So I got my arm stuck in an elevator door today
This doesn’t sound like it happens to just anyone, though I did read a story about a man who needed stitches after getting his arm stuck in an elevator door. Also, I managed to change an eleven-word story into a much longer one, but it just goes to show how much you can detail an incident like this one.
It was just an ordinary morning and started raining heavily just before I got off my train to go to work. I waked through the rain as fast as possible and when I reached my building I noticed that one of the elevators going to my level had its doors open.
No one was in the elevator, so I guess there wasn’t the advantage to having someone inside hold open the door for me and wait. So I ran instead. After a few seconds most elevators decide it’s time to close its doors because no one has exited or entered, which is all well and good, but not when your building’s elevators are notorious for shutting really, really quickly.
Normally, putting your arm out is okay. If you’re inside, holding the door open with your arm is fine, and as soon as the elevator realises there is an arm holding it open, it stays open. A shockingly good percentage of elevators know when there is anything in the path of its doors.
There was a time I was walking in front of my dad as we were leaving a shopping centre, and the automatic glass doors began to shut as I approached. Logically, they should open again since I was pretty close, but they continued to close and managed to almost squash me for a split second before opening again. I heard the elderly woman behind me gasp, and my dad just laughed and said I was too skinny for the doors to know that I was there.
I suppose a similar thing happened today, because no matter how many times other people holding open doors with their hands could vouch for me in this situation, the doors did their speedy door-shutting madness and slammed on my forearm before the rest of my body could make it inside the elevator.
It wasn’t so much an ‘oh my god I’m going to lose my arm it’s going to be taken up the elevator and oh fuck fuck fuck’ as it was an ‘um, can someone please help me open these doors again?’
I am pretty sure in my struggle I saw at least a couple of people walk by, maybe look and just keep walking… bystander effect, you suck!
Maybe someone thought I was playing a joke, or that I was stupid and should have just pulled my arm out. Actually, no. The doors clamped my arm so tightly that it hurt even more to try and tug my arm out. That, and I had my whole bag inside the elevator, as I was clutching onto it.
I was struggling for… well, a while – a minute is a pretty long time to have a body part stuck between elevator doors – just trying to use my free hand to pull the doors open, maybe shove it in the gap as well and try and push the doors open, but the doors wouldn’t budge.
A man did walk past and asked if I needed any help (are you serious! Do I look like I need help?!) and obviously had more strength than me to get the doors open. I probably didn’t thank him enough, I mean I just threw myself into the elevator after that, and lo and behold, the doors shut pretty fast behind me. Not surprising.
Had I been stuck there any longer I might have taken a photo and posted it on social media.
Needless to say my arm is alright and it could have been much worse if I lost an arm, but I was late for my standup meeting!