Twove in a Twelevator – the Elevator 13 Story


After the most fun dinner EVAH at BlissDom09 Saturday night, our big happy fun group headed back to the Hotel Preston. I was about to get on the elevator when someone (I’m not sayin’ this whole thing is her fault, I am just sayin’…) asked me something in the lobby and I stepped back quickly from the doors – unfortunately causing a couple of other people (including Cortney) to miss the elevator.

I quickly finished my conversation and a bunch of us who had been at the most fun dinner EVAH caught the next elevator, which already had a few people coming up from the lower level. All in all, 13 of shiny, happy bloggers packed in the elevator.

And when it jerked really hard and stopped two seconds later, all 13 of us shiny, freaked-out bloggers screamed in unison!

We were stopped just above the first floor, so we hadn’t gone far, but in that two seconds it got HOT in there, and I totally started to freak out. You see, I’d been stuck in a small elevator with about 11 people when I was 17, and I’ve been terrified of a repeat elevator incident ever since. It made me into the claustrophobic I am today.

So anyways, as soon as that elevator stopped I was on the road to panicville. But I managed to stave off my initial panic for about a minute. UNTIL Heather pushed the call button to call the front desk and alert them that there were 13 of us trapped in their elevator AND NO ONE ANSWERED!!!!!!!!

That’s right, no one picked up. Then I REALLY started to freak. I knew we weren’t high enough above the ground to be in any grave danger, but when no one answered the front desk phone, and since it was about 90 bazillion degrees in there, I was fairly certain we were going to suffocate.

That’s when all those brilliant social media mavens in the elevator starting twittering from their cell phones to let people know we were trapped. Thank the Lord for the Twitter community! They were able to get word to the front desk that we were trapped. The tweeps even started a hashtag for us – #elevator! Soon the elevator phone rang and the front desk told us help was on the way. I calmed down for a little bit. I took some pictures, even. I was really trying to be brave.

pretending to be brave w/ the Queen of Shake Shake

Putting on a Brave Face with the Queen of Shake Shake

But after a few minutes went by with NO updates from the front desk, or any reassurance whatsoever, I couldn’t fight the panic anymore. I felt like I couldn’t breathe! I carefully slid down to the floor. I was so ashamed. I didn’t want to be the one who LOST IT.

But within a few seconds, I wasn’t the only one on the floor. My friend Dawn had hunkered down beside me. She started talking to me to try and distract me. She had me show her all the pictures on my digital camera – there were a couple hundred at least – and had me explain each one to her. She was amazing. Amazing!! I truly cannot explain to you how grateful I am to her. If she hadn’t been there, I am sure I would have been hyperventilating uncontrollably and might’ve even passed out. But Dawn really kept me as calm as possible. She was my angel! Therefore, I have christened her the Elevator Angel!

angeldawn copy

While Dawn and I were on the floor, impatience grew in the elevator. We were very nervous about the lack of updates. Someone called the front desk, and the girl there just told us they’d called the repair man. The repair man? How about the freaking fire department?? We had two panickers (Heather was also having a hard time, however, I heard her say that my panic was helping her because feeling sorry for me was a distraction for her. Heh. Happy to help!) and a pregnant woman in the elevator and we have to wait in the stifling hot elevator while the repair man fights Saturday Night Nashville traffic?? What the CRAP!!??

Finally, finally, FINALLY they told us he was there. Twitterers were telling those with their phones also, that help had arrived. We started feeling bumps and hearing noises and FINALLY those doors flew open and with a rush of cool air the Elevator Thirteen FLEW OUT of there! We were in that elevator for almost FORTY-FIVE MINUTES!!!

There were cheers from our bloggy friends who had gathered to welcome us out of the elevator. But guess who WASN’T there to greet us? A single staff person from the Hotel Preston. Not ONE concerned manager or even concerned PEON employed there greeted us to make sure that their GUESTS were ok. As I mentioned before, if Dawn hadn’t helped me through my panic, I probably would’ve needed medical attention. But apparently, the Hotel Preston staff didn’t give a crap about that, despite the fact that they had been informed by us that we had a prego in the elevator and two panic attacks going on.

Needless to say, I am not impressed with the “customer service” we got that night.

I was thrilled to be out of the elevator, and really embarrassed at my panic performance. I didn’t even cry until I got off the elevator, but as soon as we were out I let it flow. Andrea was there to greet us, and she walked up the nine flights of stairs with Cortney and me, who were not about to get back on the elevator. It was a killer to walk up those stairs but it was totally worth it!

So, what’s the moral of the story? Set your cell phone up for Twitter if you haven’t already, read the max. occupancy sign (oops…7…but we were NOT over the weight limit!) before you get on the elevator, and if you work at a hotel, give a crap about your guests, PARTICULARLY when they are bloggers, or you just might end up with some BAD PRESS on the INTERNETZ. Oh yeah, and if you ever meet this girl angeldawn copy make friends with her! She’ll probably save your life one day!

And now for the BlissDom09 #elevator 13 blogroll:

Jennifer, PlayGroups Are No Place for Children
Victoria, Vdog + Little Man
Heather – The Spohrs Are Multiplying
* Heather’s Post
Heather – The Queen of Shake Shake
* Heather’s Post
Emily – DesignHer Momma
* Emily’s Post
Amy – Amy in Ohio
Hebba – JeepGirl17
* Hebba’s post
Shannan – Mommy Bits
* Shannan’s post
Ali (our prego!)- Blessed Treehouse
Sandy – Organize with Sandy
* Sandy’s Post WITH VIDEO!!
Me- of course!
Dawn – Kaiser Alex
* Dawn’s Post
Cortney – Once A Month Mom
(Cortney and I have known each other since 5th grade. If you had been at the MOST FUN DINNER EVER you would have heard that this is not the *first* landmark moment we have shared in our lives. Snicker snicker!)

