A Loud Descent – Selected Story

Reading time: 4 minutes

I had a feeling that they weren’t working, I was hungry and my brain hurt, and I really hate wasting time. I knew exactly what to do, and I was oddly happy to do it.

In college, in an Electrical Engineer and a Computer Engineer, double major baby. On a rather chilly day in the evening I was walking on campus to go to the electrical engineering building (EERC) for one of my labs.

I head in and there’s a line for the elevators (lifts), only one of three are working, the other two are under maintenance. The one working is also the smallest, and has to bring people to a combination of 8 floors each trip, and stopping along the way down to pick people up.

I don’t like to wait in lines, and honestly, I could’ve easily jumped ahead in this one because for me, the elevator is arguably necessary, maybe not for getting to the second floor, but for getting to the 6th floor, not many people would argue. And besides, others can actually take the stairs.

I decided not to use my line pass and just went and talked with a friend for a while. I call it networking in motion, like when I have phone calls while cooking or driving.

Once I got to my lab, I did lab stuff that lasted the allotted time, then left.

This is when I went to the elevators, noticed that both the up and down buttons were lit up, and my intuition told me lifts aren’t working. I pushed the buttons a few times just in case and waited about 1 minute.

In some form of satire, in the EERC, the elevators are almost constantly breaking down and getting worked on. This wasn’t a surprise, and because I’ll be having a lot of my classes in that building, I reckoned there will be a few times I either can’t get up or can’t get down (with the elevators).

Luckily, I’m awesome and as soon as I knew the elevators weren’t working, I got a bit excited at the notion of my having to go down the stairs. Without hesitation, I went over to the door to get to the stairwell and immersed myself in the challenge.

I went up to the first of 12 sets of stairs, lined myself up, grabbed the rail, and plopped down. I actually went pretty fast, at some points I had lost a bit of control and hanging on to the rail was only keeping me upright, not controlling my speed.

With each stair, an echoing thump could be heard from my chair, I hoped no one would think someone was getting hurt. I did see a few people along the way, we talked for a bit and then parted (they went up as I went down). It must’ve been rather amusing, or eccentric to see someone in a wheelchair at coming down at the 4th floor.

I’m sure that bloke went back and told someone about me, which makes for two good stories to come of this. And makes me a bit more famous.

I later found out that my intuition was right, the elevators were shut off, but it wasn’t routine, so it wont happen at the same time again. Also, there’s a red phone to call for help somewhere around there, but honestly, It’s much easier to skip and hop down the stairs than wait for someone to fix the lift.

What will give you an idea of how little this upset me is that I was a bit more bothered that I was wearing an jacket too heavy for the weather and sweating a fair amount because of it. I actually love when I get some surprises and challenges, otherwise, for me, life is just to boring. I want things to happen, I want to overcome obstacles and struggle, I want to be challenged and always a good story to tell later on.


PS, you like that drop cap?