And you thought you had a hard day?

Jim Moss shares a tale of a planned afternoon of errands gone awry.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

I have been traveling a lot and needed to get some errands done by 6 p.m. Friday. Bank, post office, storage unit, a few general errands and then head up to Vail for the Teva Mountain Games. I get to the storage unit with plenty of time to spare and punch in my code. The gate opens and I drive in. After 45 minutes of moving stuff from my car into the storage unit and vice versa, I hop into the car with 25 minutes to drive two blocks to make it to the bank before it closes. I pull up to the key code machine and enter my code. Nothing. I enter in my other code. Still nothing. I enter in the universal code that I have (really I got it accidentally) and still, nothing. I notice that not only is nothing working, but there are no lights or beeps. The whole unit is dead, and I'm on the wrong side of a locked gate.

I open the walking gate door and wedge it open so I can get back in. I go to the machine that lets you in and enter in all of the codes again -- still nothing. I shake the box just in case (it's a guy thing).

A note indicates that the office is closed early for "family issues." I call the number on the outside of the office door and get a recording so I leave a message. I wait and no one calls back. I think about this for a long time. My luck, if I call 911, some TV station will be listening and have a slow night and the next day I'm on the front page of the New York Times looking really dumb -- behind bars! (Yes I know some of you think I may belong there.) I'm also having visions of spending the night behind bars, with no jailer, TV, toilet or food. Sure, I have a storage area, but never once imagined I'd have to store myself.

I call 911. The operator said they are going to help and call me back. Twenty minutes later, 911 calls back and the person tells me they can't do anything. They are not allowed to break down the gate. I never asked them to break down the gate. They did say they called everyone they knew, which left me wondering if they had actually called people to help me or simply to tell their friends about a man locked behind a gate at a storage unit and share the moment. (Somewhere there is a grandmother of a 911 operator laughing at me I know!)

So I ask the 911 operator, "You mean to tell me because I am locked behind a gate I can't get out and you won't do anything?"

"No. Sorry."

"What if I was caught in a well?"

"Sure, we would rescue you."

"OK, I'm caught in a well, behind a locked gate."

That didn't work and she wasn't amused.

The 911 operator recommends that I call someone for a ride, leave my car and get a rental car. Then I can sue the storage unit operators for the rental car costs. Wow, government promoting litigation, interesting idea there! I hang up, fairly unimpressed with Lakewood 911.

I drive around to the back. There is a little chain with a lock securing the back gate. If I can get someone to cut the lock, I can run and spend five bucks on a new lock and I’m out. Suddenly, I see a way out. And once out, I can run over to Ace Hardware, replace the lock and I've done $5 worth of damage. This is certainly a better alternative, though decidedly less entertaining, than the first vision I had of attaching my tow cable to the front gate and to my SUV frame and dropping the hammer on the Ford Explorer in 4WD -- my luck I would leave the axle behind ala "American Graffiti."

I think about it and I call 911 back. I ask this new lady what I should do. She says she'll connect me to West Metro Fire Department. I talk to someone at the fire department and give her the story -- I left out the part about being stuck in a well behind a gate. She says she will call around and see what they can do. About 15 minutes later a big red truck pulls up. Three fireman hop out of the big red truck and grin at me stuck behind the gate. (Why do I just know I am going to be the featured laugh of the week on police and fire forums nationwide?) One of the firemen walks up, opens a little lid, sticks a key in and voila, the gate opens. I pull my car through quickly, get out and shake their hands. They are still grinning.

It's 6:30 p.m.. Bank is closed, post office is closed, and the only thing open is a bar. I went home, I figured I should share this with our SNEWS® readers so you could all laugh along with the 911 operator's grandmother, the three fireman who showed up, everyone at Lakewood 911, etc. On the plus side, I did read two chapters in a book I had with me.

-- Jim "I now carry bolt cutters in my car" Moss

Related

Did you hear? SNEWS HFB show survey responses pouring in! Air your thoughts now

In a short story posted Friday late afternoon, Aug. 15, SNEWS® asked its readers to voice their opinion about a few key issues regarding the Health & Fitness Business show. By Monday morning, the results already piling in stunned us. Guess you have something to share and we’re ...read more

What if you had a fitness industry meeting and nobody came?

Several months ago, Gregg Hartley, vice president of marketing and operations for the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, decided it was time the fitness industry sat down together now and then to discuss joint issues. That had happened successfully for a decade or so with ...read more

Mystery Shopper: Should customers have to work this hard?

SNEWS® heads to Sacramento, Calif., for yet another in our popular series of Mystery Shoppers. We love to have good experiences -- and we have indeed had some super ones -- although sometimes we are disappointed, as unfortunately was the case this time. Still, as we always like ...read more

Did you hear?... President of European Union of Sport Retailers says retailers haven't had huge growth

The president of the European Union of Sport Retailers (FEDAS) was quoted Jan. 31 in one of the largest papers in Germany – Munich’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung – that in spite of the boom in "fun and trend" sports that Europe’s retailers haven’t had huge growth in the last year. "We ...read more

Editorial_1940sAtTypewriter.jpg

And why do you want to write about our product?

"He stared at me a moment. “Who are you?” he asked. I apologized for not stating I was with the media; though I assumed my media badge sort of made it obvious. After I explained where I was from (speaking in German, mind you, so misunderstanding was not an issue) and that I ...read more

Did you hear?… Last week to voice your thoughts in the HFB show survey by SNEWS

After 10 days, our first SNEWS® mini-survey on the Health & Business Expo has seen an outpouring of responses, but there's still time to have your voice heard too! We are asking a handful of key questions on the show's location, exhibitors and events, and in general on your ...read more

'The Wellness Revolution' author Paul Zane Pilzer shares thoughts on fitness industry with SNEWS®

Economist, best-selling author, professor, avid mountain biker and Health & Fitness Business Show '07 keynote speaker Paul Zane Pilzer has never put much stock in the theory of scarcity. Instead, he believes that savvy entrepreneurs can find unlimited wealth where others see ...read more

For international recognition, an ispo award is hard to beat

At ispo winter '05, the awards were being presented at an almost breakneck speed -- which was very good if you were an exhibitor on the receiving end of one, not so good if you were the media trying breathlessly to keep up with all the bestowing of honors, hardware and glowing ...read more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> Technogym has been chosen as the exclusive supplier of fitness equipment for the Athens Olympics by the Greek Olympic Committee. On the grounds of the Olympic Village will be set up 11 gyms with more than 300 pieces of equipment that more than 10,000 athletes from 200 ...read more