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  1. The Max Occupancy on those elevators were only freaking 7? There was many more in that several times I was on it.

    Geesh, I thought you 13 would have gotten a free stay after that crap.

    I wasn’t overly impressed with the hotel either. You have 250 BLOGGERS in your hotel, you think you would make things PERFECT! I guess they were prepared.

    Thanks for sharing your story. So glad everything turned out well. I can’t imagine what I would have done either! Try to climb out the top like Jack Bauer, maybe?

    Big hugs to you!

  2. Thank God it ended well!

    I think you guys need t-shirts for Blissdom ’10!

  3. Unbelievable! I cannot believe they didn’t formally apologize.

    Oh man I almost wish I had been there with y’all because I love tight spaces (mildly agoraphobic)

  4. I shudder to think of all the times I crammed into one of those elevators over the weekend with 13 or more other people. It could’ve easily happened to me. And I’m a bit claustrophobic, too, so I can only imagine how I would’ve been panicking. Yikes.

    (Hooray for Twitter!)

    I think I’ll see if I can get a room on the 2nd floor of Hotel Preston next time and just take the stairs.

    Great recap!! I just posted mine and you guys are in it. 🙂

  5. I would have been on the floor with you. And this renews my vow NEVER to go ANYwhere without my Ativan in mypurse. OMG! I’m so glad you are alright. I was in the lobby when that was happening. GAH!!!!

  6. You were the cutest panicked person ever! You were scared, but you stayed calm and could smile for the camera!!
    Even though everyone kept saying we had more than 7 people on the elevator..the weight limit is the only thing that matters and they say 7 in case they have 7 really big people who just came from the buffet line! We were under the 2500 lb limit, so the staff shouldn’t have kept saying we had more than 7 people in there.

  7. Dawn was so great and I so admired her for thinking clearly enough to help you out. I felt like my brain had such down to coherent thought, which is a coping mechanism for my own claustrophobia.

    Dawn deserves an honorary doctorate in Elevator PhD.

  8. I heard of the incident, but didn’t realize the hotel was so…uh…disinterested? WOW. Shame on them!

  9. You did great, considering the circumstances. Actually, I’m pretty surprised more of us didn’t freak as bad.

    And agreed, Dawn is a Saint. A good friend to keep around.

  10. I was already disappointed in the Hotel Preston’s lack of attention, professionalism, concern, preparation, customer service, etc, etc BEFORE I heard about the elevator incident. And then when I read the story first at Queen of Shake Shake’s blog, Oh. My. Word!!! The way they handled the situation is just inexcusable!

    I’ve toyed with blogging about the Preston experience, my only concern is, I don’t want to make One2One or BD look bad by having had the conference there. I know there was really no way for Barbara & Alli to know this would happen especially since BlissDom’08 was SO good and the hotel seemed to accommodate us just fine then (albeit a shorter time frame & much smaller crowd). Still…I’m not sure how to approach it.

    Anyway…I’m VERY glad that all of you made it out of the elevator safely and without major incident. That was a very dangerous situation to be in and I’m just thankful no one was hurt.

  11. I am shocked that the hotel didn’t check to make sure y’all were okay. I mean, Hello? Did they not know y’all are bloggers? I’m glad they got y’all out and nobody was hurt.

  12. Glad you made it out alive. 😉 Better or worse than the first experience?

    Its fun to read what you girls had to say about this episode and the whole event. Kind of makes this private blogger wish I were a more public blogger and attended along with you all.

  13. I would’ve been on the floor, too, in need of an elevator angel. Good job for hanging in there!

  14. aw…yeah, I totally wanted to mother you, and that made a lot of my panic go away. But I still am so sad that you had to panic at all! Thank goodness Dawn was there.

    Hotel Preston? FAIL!

  15. I want to know about the experience when you were 17. How did I miss that?

  16. So glad you had an angel with you!


  17. Jenny, well, you crack me up but I knew how freaked u were too! I’m so glad Dawn was there to help you! I’m just secretly wondering if she brought her toys w/ batteries to promote 🙂 Well, at least our buns were better off for the walk up the stairs???

  18. Oh, wow, Jenny – what a terrible experience! And I mean the walking up the stairs part, of course! 😉 I’m just kidding – I’m so glad you all were okay. What a scary ordeal. I’m glad Dawn was there to help you through it!

  19. I am SO SORRY that happened to you.

  20. What an insane memory we have made! I have to admit that if we’d of been in there much longer I would have been on the floor with you.

    I am so disappointed in the customer service of the Hotel Preston. I would have thought they would have had someone waiting for us when we got off. Such a shame.

  21. That was the best post ever! I hate to laughing at your expense, but I feel like I was there. I am kinda pissed off I wasn’t.

    Is this blissDom just for southern bloggers. Why have I never heard of it? Well, too late now, but next year will you let me know. I want to come!

  22. Wow. I heard about the elevator fiasco. I think I missed that ride by a ding. I don’t think you should feel a bit embarrassed about your fear. I would have FREAKED. I’m glad you are all okay.

    And to add to the Hotel Preston drama, our toilet clogged the first night there (with only tee-tee, I might add) and when we called the front desk (several times), the handy man finally called us back and said he was on his way to the store to get a plunger. Are you kidding me? In the entire hotel, not one plunger? He arrived at our door at approximately 12:30 am. Thanks Robert for that midnight trip to Walgreens. He was probably the same guy who unstuck the elevator. Yikes!

  23. You did great, honey.

    ((((BIG HUGS)))

  24. Dawn is truly teh awesome.

    Glad you guys survived the elevator ride to nowhere!


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