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Sub-Par Managers Don’t Rise To The Occasion

| Working | May 20, 2013

(The managers at our retirement community are out of town, so we have some corporate subs in. I’ve just returned from taking some folks out in the bus. I pass the manager’s office and see both sub-managers there, happily chatting. I then return to my office; while there, I overhear a conversation between two coworkers in the hall.)

Coworker #1: “I can’t believe the elevators are not working.  It has been so long. What are they going to do? How are we going to get to our rooms?”

Coworker #2: “I just feel so bad for the person who is in there.”

Me: “Is someone stuck in the elevator?”

Coworker #1: “Oh yes. She’s been in there close to an hour.”

Me: “Are you sure?”

Coworker #2: “Yes. Shortly after you left the elevator started making a funny noise and then we heard someone banging.”

Me: “Didn’t you tell the managers?”

Both Coworkers:  “We told them.”

(I run to the manager’s office and find a sub-manager there.)

Me: “Did you know someone was stuck in the elevator?”

Sub-Manager: “Yeah. The door is stuck or something. You know, I have a key here somewhere that will bring the elevator down to the first floor, and then the door will open.”

Me: “Will you please get it?! Someone is in there!”

Sub-Manager: “I don’t think it is a resident. I think it is a nurse.”

Me: “Get the key!”

(It’s clear the stuck elevator is on a higher floor, so I get a screwdriver and crowbar and run the stairs to the third floor. When I knock, I can clearly hear someone on the other side.)

Me: “Are you okay?”

Nurse: “NO! Get me out! Please help me!”

Me: “Okay. I know this is awful but we are going to get you out. Just take a deep breath. Okay?”

Nurse: “Okay.”

(She sounds very close to tears but a little less frantic.)

Me: “Now, I am going to try to force this door. I’ll need your help. Push as hard as you can against the door and towards your left. Ready?”

Nurse: “Ready.”

(Together, we get the door open in about five seconds and she jumps out. The nurse is okay but clearly rattled, overheated, and thirsty, so a helpful resident comes with a bottle of water. I clean the elevator sensors and ride it down to the first floor to find both sub-managers still sitting there, talking.)

Me: “Did you find that key?”

Sub-Manager: “Yeah, it must be one of these here.”

Me: “Why didn’t you try to use it?”

Sub-Manager: “Oh, yeah, I guess I could have done that?”

Me: “How long was the elevator inoperable?”

Sub-Manager: “I dunno. We got a call at about 3:10.” (It’s 4:25 by now.) “Did you know you could call from the elevator?”

Me: “YES! It is so someone stuck in there can get help!”

Sub-Manager: “That makes sense…”

(The nurse quit the very next day. We had to put up with those sub-managers for three more weeks!)

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