By: Revanche

The $400 Elevator Ride

June 11, 2013

Say hello to the klutzoid

It was like a scene from one of my You’re Awkward as *#$(@ nightmares. Or a really stupid, scripted tv show.

Rushing out to meet my friend, I grabbed a super bulky bag, shoved my feet into flipflops and locked the door behind me, leaving my phone behind because I was only running out for a second. I never leave my phone behind, not even to take out the trash or get the mail. But THIS day ….

As the elevator door opened, I juggled the dangerously slipping bag to get a better grip on it. In hindsight, I should have just dropped the cursed thing.

To my slow-motion, too fast to screech or catch, horror, both the bag and my awkward right hand smacked my kangeroo sweatshirt pouch at just the “right” angle to bounce the house keys right out of the pocket. They hit the wall, slid down, bounced on the ground and fell. Right into the elevator shaft. I heard it more than saw it: *smack*ย  *jingle* *smack* *splash* as it descended to the unknown depths.

I stared at my friend. She stared at me.

Locked out. Keys invisible to the naked eye. PiC not due home for another hour.

My friend could barely contain her horrified, chagrined laughter but it fell on deaf ears. My otherwise benumbed brain was too busy trying to figure out how to break down the elevator shaft, or fish around on the lowest floor in hopes that the keys would be hookable.

No such luck, of course, there was no way to find them peering down into the two inch chasm. I always knew that thing was a disaster waiting to happen!

Stupid tax, stupid tax, stupid tax!

The call to the management company was possibly worse than kneeling on the floor of the elevator calling it names. They’d charge $400 just to call out the maintenance guys, plus labor.

Abandoning the keys would be a security risk – when they finally did come out for a routine check-up, chances were good they would find the keys and then someone would have a set of keys to our lives. Fantastic.

Replacing the keys and locks? Start at $200 for a key fob for the car, and keep adding the costs up from there.

This was too stupid, even for me.ย  It fell into the realm of horrifically embarrassing, even, because it wasn’t just me leaning on the locking door dramatically sobbing quietly. I was keeping my friend hostage to the errand she couldn’t run without getting in our place.

Always have a spare

Neither cost was something I was prepared to pay. It’s more than we budgeted for an entire year of stupid tax/fees!

Luckily, we did have a spare set, otherwise we’d have been pulling out the credit card and docking my allowance. ย After a few rounds of calls, the company finally conceded that we could wait for a routine maintenance check, whenever that happened, but at least when it did happen, they would retrieve the keys at no extra cost. In a month, or three.

We’d just have to keep phone stalking them until that call was scheduled.

True story: It’s actually possible to be relieved and so angry you could spit at the same time!

In the end, it took a few months of nailbiting and waiting to get a confirmation the elevator servicefolk were coming out and we’d get our keys back without the hefty stupid tax attached.

Please, share a stupid/stupid tax story, stupidity likes company just as much as misery does.ย 

Keys now go into a zipper pocket and get zipped in. Always.

13 Responses to “The $400 Elevator Ride”

  1. Kara says:

    Stupid tax story:

    I was in New Orleans, a few months after Katrina, shooting a wedding. The night before we (my assistant and I) were hanging out on Bourbon street and we ran into a guy selling embroidered ball caps at $10 a pop to support Katrina charities. He had the appropriate city licenses and seemed legit, so I dug into my wallet and bought a cap, explaining that my (then) husband had gone to school in NOLA and it was near and dear to my heart. His level of thanks and enthusiasm (hugs, offers of a second cap, etc.) seemed way over the top for a $10 donation, but I hugged him back and took the cap he offered and wished him well.

    Got back to the hotel and realized that what I pulled out of my wallet was not a $10 bill, but a $100 bill. In trying to hide how much I had in my wallet (I know NOLA and I know you don’t flash cash if you want to keep it) I had inadvertently pulled the wrong denomination and handed it to him, folded over.

    So now I proudly wear my $100 embroidered “New Orleans” ball cap when I run or when I’m out on the lake or working in the garden – and tell the story every time.

    Stupid tax at work.

  2. Linda says:

    (One) of my stupid tax stories:

    When I bought my used Prius last year, the Toyota dealership convinced me to buy a “service plan” that cost about $1,000. I looked over the materials they had at the dealership and asked the sales manager what it *didn’t* cover, and he said “Everything but the tires.” Wrong. What I had bought was a pre-paid maintenance plan that covered all the regular services my car should require until 100K miles. Things like oil changes, tire rotations, etc were covered, but not replacement of stuff that wears out…and that includes more than just tires. I got more materials in the mail about a month after buying the car that contained all details and should have read through them. It was possible to get a refund within 90 days of buying the plan if I changed my mind. But I was lazy and didn’t do that.

    Fast forward to nearly a year after I bought the car and I needed to replace the 12-volt battery (this is not the hybrid battery, just the same type of battery every car has). I had the car towed to the closest Toyota dealer and brought my papers for my service plan along. No, battery replacement isn’t covered; nothing that wears out under normal wear and tear is covered. Nor was the battery replacement covered under the one year warranty through Toyota certified. Battery replacement cost me $300.

    That’s when I looked really closely at the details on the maintenance plan and began mentally kicking myself for buying the damn thing and/or not cancelling it. I’ve had my car for over a year and I *still* haven’t been able to use the service plan because it covers only regularly scheduled maintenance according to the official maintenance intervals. I’m not eligible for any service until I’ve driven the car 5K miles. I drive so little that in over a year I still haven’t qualified for service. Dumb. Really, really dumb waste of $1K that I could have used to offset the cost of a new battery.

  3. Aughhhhh! That is a story that defies belief. If you wrote it into a fiction story, NO ONE would buy it.

    Do you have homeowner’s insurance, or renter’s insurance on the goods inside your place? I wonder if that would cover the $400 charge?

    LOL! My dumb taxpayer story is losing the tax statement for a shift of some money from Vanguard to Fidelity (or failing to notice that such paperwork never arrived in the mail — we still don’t know which). IRS threatened me with $10,000 of extra tax plus fines and interest.

    • Revanche says:

      It wouldn’t have been worth making a claim, I don’t think. Better to pay out of pocket than give the insurance rates a bump probably.
      Ugh, I hate having to keep track of all the accts if they’re not on top of emailing or mailing paperwork.

  4. Jen says:

    It’s the almost $400 elevator ride since you didn’t pay any money

    • Revanche says:

      Strictly speaking, yes. This was written immediately after it happened so I didn’t know if it was going to be paid or not. Just forgot to post for a while.

  5. Ms. S says:

    What a story! Sorry I can’t think of any right now but so glad you didn’t have to fork over $400 in stupid tax. LOL.

  6. Your nightmare experience is why I keep my keys zipped in and grip onto them for dear life near grates, elevator doors and sewers.

  7. When I read the title and the first sentence, I thought, “OMG… She broke her iphone…” Thankfully not the case!
    And thankfully, you didn’t have to pay afterall.

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