My interaction with Fred was short. As in maybe three minutes.
I have to share a secret. I’m slightly claustrophobic. I was in a bad car accident in 1996, one that should have killed me. God had my guardian angel on overtime that day, because once the rescue workers busted me out with the jaws of life, I could have walked…well, maybe, if shock hadn’t hit, out on my own. I banged up my knee, scared myself nearly to death, but I should have died. My husband knew one of the rescue workers and if my car had hit two inches to the left, it probably would have exploded on impact, I’m told.
Spending time trapped in a car left me just a little leery of closed in spaces.
Being trapped in one, like…say…an elevator…that starts to sag after too many people try to force their way on? Not good. Yep, that happened. While the doors were still trying to shut and people were still trying to crowd in, one of the elevators started to sink-I forced my way off. (If I elbowed or mauled or maimed anybody, please forgive me, my claustrophobia was in command, not me). I had to step up four inches to get off the elevator, that’s how much it was dipping from the weight.
So later on after that event, I was leery of the elevators. I get on one a few hours later and only one person gets on at the same time, Fred. He asked me what floor (a gentleman!) and as he hit the button and the doors slide shut, I close my eyes, thunk my head against the wall and go, “Thank God.” Then I look at him with a sheepish smile. He’s giving me a curious look and I explain the sagging elevator mess. He gives me a smile and pats my shoulder. “We’ll be okay.”
Momentary panic averted, all from a few considerate words. Thank you!