Elevator Safety

Today I had to ride an elevator to the 30th floor of the Laclede Gas Building for a CLE luncheon. The elevator was crowded with others who were also riding to the upper floors. I pressed the button for the 30th floor, and others pressed buttons for the 22nd, 27th and 29th floors.

As the elevator arrived at each person’s destination, the doors opened just as the car came to a stop, so I could actually see the landing while the elevator was still moving. This always unnerves me, but is not unusual for the elevator in this building.

As we neared the top, a man was waiting to depart onto the 29th floor. The doors opened and he stepped off. The doors shut and we just hung there, 29 stories above the ground. I was just making small talk with an acquaintance who was attending the lunch with me and we both noticed that we weren’t moving. I had a fleeting moment of panic as I tried to assess exactly what was happening. A second later, after I was satisfied that I wasn’t hurtling to the ground in the elevator car, I again pressed the button for the 30th floor.

The elevator started to creep up one more floor, and when the doors opened, the floor of the elevator was about 4 inches below the floor of the landing.

All through lunch I thought about what I’d do if I had to make an emergency exit from the top of this building and I was dreading the ride back down to street level.

I know that space at the top of tall buildings is prime real estate, and prestigious as well, but I would not want an office (or an apartment, for that matter) at the top of any building.

I’m probably too much of a worrier, aren’t I? After all, people live and transact business in tall buildings everyday without any problem. I guess that’s just a hazard of the big city.

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