Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Elevator of Doom

It shakes. It groans. It has a funny smell. It's the Elevator of Doom!

The Elevator of Doom is a quiet horror here in Library X. You get on the EoD, press the button for the floor you want, then grab the walls as it shudders up or down to your floor. You dash off as it whips open and slams shut barely not getting caught in its vice like doors. Supposedly safety measures are in place to prevent squishing, but the safety measures work selectively. Long ago, all the elevator call buttons burned out, so you never know when the elevator is coming to you or if it's already there lurking behind the steel doors. Never mind the fact that some of the buttons are mislabeled anyway. The door open button is labeled >|<, and the elevator call button on the ground floor points down.

Tonight, the alarm went off on the elevator. For over ten minutes, shrill bells rang on every floor. I called facilities management and told them of my dilemma. I couldn't figure out what was going on. Was someone trapped? Was the elevator stuck? Was the EoD taking a victim? Finally the EoD fell silent. I tried to find out where it went once the alarm stopped. I saw it open on the third floor. I asked if anyone had stepped off. Everyone shook their heads. I went back up to the main floor, and when the elevator opened, I trapped it with some trash cans, and held it hostage until the facilities management crew could come and look at it.

When the repair crew came, I had the pleasure of watching two grown men argue about who would ride the EoD. They bickered back and forth before me, and finally the younger man accepted the task. As the doors closed upon him, he gave us a brave salute. We saluted back and waited.

A few minutes went by. The older repair man pushed the call button for the EoD. The EoD opened back up before us and there stood the brave repair man grinning estatically.

"Well, nothing's wrong. I guess a student accidentally pushed the alarm button then paniced and left it."

"But it shakes so much and groans a lot," I protested.

"Nobody called System Headquarters to say that they were stuck."

I could see that they weren't going to investigate further. I should've known this would be the case when they arrived without even a toolbox between them.

"If it happens again, call us," said the younger repair guy.

"Just make sure it's before 11:30pm."

"We're open 24hrs," I informed them.

"After 11:30, call the Fire Dept."

As we talked, students got on the EoD. I said a silent prayer that for all those that entered the EoD, just as many exited.


Blogger Spike said...

The EoD is clearly possessed by a demon. I say hold an exorcism one night. Chanting, candles, libations, slaughtering of chickens. That'll make the night go faster and put the fear of Dog into the students.

12:35 AM, April 13, 2006  
Blogger Happy Villain said...

I'm afraid. I've heard two stories of exploding microwaves this week and one exploding television. This is on top of our constant battles with our Vending Machines of Evil and the fact that I still have to blowdry the spark plugs on my car whenever it's damp out. Either the machines are starting a revolution, or we'd better start taking better care of them so that they continue taking care of us. I'm leaning toward the mechanical revolution theory, myself.

3:51 AM, April 13, 2006  
Blogger Julie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:46 AM, April 13, 2006  
Blogger Julie said...

The elevator at library I worked at as an undergrad used to get stuck frequently, to the point where one of the staff members refused to use it. She would put in a cart of books on the third floor and then send it down, racing down the stairs to meet it.

My current library's elevator is a bit more subtle, but it still scares you by just randomly pausing for a few moments between floors before sending you on your merry way. One of the student workers just informed me that its inspection permit expired last month, but apparently Massachusetts is months behind on its elevator inspections.

9:51 AM, April 13, 2006  
Blogger Inexplicable DeVice said...

Evil. Pure evil.

I can feel a Hollywood blockbuster coming on!

10:37 AM, April 15, 2006  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

Spike said, "Chanting, candles, libations, slaughtering of chickens." I like this idea. I may do it, though no one would notice.

Happy Villain: Have you read "How to Survive A Robot Uprising" yet? I have, got it ordered for Library X. It's got some good info.

Julie: At least your elevator inspecition certificate is in the elevator, ours says it is located at System Headquarters. The elevator's been taunting me every night with brief alarm bursts.

Inexplicable Device: Hollywood would never get it right.

10:33 PM, April 18, 2006  

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