laundry times, even if it means getting stuck in elevators and asking firemen to save you.