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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Delivered by Otis

What can be more boring than riding an elevator? The reading of elevator stories in a blog, perhaps. The question then becomes, should I make my elevator stories, which are numerous and go back forever, a weekly feature?

While I try to decide, here's an elevator article, which includes the ordeal of a fellow who was stuck alone in an elevator for 41 hours: The New Yorker: Up and Then Down; The lives of elevators, by Nick Paumgarten, and the accompanying movie: Trapped in an Elevator.

I was stuck in an elevator once. It was somewhere below the 68th floor in what was then known as the Standard Oil Building in Chicago. The car, an Otis, was express to 68, then local to the top. My office was on 72. It was a sunny Saturday morning, and I went into work to grab some uninterrupted Wang time.

After a couple hours of that, I got in the elevator to go home. A few seconds later the car stopped, but the door didn't open. Fortunately, the car had a telephone in a box beneath the control panel. So, I picked up the handset and was immediately connected to a human voice. That person then contacted Otis, and a rescuer arrived a short time later. He did something and got the car back to 68. The whole thing lasted probably 20 minutes. Maybe less. I think Otis had people in the building all the time.

Thus concludes this week's installment of elevator stories. Thanks, Allie, for the link to the article and the movie.

Posted by Marie at April 22, 2008 9:10 PM


I went into work to grab some uninterrupted Wang time.

I about fell out of my chair when I read this.

Posted by: Anonymous Communist at April 23, 2008 10:44 AM

Well, the firm didn't have enough Wang for everyone, so we had to share. Since my bosses often had really big briefs, I....

It was a mini (like between a mainframe and a PC) which ran a proprietary word processor.

Posted by: Marie at April 23, 2008 6:59 PM