Trapped

At some point yesterday morning — I think it was about 10 a.m. — I took a moment out from sorting the stuff accumulated on my desk during a week of vacation to go to the bathroom. As I walked in to the Daily Globe’s second floor restroom, I noted that the door to the hallway didn’t shut completely, and since there were people just across the hall, I deliberately shut it so they wouldn’t hear me doing my business.

When my business there was accomplished, I went to open the door and, alas, found myself locked in the bathroom. The knob would turn, but it wouldn’t open the gizmo that opens the door.

After repeated attempts to free myself from the confines of this windowless room, I began to pound on the door, softly at first, in hopes of gaining someone’s attention across the hall, and then more loudly as it was obvious my pounding was being ignored. Co-worker Lori finally came to investigate and found that the knob on the outside of the door would also turn but didn’t accomplish its purpose.

I was stuck.

I’m not claustrophobic, but as the minutes ticked by while Lori went off to get help, the room began to get more stuff. I tried using the key that latches the paper towel dispenser as a tool to mess with the door lock, but to no avail.

There really is NOTHING to do in a bathroom except for what it is intended. That’s why I keep a handheld Yahtzee game near the toilet at home.

Lori came back with pressroom manager Scott and his tools in tow. Since a screwdriver wouldn’t fit under the door — and the screws to disassemble the door mechanism were on my side of the door — I suggested maybe a letter opener might work to loosen the screws.

Nope. Needed a screwdriver.

After a short debate, my rescuers realized that both the women’s room and the men’s room next door had drop ceilings, and the tiles could be lifted up so a screwdriver would be dropped into my side of the facilities.

Within a couple minutes, I had the screws removed, the lock was pulled out and I WAS FREE!

Just as the door opened, local locksmith Mike Burns showed up and was enlisted to immediately install a new mechanism on the door.

In a few minutes, it will become necessary to make a trip to the restroom. Although I know the latch has now been fixed, I think I’ll use the downstairs one.

 

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