Note to self: vigorously avoid all criminal behavior that might lead to solitary confinement.
Apparently, I am one of those delicate souls who was not cut out to endure the rigors of long hours with no companions besides hunger, cold, and sleep deprivation. I am no Corrie Ten Boom (as if you and I didn't already know that...).
At 6pm last night I found myself locked in a 4' x 10' hallway that leads from our office to the bathrooms. Everyone else had already left for the day, not only from our office but from the adjoining offices as well. It took about 2.3 seconds to assimilate the reality that I was going to be in that hallway for 14 or 15 hours.
My immediate reaction was to plead with God to send someone back to the office to retrieve something they had forgotten. After about 3 minutes sitting on the cold tile and realizing that, rather than absorbing any of my body heat, it simply transferred its chill into my bones, I decided to take things into my own hands.
In my mind, I instantaneously morphed into the female incarnation of MacGyver. I am resourceful! I will not be stuck in here all night. I WILL find a way out. First, I hauled a not-so-sturdy cabinet out of the bathroom and climbed onto it...in my handy dandy pencil skirt (feel free to be impressed)...removed one of the ceiling tiles only to discover that above that drop ceiling was...a REAL and SOLID ceiling. A cruel trick, if you ask me, but there it was.
I was not going to be that easily deterred! My next attempt was to disassemble the sink faucet for a "tool" that would allow me to carve a hole in the drywall so I could reach through and unlock the door...I figured it would be worth footing the repair bill. Needless to say, that didn't work either.
I proceeded to forcefully and successfully extract the access card sensor from the wall, hoping that if I severed a wire, the alarm would trip and someone would come to investigate. Since the alarm hadn't been set for the night, that effort was to no avail. Either that, or I didn't sever the right wires.
As my options dwindled, I began accepting my dilemma and plotting how I was going to get through the night. I did get through with my sanity intact by:
* Wrapping my freezing cold legs in layers of toilet paper, mummy style
* Layering paper towels on the cold tile for a "bed" (a complete failure in shielding me from the cold tile!)
* Singing through the Trinity Hymnal
* Doing my leg exercise routine
* Singing through the Genevan Psalter
* Doing my arm exercise routine
* Singing through the Coverdale Anglican Psalter
* Playing hopscotch on the perfectly placed tiles
* Singing through Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera
* Walking the space in figure 8's
* Reciting every poem I've memorized since I was a wee child
Finally, I gathered a host of paper towel packs and built myself a REAL mattress that kept me off those cold tiles...and I slept. Sort of...in fits and starts, with additional heat-inducing physical exertion in my wakeful moments (lunges, pushups, jumping jacks...yes...all in my lovely and versatile, handy-dandy pencil skirt).
This space is isolated in the middle of the building without natural light, so I had no way of marking the passage of time...until 5:30am when my I-phone alarm clock began going off...behind the locked office door. I had been telling myself it was probably only about 3am, so that was a welcome sound...ONLY 3 HOURS LEFT! I cleaned up my "mattress" and "blankets" so no one would see how ridiculously I had made it through the night, but that meant I had to stand, walk, and squat for the final 3 hours.
By the time my "rescuer" showed up, I was shivering and aching from head to toe...BUT I WAS SANE. Well, at least equally as sane as I had been at 6pm last night and that felt like an accomplishment to me! What a wimp. Imagine if it had been a Friday night! I think perhaps that would have irreversibly altered my psyche.
I looked my More-Than-A-Little-Amused-Though-Not-Entirely-Unsympathetic Boss in the eye and declared, "I'm cold, I'm hungry, I'm tired...and I'm going home!"
I was decidedly more thankful for the car heater and bun warmers this morning than I've ever been before and I intend to spend the rest of the day soaking up sunshine until I'm warm down to the bones.