In-depth day 11: Why I hate lifts…

I’ve never had a phobia of lifts but I’ve always had a mild phobia of being stuck in a lift.

STUCK: A lift selfie  while biding my time in an immobile lift in Yeoville. Photo: Ilanit Chernick

NOT HAPPY: A lift selfie while biding my time in a stuck lift in Yeoville. Photo: Ilanit Chernick

I was always the lucky one in the journalism class – I had never had the “pleasure” of being stuck in the notorious Wits Art Museum lifts like a number of my colleagues have. However, today my luck changed.

After visiting a family friend who’s moved out of Yeoville but still works there, I climbed into the solid but dodgy lift to leave the building. She works on the 4th floor of a building a few roads away from Rocky street (don’t ask me to name it).

The lift gave a shudder and low and behold I was stuck between a rock and hard place – in-between the second and third floor, the doors half open. It was just me inside the lift which made me panic slightly. With shaky and sweaty hands, I pressed the alarm button which gave off a very meek sound and the intercom buzzed:

“Hello!” Came a heavily accented voice, “Are you stuck?”

“Yes!” I answered, “The lift just stopped.”

“What your foot is stopped?”

“No! The lift is stuck!”

“We send someone now to fix it. No panic. It happens a lot.”

Well nobody came and after 20 minutes no one had come and I realised the doors were slightly open and I could see the third floor and reach it. I decided I was going to do a “James Bond” and try climb out. I jumped up and gripped the edge of the third floor. After 10 minutes of huffing, puffing, a chorus of “bad idea, bad idea” and making funny noises I managed to climb up – all red in the face. As I began to stand up I noticed three workmen standing there, giggling at my “James Bond” attempt – not my finest hour!

PEACE OUT: Taking in the fresh air after being stuck in a stuffy lift for nearly 15 minutes. Photo: Ilanit Chernick

PEACE OUT: Taking in the fresh air after being stuck in a stuffy lift for nearly 15 minutes. Photo: Ilanit Chernick

What did I do to waist the time until my final escape attempt? Sat on the floor of course and in true journalism looked at the photos I’d taken and went over my plan for “D-Day” (which is happening tomorrow).

After a chorus of, “are you okay?” from the workmen, I headed outside to do a couple of last minute errands in Yeoville (like some photos, say hi to Rabbi Obiekwe and the like) and also managed to organised a trip to the Jewish archives on Wednesday morning to photograph some of the old photos of Yeoville in its hey-day.

As I headed back to the car, I looked up and saw the sun shinning through the trees. I took a minute to be thankful and to have a breather. I realised having a breather alone in Yeoville is not the cleverest thing to do so I climbed back into the car and headed back to Wits.

Lesson of the day: It’s always better to take the stairs.