72 stories

Burj_Khalifa_building I have a list of fears. Here they are:

1. Bugs
2. Mice
3. Ghosts
4. Making eye contact with food
5. Heights
6. Scary movies

This is not like the real list of fears, but more, I dunno, the ones that are purely in my head (though I suppose one could argue they are all sort of real.) This week, I toured a event venue for work that was more of a construction site than any other I had previously visited. We were going to see one on the 72nd floor (top floor) and the 54th floor. We had to wear hard hats, construction boots, reflector vests, official ID. The venue rep asked if I had ever ridden a “hoist” before. No idea what that was but said I was psyched. I pictured one of those balconies on an accordion-like extention steel arm. (I think my mind is a cartoon land with only obscure, child-like references at my disposal.) It was basically a metal cage with open doors that goes up and down the site, to carrying pipes, steel, glue, etc., whatever people use to building skyscrapers. When got on and made our first stop for some construction guys, it was the fourth floor and I was already gigglnig maniacally and my co-worker was teasing me because I tend to react dramatically to some life stimuli. The guys were like, um, ma’am, this is the fourth floor, you’re going to 72. You should chill.

I am sure I looked like a pathetic office minion to this big burly construction guy, but up we went in this metal box that had sides that were enclosed on two sides by metal cage walls that opened in the middle. Every time we reached a floor, there was a slight up, then quick down motion that made my stomach lurch. I was hoping this skyscraper project had excellent building codes and working equipment because there was nothing to hold on to if we were to freefall. I could see the newspaper headlines the next time in my mind’s eye, of the unfortunate one time the hoist broke, with me on it. My co-worker yelled at me for telling her that (even though I only told her after we were done with the entire door and safely back on ground.) Later, she said although she was making fun of me, she realized she was also on the terrified side. We walked down twenty flights so we didn’t’ have to go back to hoist until we were entirely done with the tour. When you’re on the site, you have to wait til the hoist happens to be there. So we waited for what seemed forever. It was hot, we had gear on, and I would have killed for an ice-cold soda.

5 Replies to “72 stories”

  1. I have sweaty palms just reading about. I actually do. I don’t think I could have done it.

  2. Also, good for you for not 1)crying and whimpering the whole time 2)curling in the fetal position until it was all over and 3)slapping your co-worker for mocking you. You are a stronger person than I.

  3. My Dad went up in the hoist in one of the unfinished World Trade Center towers. I can barely handle the Guggenheim.

  4. ugh, jen, that’s where this was! one of the world trade center buildings! also g and e, i don’t think i would have done it if i knew what it would be like, but we were both completely wiped out after it was. like our legs were shaky from doing the stairs, it was hot and dry, and oh yeah, i’m TERRIFIED OF HEIGHTS.

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