ATLANTA–Catastrophe struck when coworkers shared a disastrous 21-floor elevator ride Monday morning. The two colleagues, Raymond Driscoll and Patricia Manahan, were heading to their office in a Midtown high rise when something went terribly wrong.
“At first we talked about how rainy it’s been,” said Manahan, 41. “Ray said his wife had to cancel a cook-out last weekend. I said my kids hated being stuck inside.”
“Patty seemed to agree that we’ve been having an unusually wet summer,” offered Driscoll, 46. Driscoll and Manahan are both employees at Proof Positive, a small local marketing agency. After their exchange about the rain, however, they hit an awkward pause, and the situation deteriorated quickly.
Panicking, the two began speaking at the same time, prompting a vicious cycle. Manahan is haunted by the memory. “We both just kept saying, ‘no, you go.’ It was…awful.”
Desperate to get the conversation back on track, and not thinking clearly, Driscoll plunged ahead. Manahan said she’ll “never forget” his next words: “Pretty soon, we’ll have to swim to work!” When asked to comment on that remark, Driscoll could only murmur, “Oh god. Oh god.”
He wasn’t the only one reeling from the encounter. Elevator surveillance shows Manahan looking visibly shaken, unable to respond to Driscoll’s reckless attempt at rescuing the conversation. The remaining floors passed in excruciating silence.
“I couldn’t even look at him,” Manahan admitted. “Not after that.”
Though their ordeal is now over, the lessons of that morning won’t be soon forgotten. Said Driscoll, “In the break room today, Mike Fields asked me if I caught the Braves game. I told him to go fuck himself.”