I hold the elevator door for two women. One woman says thanks, the other is timid, says she’s worried about getting stuck in the elevator.
Her concern isn’t unfounded. There have been power outages in this building all morning. But I try to play it cool and sound reassuring.
“Don’t worry,” I say. “Getting stuck in an elevator is like a bad movie cliche, rarely happens in real life.”
Right on cue the lights go out, the elevator stops, and an alarm sounds.
The nervous woman screams and wraps her arms around me.
I tell her it’s going to be ok. But that doesn’t help. She squeezes tighter and screams louder. I introduce myself and tell her to breath.
“You said we wouldn’t get stuck!”
“Sorry. I was wrong about that. But we will be fine. Just breath.”
After about a minute, the lights come on, the door opens, and she dives out of the elevator.
I ask if she’s ok.
“Yes,” her friend says. “But I think we’re taking the stairs from now on.”
We all agree, stairs are the right choice.