There goes my hand modeling career

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I park on the 8th floor of a parking garage. I’m still half asleep and running late when I get to work so I take the elevator to the ground level instead of taking the stairs. There are two elevators and it’s a good bet that one of them will be out of order. If you’re lucky enough to be on one that’s functioning, all it takes is a glance at the Certificate of Inspection dated 2003 to realize that you might get stuck at any time and be left to bake inside this modern day glass sauna.

As I stepped in this morning, I exchanged pleasantries with another woman as the door closed to begin our descent. There must have been something wrong with the cabling because it went at a snails pace and made a loud clang at each floor.

“I hate these elevators.”, I said.


“I know. They’re the worst. I don’t think they even inspect them.”


“I usually don’t mind walking down in the morning but I'm late, as usual.”


“Have you ever been in one when it drops?”




“Yep. I was riding down one morning when it just dropped for about 5 floors and then it stopped.”


“And you’re still riding it?”


She shrugged her shoulders as the doors open and she walked out. I turned to look back at the elevator as it climbed to the top of the garage.

I had my own scary elevator experience in 2006. I was working in downtown Cleveland at a landmark building built in the early 1920’s. You might even recognize it from the parade scene in the 1983 movie, A Christmas Story.

A co-worker and I had gone to pick up a cake for the President of the organization because he had won some award or another. I was carrying the sheet cake and thought how lucky I was that an elevator was just sitting there with its doors open. As I started to walk in, the doors began to close. Normally, a properly functioning elevator will have a sensor that opens the doors back up when it detects something in its path. This was not a properly functioning elevator.

The doors continued to close and I saw the cake box begin to buckle. I was like a mama bear trying to save its cub as I held onto that cake for dear life and pushed back against the doors with my hands. Hey, it was buttercream frosting. You would have done the same.

The doors finally opened and I looked down at my left hand which was sliced and bleeding. The nerve sensors finally reached my brain and I started to cry from the pain. Now, mind you, I have a very high tolerance for pain. In fact, there are times when I actually like it. This was not one of those times. The pain was awful but the trooper (idiot) that I am, I proceeded on to the party and put some ice on my hand.

In retrospect, I should have dropped the cake and fell to the floor, writhing in pain because the fat bastard who the cake was celebrating "downsized my position" just one month later.

I tried to take some legal action against the building after this comment was made by a building worker, We have lots of these accidents. So they knew there was a problem but they were negligent. Apparently, having a scar on your hand is not grounds for any cash but next time, I'll be sure to lose an appendage to help my case.


  1. God, that is awful. What is it going to take, a death, for the damn elevator to be fixed? Contact the city department who regulates the elevators...they will investigate and fine up the butt if need be.

    My Beagle is a mix and her name is Ellie-Mae...she is a prue joy and the sweetest dog.

  2. I heard that they're actually updating all the elevators. Oh well...

    Ellie-Mae! How cute!

  3. I once got jammed in the doors of a subway train. I thought they had sensors and would let go. They didn't, and I finally popped through. Talk about panic.
    Great imagery in this blog btw.

  4. OMG...Philadelphia and Cleveland sound very similar in their elevator maintenance. I sware to god, not only do the elevators constantly malfunction in my apartment building, but also at work.'

    And don't you just LOVE their attitude?

    We have lots of these accidents.

    And yes...I would have done the same thing with the cake!

  5. I think you could at LEAST get reimbursed for the cake. There's no way their insurance has a pastry clause, I'm sure of it.

  6. Thanks, Carlos. I can't believe you got stuck in the subway doors! How scary.

  7. Ron,

    I think everyone just assumes that since a building is old, this should be expected. I think it's crap.

    THANK you. How can you not save a cake?

  8. Chris,

    Pastry clause. That's funny! When I first typed this, I accidentally typed pasty clause.


C'mon, you know you want to say it..

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