Thursday, April 24, 2008

Up the Down Shaft

"In New York City, home to fifty-eight thousand elevators, there are eleven billion elevator trips a year—thirty million every day..."

Attend the tale of Nicholas White... a man who got trapped in a McGraw-Hill elevator for 41 fucking hours...
At a certain point, he decided to open the doors. He pried them apart and held them open with his foot. He was presented with a cinder-block wall on which, perfectly centered, were scrawled three “13”s—one in chalk, one in red paint, one in black. It was a dispiriting sight. He concluded that he must be on the thirteenth floor, and that, this being an express elevator, there was no egress from the shaft anywhere for many stories up or down.
I've got no bleeding idea what I would've done. What's most shocking is that he managed to keep it together for that stretch of time.

I would've lost it completely.
Helplessness may exacerbate claustrophobia. In the old system—board elevator, press button—you have an illusion of control; elevator manufacturers have sought to trick the passengers into thinking they’re driving the conveyance. In most elevators, at least in any built or installed since the early nineties, the door-close button doesn’t work. It is there mainly to make you think it works.