I Was Trapped in a Conde Nast Elevator!

Part Two in What We Hope to Be a Series

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On Wednesday afternoon, I found myself trapped with four Conde Nast Publications employees in an elevator at the lavish 4 Times Square tower. Once we got over the initial shock, an absolutely unsurprising refrain emerged: "Imagine if Anna were in here too."
Credit: Greg Palmer
That's Vogue's Anna Wintour, of course, and even though the odds against such an occurrence are pretty long, given her reputation for preferring solo elevator rides, the vision of the company's most powerful editor suffering the same indignity that we were was apparently too good to let go.

The general consensus was that if Anna were in the car, there would have been hell to pay. As things were, we were the only ones paying. The Captivate Network's clever name began to seem less clever, especially after the fifth time we watched its monitor scroll through the news, weather, student poetry and a slide touting the greatness of the building that had trapped us.

The heat slowly rose.

People took turns sitting on the floor.

Help was on the way from the start, but getting five people out of a stuck elevator turns out to take a little time. We occasionally heard helpful instructions from the other side of the door, but they mostly comprised "Stay put!"

Someone managed to briefly pry the doors open to reveal about six inches of space that only someone very, very small could have escaped through. "Even Anna couldn't fit through that," one of my temporary cellmates cracked.

We told stories to kill the time, although never far off the topic. "I rode the elevator here with Bono once," one man remarked.

"I had James Gandolfini," another passenger said.

After about 50 minutes, the building staff pulled an adjacent elevator nearly even with ours, opened a side door into our elevator, led us onto the roof of the waiting car one shaft over, and finally lifted us to freedom.

"This is the last time I bring flowers upstairs," joked one passenger, who'd been stuck in the elevator because someone refused to go downstairs to pick up her floral arrangement.

Who were the flowers for, we asked.

"Anna Wintour," she said.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Names were withheld to protect the innocent.

For more coverage from Ad Age reporters trapped in elevators, see this story.