When I first started at my current job this past January all I heard about was how it's easy to get yourself locked and lost in the stairwells of the building.
"Not me", I thought "I am forewarned and prepared." And I was. I was very careful whenever using the stairs making sure that the latch could be turned from both the inside and outside of the door.
So much for my being careful. A week or two ago on a Friday it had been a busy day. There were only two of us in the reservations office and so I had come in at 8:00am and by 7:30pm I was still trying to get out the door. I finally was able to and walked towards the elevators tired and drained but happy to be making my way to BART finally.
I pressed the button to call the elevator to go down. My mind drifted thinking of things I would need to do when I got home and over the weekend. All of a sudden I realized that a few minutes had gone by and normally it takes less than a minute for the elevator to come. I looked at the call button and it was unlit....but no elevator had arrived. I pressed it again and saw that it would not stay lit. I tried to call the elevator to go up, same problem.
So at this point, I'm tired and starting to get cranky as I just want to head home. I could go to the hotel elevators and get down that way but as a good trained employee I hate doing that as it disrupts the guest service. So I think, I'm only 4 flights up, I'll take the stairs.....oh foolish foolish Nuala. Had you not heard the horror stories.
I even made sure that when the door closed behind me that I would still be able to open the latch well even with that careful though once the door to the stairwell closed I was stuck. I immediately tried to open it and was denied. With a heavy sigh I decided to head down the stairs and find a way out. When I got to the bottom all of the outer doors were locked and the only doors that probably were open would sound the alarm upon opening.
I walked back up a couple of flights to check the rest of the doors and then scrambled for my phone. If I had not had any reception I would have said screw this and I would have opened the door and sounded the alarm. No way was a I staying in the innards of the building over night let alone the weekend.
So I calmly called security and let them know what happened. I could pretty much hear them laughing at me. 15 minutes later someone finally showed up to let me out and took me down so I could thankfully get out of the building a mere 45 minutes after I actually finished work.
When asked why I took the stairs I explained that the call button had not been working and how I thought I was doing something easy by taking the stairs. Apparently stairs are only for emergencies in this day and age.
So lesson learned be lazy and wait for the elevator to start working next time something like this happens. Do not attempt to get yourself out of the building under your own power the gods of the building do not want you in the stairwells.