We went to Veronica's 21st birthday party this evening but Mary thought she had time in the afternoon to walk over to the Library before setting out on the 95 bus to Orleans. A few minutes after she left the apartment I had a phone call from Gilles, Security downstairs telling me that Mary had phoned to tell him she was stuck in the centre elevator.
I went down to the lobby and Gilles said the elevator was now on B3. I went down to B3 and banged on the door but could get no response. Fearing the worst, I raced back to the lobby where the fire truck had just arrived. Gilles said that the elevator was probably on B2 or it might have gone down to B4. Three firemen and I went to B2 and banged on the door. Mary answered back and we explained the situation.
The firemen asked if she had any health issues or whether she is likely to have an anxiety attack. I responded that she would be alright and would be quite calm. They took the decision not to force their way in but to wait for the elevator repairman as he could do this without causing any damage.
I explained this through the door. Mary replied "I am reading an ebook but I really wanted to go to the Library today".
The firemen pressed me further:
"What condition will she be in when she gets out, she'll still be calm and collected?"
"Yes, she will walk out quite calmly but she will be really p---ed off because there will not be enough time to go to the Library."
One fireman went back up to the lobby but the other two waited with me on B2. They were consummate professionals. Both were good at reading people and ensuring that neither I nor Mary panicked. They talked in measured tones and gave me the impression that they were on top of everything and the situation was under control.
It was quite a long wait for the repairman to arrive. Every so often I would call in to ensure Mary was still OK and I would get the reply "I'm reading a book." (translation - don't bug me). We talked about the AEDs we have in the building and they were very appreciative - it is very important to start CPR at the earliest possible moment.
Finally the cheery faced repairman arrived. He went first to the top of the building and it was several minutes before he poked his smiling face round the door at B2 and told us what he was going to do.. A little later some elevator movement could be heard and banging on the door produced no response. The car had either gone down to B4 or up to the 24th floor. We rushed down to B4 to find the elevator car with the door open but no Mary who had made her way back to the Lobby. Climbing the stairs back up to the Lobby there was a reunion of all the players. We thanked the firemen profusely, who had handled things very well, and shook their hands, before heading back to the apartment to prepare for the party.
Catching the 95 bus at Mackenzie King bridge we ran into CK who was going home from work so we lucked into a ride to Sunview Crescent. Quite an exciting afternoon.