I have terrific sense of direction unless you stick me in an elevator. I do not know why those things screw up my internal compass. In smaller buildings I actually prefer taking the stairs. Granted I've had other elevator encounters that cause this.
Back when I was a young bachelor living in the Toronto area on the top floor of a very tall building, I got a lesson in elevators from my younger brother Jake. Apparently a lot of old elevators can swing around inside the shaft and grind against the concrete walls while they are in motion. On the way to my apartment Jake and I were crashing our bodies from side the side trying to see if this applied to the more modern ones we were riding in. Not the most mature thing to be doing but hey we had this need to know at the time. It didn't work, so no harm done.
Some time after this incident I had the bright idea to try something else. I decided to try jumping as the elevator began its descent to see how much airtime I could get. In the process I got quite a bit of bounce out of the cables, so I started jumping up and down seeing how much I could get the elevator to bounce. Evidently there is some kind of sensor on the cables in case they break that engages the emergency brake on the elevator. Had the elevator cables actually broken this would have saved my stupid carcass. In this case my journey ground to a halt somewhere between the fourteen and the fifteenth floor. Oh crap. How am I going to explain my way out of this one?
I'm not a very patient person. I didn't feel like waiting all night for someone to rescue me. Kids in the building pushed the emergency button on those things all the time and they were for the most part ignored. I didn't want to go deaf either. Why do those things have to ring inside the elevator instead of the superintendents office? I'm the one pushing the fool button. I don't need to hear the bell. My potential rescuers need to hear it and they aren't inside the elevator. I have no idea how long I might have waited but I was ready to take matters into my own hands if possible.
I managed to wedge my fingertips far enough around the edge of the door to start pulling it open. Elevators have an inner door that's part of the elevator itself and an outer door that stays with each floor. I got the inner one open not sure if that would do me any good. What I saw was a whole bunch of mechanical stuff that didn't mean much to me. Had to think about it for awhile. There was a big sheet of metal that had the number fourteen on it. I clued in. The last number to flash on the floor indicator had been fourteen before it had gone black. A little bit of fiddling and that sheet slid out of the way affording me a view of the fourteenth floor hallway. I worried that the elevator might suddenly start moving again before making a quick leap to safety. I ran down the hall laughing like an idiot. I took the stairs to a different floor and then caught the other elevator to complete my journey. I felt like I'd gotten away with one that time. I'm just glad I didn't have to wait for rescue and explain anything.