the personal blog of 100k (chad kukahiko)

panic on the very first floor


so this was fun. this is a review i just posted on Yelp


So we had the misfortune of going to an event on the roof last night that we heard about through ThrillList – apparently a lot of other people also heard about the event so there were a ton of people waiting for the elevator. Some of the people behind us decided they didn’t feel like waiting for the next and opted to cram themselves into ours instead. The ‘over capacity’ light started flashing and a beep went off before the door closed, so the last guy who got on got right off and the door closed behind him … and wouldn’t open back up. The over-capacity light stayed on and the alarm kept going as 15 people were crammed into this tiny little elevator (which ironically was the stated limit).

how i felt in that elevator

Unfortunately I’m mildly claustrophobic, but I’m usually fine in situations like this. But some A-hole in there with us thought it was a great idea to start cracking jokes about the air depleting and for some reason I got set off and started having a very, very intense panic attack. After several minutes of not being able to move or reach anybody on the emergency phone (we literally got an error message on it, even though a ‘call connected’ light lit up) I moved to the elevator door and tried unsuccessfully to force it open with my hands.

By then it seemed to me like an hour had passed – though it was probably only about 5-6 minutes – and one of the girls in the elevator called the hotel on her cell phone. When she told them we were stuck in the elevator, they put her on HOLD! It was all I could do to keep myself from screaming at the top of my lungs and we still hadn’t been able to successfully speak with anybody from the hotel, so I called 911.

They put me straight through to the Fire Department and I gave the guy our address from the card there in the elevator. By the time they got there probably another 5 or 6 minutes later, the girl who was on hold had given up waiting and called back again. This time she at least was told that the hotel knew what was going on and that they had their mechanic working on it, but had no more information than that.

Though I have no way of knowing for sure – it obviously seemed like it was far longer than it was considering the state I was in – one of the other people who were stuck in there with us later said we’d been in the elevator for probably 20 minutes before the Fire Department finally got us out – thank GOD for the Fire Department!

Don't go.

Not one person from the hotel staff said anything to us who were trapped in the elevator once we finally got out, and THEN when we got to the roof (via the stairs of course) the people throwing the event said they couldn’t let anybody else in and that we had to leave, even though there seemed to be plenty of room up there – even for a claustrophobic!

As we were leaving, several of the hotel staff where very casually chatting each other up at the front desk, and at NO point were we approached by a hotel staff member to even see if were okay or even ask us what happened! Needless to say it took a good 3 to 4 hours to shake the panic attack – getting out of Venice entirely helped in fact. So the moral of the story is if you’re claustrophobic or have any interest in safety or giving your money to companies that care for your safety, DO NOT STAY AT THE HOTEL ERWIN AND DO NOT GO TO EVENTS AT ITS ROOFTOP BAR.

… and scene.