A Close Call
At the end of the work day today, I needed to use the restroom and went off in search of one. The staff bathroom was in need of a cleaning, so I moved on to the next available student bathroom – not a big deal since there aren’t a lot of students here in the afternoons in the summer.
While I’m using the restroom as intended, I hear some people talking outside the door and then I hear the lock being turned. “Ah,” I thought, “It must be the custodians locking the bathroom for the weekend.” It didn’t occur to me to alert them to my presence, as I figured I’d just unlock the door from the inside and relock it behind me.
Only… I couldn’t. Since it’s a student bathroom, it makes sense that there wouldn’t be a manual unlocking knob on the inside. Students would be locking themselves in all the time and it just wouldn’t be good. But, there is also no keyhole on the inside to allow for unlocking from the inside should someone have a key. All there that’s there is a flat piece of metal with a semi-slot in it so it looks like a big regular screw.
I am totally locked in the bathroom. It’s 3:30 and the custodians are gone for the day. It’s Friday. My cell phone has no signal this far inside the building. (Note: my cell phone fits into a side pocket on my jeans so it’s always with me – I don’t specifically carry it into restrooms. I just thought you should know.)
My MacGuyver-like mind kicks into action and I take out my pocketknife-screwdriver. Alas. It is too small and accomplishes nothing.
So then my MacGuyver-like mind comes up with … nothing. That’s all I got. I have no idea how to get out of this room.
I start to imagine the long weekend, trapped in a restroom. I’m supposed to be moving this weekend! People might wonder where I am! I imagine I’ll get hungry. I’m looking around for the best place to sleep. Even if I do get to sleep, though, the lights are motion-sensitive and any time I shift in my sleep, the lights will go on. Things are looking bleak.
I pull on the door handle in desparation. The deadbolt rattles rather loudly, and I’m left with one idea: keep rattling the door and maybe someone will hear it. So rattle I did. First one hand and then the other. Steady, rhythmic rattling. No sense in yelling, the rattling will do it, I figure.
Five, maybe seven minutes after I start rattling, the door is unlocked. A custodian! She still works second shift, even in the summer, and she heard my rattling! Huzzah!
I thanked her profusely, and I didn’t even mind that she was chuckling at me. Freedom!
William Wallace’s got nothing on me.