Ever Had One of THOSE Days?

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April 24, 2008 at 5:53 am

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15 Comments

In October 1999, 34-year-old . As he returned from his smoke break, he boarded the elevator to take him back to his office on the 43rd floor of the McGraw-Hill Building in Rockefeller Center.

And there, in that elevator, he spent the next 41 hours of his life, trapped, alone in the elevator.

And his entire 41-hour ordeal was . (YouTube)

He’s remarkably calm throughout the entire experience! Amazingly, he doesn’t even light up yet

states he had more cigarettes left but he didn’t want to be caught smoking! Further, he didn’t have a cellphone or watch, so he had no idea how much time was passing.

I always find something new (to me) and interesting when I visit YouTube, and it’s rarely related to the content that brought me there in the first place.

Think you’ve had a bad day? Think about Nicholas and the elevator… FORTY-ONE HOURS. Geesh!

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15 Comments

April 26, 2008

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Imagine listening to that annoying elevator music for 41h.

Btw, what did he use for toilet?

April 26, 2008

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He did smoke his cigarettes. It may not be clear in the tape, but it says in the article, that once he started smoking, within hours all of his cigarettes were gone. The article was really interesting though. I read it a few days ago.

April 26, 2008

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You didn’t read the same article I linked (, a New Yorker article), Eric–it specifically says, “Nor did he want to be caught smoking, should the doors suddenly open, so he didn’t touch his cigarettes.”

April 27, 2008

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Can you imagine the boredom of being stuck in an elevator for 41 hours? It had to be terrible.To make matters worse, since he didn’t know what time it was or how many hours had passed, I bet the ordeal felt like it lasted longer than it actually did.

April 27, 2008

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I did read the New Yorker Article, before I was stumbled to your page. On the first page, yes, you are correct, it does state that he did not touch his Cigarettes. But the article is 8 pages long. The entire article is incredibly fascinating.

From the top of page 3 of the article:

“After a while, White decided to smoke a cigarette. It was conceivable to him that, owing to construction work in the lobby, the building staff had taken his car out of service and would leave it that way not only through the weekend but all through the week. That they could leave him here as long as they had suggested that anything was possible. He imagined them opening the doors, ten days later, and finding him dead on his back, like a cockroach. Within hours, he had smoked all his cigarettes.”

@Mnaira: He opened the elevator door, and urinated on the wall.

The end of the article and the end of Mr. White’s story is particularly sad, and carries a deeper meaning. After the event, he decided to sue, and in order to try and somehow seem affected by the incident, he decided to not go to work. They had to let him go, and he won/settled his lawsuit, but didn’t collect much money, and is currently unemployed. He doesn’t blame the elevator. He blames his own reaction to the event.

April 27, 2008

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…And you didn’t read the whole article. It clearly says on page 3:

“After a while, White decided to smoke a cigarette. It was conceivable to him that, owing to construction work in the lobby, the building staff had taken his car out of service and would leave it that way not only through the weekend but all through the week. That they could leave him here as long as they had suggested that anything was possible. He imagined them opening the doors, ten days later, and finding him dead on his back, like a cockroach. Within hours, he had smoked all his cigarettes.”

April 27, 2008

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From the New Yorker article: “After a while, White decided to smoke a cigarette. It was conceivable to him that, owing to construction work in the lobby, the building staff had taken his car out of service and would leave it that way not only through the weekend but all through the week. That they could leave him here as long as they had suggested that anything was possible. He imagined them opening the doors, ten days later, and finding him dead on his back, like a cockroach. Within hours, he had smoked all his cigarettes.”

Read the whole article before posting.

April 27, 2008

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You didn’t read far enough into the article you linked to, Shannon.

Initially he didn’t intend to smoke, but on page three it says: “After a while, White decided to smoke a cigarette….Within hours, he had smoked all his cigarettes.”

April 27, 2008

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You’re both right. He didn’t want to get caught smoking, so he didn’t for a while. But later he felt like he had been abandoned or forgotten so he smoked them.

April 27, 2008

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Thanks, I must have had to attend to my 13-month-old by page 3 and glossed over the end result. Apologies to Eric for saying he hadn’t read the article when it turns out that faux pas is mine.

I do want to thank you all. Apparently all I need to do is make a notable mistake and I can get more comments to a blog post than I’ve ever had before.

Just more proof that I am a .

April 27, 2008

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if you’re stuck in an elevator for such a long time why would you even care about being caught smoking??

April 27, 2008

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…the same reason you wouldn’t masturbate, or defecate unless you absolutely had to, etc. on the very off chance that rescuers show up at that moment. That said, I don’t think I’d have been that calm even halfway through his ordeal and I’m surprised he didn’t get physically ill from the trauma. At least the lights were on. I submit it is probably more difficult to be trapped in confinement in total darkness…our minds can run away with us in the absence of sensory input (light, in that case.)

April 28, 2008

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“Apparently all I need to do is make a notable mistake and I can get more comments to a blog post than I’ve ever had before. ”

And get Stumbled Upon.

April 28, 2008

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I had StumbledUpon installed in FF for awhile. It figures my first ever stumbled page (to my knowledge) on this blog happens when I’ve disabled the plugin. And you (Eric) even mentioned SU in your initial comment… but I read it literally as you having stumbled upon/across my site.

Shows how out of touch I’ve let myself get. This entry’s been a good lesson for me in several levels.

Thanks for the stumble.

April 28, 2008

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No problems, I know how having a busy lil one can be VERY distracting! Mine’s 6 now and he STILL does it

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