Friday, March 21, 2014

"Trapped"

Have you ever been stuck somewhere, and didn’t know when you’d get out? And I don’t mean rush hour traffic. Although, sometimes in Hampton Roads it can be disconcerting when there’s a big traffic jam that goes on into the dark hours of the night. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

Some of you might remember we purchased a new RV camper this past November. And a few repairs need to be made. It’s still under warranty so we decided to bring it in before camping season kicks off for us next month. We contacted the dealer and set up an appointment. They were aware of a couple of things before we took it home off the lot to begin with (the bathroom door sticks, and a sticker on the outside was torn). Then after some trips we managed to sneak in before the cold winter showed up, we had a few issues: some lights went out, a bracket on the table was weak, and a storage drawer gets stuck. Probably easy fixes but it’s covered so we will let them deal with it. The biggest problem was with our awning, it somehow has a scratch that tore through the material. We needed to go to the storage lot where we keep our RV to take photos to email to the dealer so they could determine if the awning is covered under warranty.



Okay so we got to the RV Storage Lot on base at 6:10PM (they closed at 6). Hubs read the hours on the website and was was going by “spring” hours – which don’t start until April 1st. Yeah, I know spring is before April 1st. Tell that to the yahoo who makes up the schedule.

But the man at the desk said we could go ahead and log out a key to the RV lot because he was going to be around working on repairs for the skeet shooting range for a little while, and that he’d be there. The RV lot we park in is at the back of the property out of sight, and it’s locked and has its own key. We said we wouldn’t be too long.

We went to the camper, opened it up, and took the photos we needed to. After locking the camper and the lot back up, we went to the front office to turn the key in. That was at 6:45PM. We knocked the place was locked, we looked all over the skeet area, the archery range, and the boat and RV lots. Couldn’t find the man anywhere.

We sat and waited figuring he went to get dinner and he’d be back because all of the storage sheds were open, the truck was there with the windows rolled down, the golf cart was out, and all of the lights were on in the building. All the makings of someone still working.

After half hour of waiting we decided to drive around the property again. I had my current manuscript I was working on to keep me busy, and hubs had been playing games on his phone. No big deal. We drove around, and nothing, no one. We honked the horn. No one showed face. We were concerned with having the key signed out in our name and didn’t feel like wasting the time or gas to return it the next day. We really wanted to get rid of it then and there.

Finally we figured we would have to suck it up and bring it back another day, we drove back around to leave the property (down a different road). And as we neared the front gate it didn’t look good. It was closed. When we got close up. It was locked. Not just with one lock, but three huge Master locks. Nice. I am mildly claustrophobic. So needless to say I went into panic mode the second I saw the cluster of locks. My brain went into survival mode, even though I knew we’d get out, and things would be fine. But this is how my brain works. I planned my escape several different ways, and then I felt better knowing there were options.

So we went back to the office to read all the notices and papers on the building to find phone numbers for emergencies. Or something, or anything. The only number listed was for the front desk there. And of course no one answered that earlier when we tried. We tried it a of couple of times.

I contacted my son who had a friend staying the night at our house, and my daughter who was with a friend watching a soccer game, to let them know our predicament. Worst case scenario we were stuck overnight until 8am when the lot opened for business again, which would still get us home to collect our son and his friend to get them to their soccer game at 9am. We had the key to the RV lot so we were gonna hook up the battery and open the camper for the night. Hubs would kick back on the bed and watch TV, while I worked on my books. It's not a bad place to be trapped in.



That was our fall back plan, after I found a pizza guy to deliver pizza through the locked gate. Because other than a half a cup of water, this was all we had:




So we called information and got the number for the base police. We called the number and got a voice mailbox. Uh, yeah, no. Hubs looked through his phone numbers looking for one that he might have had listed in his cell for MWR. But no such luck. I called information again and got the non-emergency number for Virginia Beach police. They couldn’t help of course it’s not their jurisdiction, but they gave me a different number for the base police.

Someone answered that number, thank goodness. This was at 7:30. We were told to go wait by the gate someone would be there. Hubs joked that they couldn't find the keys... At 8PM two guys show up with keys. None work. They chuckle about it while we talk through the fence looking like prisoners. They told us another unit would be on the way soon with more keys.

The Gate

It got dark, and we sat listening to the F-18 fighter jets do touch and goes. The vibrations shook the truck. I love that!

At that point we were having a “Money Pit” moment…if you don’t know what that is, watch the video, and yes we did laugh like that:



At 8:40 the second base unit shows up. He was some nice eye candy, so that was a plus. He gave us each forms to fill out for the call. Hubs waggled his eyebrows at me and said it was a ploy to get my phone number. Haha, I love that man. He makes me laugh daily.


As we were talking with cutie pie a message came over his radio that said the proprietor had been located and he was on the way, it would be 25 minutes.

So we went back and sat in our truck and 20 mins later, at 9:10PM we were freed with a bunch of apologies and one angry manager, and some other car pulled up too, I’m guessing another employee got a call. Amazing how they all three showed up at once. Not one sooner than the other.

The sight of freedom

Turns out the guy we needed was already on base in the movie theater watching a movie. He had his phone turned off for the movie I guess.

He explained what happened that evening. He was at the front desk and knew we were on site, a little while later he was going to head out and asked the other worker if we had turned in our key. The kid said we did. But he must've been talking about the people on site before us. Then all the employees left. Ten minutes later is when we rolled up to the office.

They have procedures in place to prevent this from happening and we are classic examples of what happens when one doesn’t follow them. Before anyone left they are supposed to inventory the keys to the boat and RV lots. Supposed to.

Oh, and that puddle behind the truck wasn't from the truck. Just sayin'.
So, have you ever been locked in somewhere? Let me know in the comments.

4 comments:

  1. When I was five or six, way back before debit cards and people actually pumped your gas and took cash, we stopped for gas. Me being five or six had to go tinkle, so I did my thing and my mom was in the car waiting on me.... what she hadn't noticed was, the guy had locked up and turned out the lights. That sounds really bad now that I think about it...but anyway, the guy had driven away... I was locked inside the gas station and my mom was panicking. This was also long before cell phones....thankfully, pay phones were everywhere. We didn't even have 911 back then... I had to wait and I cried, and cried, and cried. I was already afraid of the world, it put me over the edge. I have been afraid of gas station bathrooms ever since.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I don't think I would recover from that. I don't remember anything like that happening to me as a child. But as a teen I got stuck in an elevator in the middle of the night during a field trip from NY to DC and we weren't supposed to be out of our rooms. I was alone heading back to my room when it happened. But just as I was about to freak out the lights came back on and the doors opened. Then last year I got stuck in an elevator, alone again, but this time I had my phone and was trying to call someone when the thing kicked into gear and let me out. I shouldn't do elevators alone anymore. I'm convinced lol.
      So I totally understand your few of gas station bathrooms. I get anxious over elevators.

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    2. everyone has field trip elevator stories! You def should avoid the alone ride. It would suck to be in with someone as claustrophobic as you and have you both freak out - or a stinky person.

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