Today began with an early start.
5:15am is very early for me!
Sally was arriving home from her overseas trip and as usual the plane was to arrive at 6:00am.
Allowing for at least half an hour to get through customs ( we are very speedy in Brissy ) and a 30 to 40 minute drive for us, the plan was to leave home at 5:45 and all should be good.
Last time we had to meet her we were about 10 minutes late and she was all forlorn that we were not there to greet her as she walked through those doors, so we were anxious to be there in time.
There were not many cars about at that time of morning and we made good time reaching the airport.
All good even though her plane was 15 minutes early.
A message arrived as we were parking the car to say they were picking up their bags to go through customs.
We hopped into the lift to go from the third floor of the car park to the Arrivals level
and that's when it all went wrong!
The lift stopped with a terrible jerk about half a metre from the Level 1 floor and there it stayed!!!!
In the lift with us were a mother, her 16? year old daughter all decked out in hiking gear and said daughter's 16? year old boyfriend. The young girl was off with a group of young people to hike the Kokada Track.
For a couple of minutes we looked at each other, pressed the Level 1 button and waited for the lift to resume its journey.
Only another half a metre to go for Heaven's sake !!!
The only thing to do was to press the Emergency button.
Tony pressed it.
An alarm rang out over the car park and in a couple of minutes we could hear a phone ringing as the Alarm dialed out to the lift maintenance firm.
It was answered by an answering machine and we were told that:
all lines were busy,
our call was important to them,
and we were put on Hold !!!!
We looked at each other in amazement
but very quickly a voice came on and I told him that we were stuck in a Lift blah,blah, blah.
He gave us a few directions with buttons but nothing worked so he then informed us they would dispatch a Maintenance Man and he would be there in about half an hour as he was off site.
OK, we weren't going to be at those Security doors when Sally emerged were we?
Then the mother started to kick up a fuss.
She wanted someone there NOW !
Her daughter had a plane to catch !
( It was 6:10am and her flight left at 10:00am !!!!)
It wasn't good enough !
So she started pushing the button again and the alarms kept ringing through the car park.
Helpful strangers came up to the lift and tried to open the doors.
The Security people arrived.
We exchanged phone numbers with them through numbers written on paper and they rang Tony on his mobile to say the Maintenance Man was on his way.
"All good," said Tony.
"Not good enough," said the mother. " My daughter has a plane to catch !"
Then she dialed 000 ( emergency ).
"Fire, Police or Ambulance?" said the telephonist.
"Fire !" said the mother.
"We're trapped in a lift.
I'm claustrophobic and my daughter suffers from life threatening asthma and she's having a panic attack !"
That was news to us.
The daughter was busy trying to send messages on her mobile and posing for photos for the boyfriend.
The mother was not showing any signs of claustrophobia just annoyance .
She was going to sue if something wasn't done soon !
In no time we heard the Fire Brigade coming.
They had the Jaws of Life and other large thingies for breaking into lifts.
The security people were trying to tell them that the Maintenance Man was on the way.
The mother was telling them to break down the door or she would sue.
Then an Ambulance arrived - (claustrophobia and life threatening asthma remember ).
They managed to jam a broom handle between the doors to let in fresh air for the (claimed ) claustrophobic one !
To one side Tony was communicating quietly with the Security people and assuring them that all was OK and not to break down the door.
I sent Sally a message and she arrived .
We laughed, waved and she took photos.
The Firemen could see there was no claustrophobia or life threatening asthma happening and decided not to destroy the lift by smashing the doors.
The Ambulance was sent away once they knew they were not needed.
We would wait for the Maintenance Man.
The mother was still raving.
Someone outside the lift dared to joke about something.
She started taking photos of the fireman, the security people blah, blah, blah.
The Maintenance Man arrived, pulled out his key and unlocked the door mechanism.
Out shot the mother asking for names for her lawsuit/complaint.
Out shot the daughter and boyfriend with a story to tell on the plane and photos to go with it.
Finally, trying very hard to distance ourselves from the crazy woman, Tony and I stepped down the 18 in drop onto Level 1 .
At least we had a good excuse for being late this time!