Tuesday, December 18, 2007

don't try this at home

Phase one December madness (bargaining, exams, teaching) is over. Phase two December madness (holiday parties, shopping, baking, crafting, family time) is upon us.

Saturday night saw us heading down to Paul's running club's annual holiday dinner, which this year was held at the Rowing Club near Stanley Park. Paul's parents live about a 5 min stroll away, so we figured we'd stop in there for a drink on the way to dinner. We took the bus town town and figured if we went up for one quick drink we'd arrive at our function fashionably about half an hour late.

The out-law's live on the 17th floor of a high rise building, so in to the elevator and up we go. A little more than half way up, Paul, who recently watched the movie Elf on tv, turns to me and says, "hey, you know what we should do?" and jumps.

The elevator stops.

And stays stopped.

We look at each other for a few moments, try pressing a few buttons, and then realize this is really happening. There is an emergency phone at the bottom of the elevator which connects us to an operator who tells us she will page an elevator technician to come and get us out, but in the meantime just relax, but if it starts getting stuffy or we start getting panicky, call back and they'll send the fire department to get us out right away. We hang up, sit there for about five seconds, and then Paul calls them back and requests the fire department. The poor guy doesn't do well in confined situations like small airplanes and elevators at the best of times, and this definitely wasn't the best of times.

After a few minutes went by we had Paul's parents and the building concierge trying to be helpful in the hallway, telling us to try to pry the door open, etc. Nothing worked. The fire department showed up after we'd been in there for about 30 min and they were able to get the exterior doors open and again suggested we try to pry open the interior door, but we couldn't do it. They were able to pry both doors open on the other elevator, but ours was stuck between floors so a safety mechanism was in place which only the elevator tech could release. I guess they probably don't want people prying doors open and accidentally falling out or something. I couldn't believe the bucket heads couldn't even get us out. So, we sit on the floor and wait. The fire men and Paul's dad were having a good laugh in the hallways, and telling us jokes through the door. I was finding the situation totally hilarious, and was trying my best not to laugh since I knew Paul wasn't finding things funny at all. Rather, he was lying on the floor with his eyes closed concentrating on deep breathing. His face was red and flushed, and his hands were cold and sweaty. Poor guy! After we'd been stuck in there nearly an hour, the elevator guy finally arrived. At first we heard a lot of banging and prying on the door, but nothing happened. Eventually he headed up a floor and was able to get to us from above, working his magic and releasing the inside doors. We were told to stay at the back, pass our stuff out to the fire men, who then quickly lifted us out. They told us that sometimes the elevators drop, so they've got to get people out as quickly as possible.

So, after being trapped in there for an hour, we were out safely, and rather than heading up to the folks place for a drink, we were on our way back down and racing towards our dinner. We arrived fashionably late, just as dinner was being served.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Waz going on?

In brief . . .

My arm is on the mend - thanks for asking. It's still pretty painful now and then, but I'm back at work, and doing practically everything except for lifting some heavy things. I have minions for that.

Classes are done, exams are looming. The big scary Chem final is exactly one week away. I have a lot of studying to cram into the next six days.

Our collective agreement at work expires Dec 31st. We had planned on starting bargaining in early January, but just last week we were informed by the employer that there is a PSEC mandate for us to finish bargaining before the current CE expires. Not only that, but the parties must reach an agreement by Dec 10th, and then ratify prior to Dec 31st. I'm the chair of the bargaining committee, so this means that over the next six days, four will be spent at the table, and we may go around the clock for the last two.

Did I mention I need to study?

Also there is my regular job, and the end of semester/beginning of semester shiz that goes on. Busy times.

Plus, because I'm completely insane, I agreed to teach a Lifesaving Instructor crash course which starts two days after my finals are done. This means I will also have to recertify my IT status prior to then.

So December 18th I'll be ready to start my holiday baking, crafting, and shopping. If my head hasn't imploded by then.