If you have to get stuck in a stairwell

Fun fact #1 about me:  I don't ride elevators.  I have a case of claustrophobia that's pretty well under control with the exception of elevator rides.  They send me into panic, so when a client scheduled a meeting with me for yesterday on the 14th floor of her building I almost had a heart attack.  I literally woke up in the middle of the night 2 nights ago freaking out about the impending tiny transport. I arrived at the building yesterday, having employed all my yoga calming techniques on the car ride over, feeling pretty good.  However, as soon as the elevator door opened my face went flush and my heart started racing.  I started to wonder if I could walk up 14 flights of stairs while 9 months pregnant.  I would have done it any other time.  Of course, the answer this time was no.

I did manage to sweet talk a building employee into riding up with me, it always helps to have someone to talk to so I can distract myself.  I made it up without incident, I just had to get back down.

(sorry for the novel everyone)

So I had my meeting, it went well and it was time for me to be on my way.  I walked to the elevator but just couldn't bring myself to step inside.  I thought:  certainly I can walk DOWN 14 flights of stairs.

I walked to the stairwell, checked the levers on the doors: they seemed to be working properly and felt confident I wouldn't get locked in there.  Wrong.  Once the door shut I gave it a test open to be sure I could get out.  Nope.  Locked.  I ran down a flight and checked the door on floor 13:  nope, locked.  Shit.  Totally stuck in the stairwell.

I called my client, whom I had just met with:  no answer.  I called my husband (could he drive downtown and let me out?) no answer.  Who did I know that worked downtown and could put up with my neurosis?  Should I call the police?  WTF??  I was in full hyperventilation mode at this point.  I tried calling my client one last time:  she answered on the last ring and came to my rescue.  Luckily, she's super cool and thought the whole thing was hilarious and not bizarre in the least.  She even offered to ride the elevator down with me.  Thanks Jennifer!

So, the point is, if you have to get stuck in a stairwell (don't! It's scary!) pray to god it looks like this one:

Framed, by the John Jones team in collaboration with Stuart Haygarth, installed at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  More here.