Survival kit: Bank employees say thanks to cleaning crew that got stuck in elevatorThe following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by award-winning Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in The Superior Telegram.
By: By Don Leighton, For The Telegram, Superior Telegram
Even though it was a long time ago, June 20 to be precise, I have not fully recovered from my almost date with destiny that included my potential watery demise.
Friends will affirm that I am not as normal as before. Those tending to my mental welfare are extremely worried and speak in hushed tones whenever I approach.
My greatest fear is I will never realize or experience the normal life again. However, I have some friends who are trying to help.
The staff at National Bank of Commerce in Superior realizes the problems that arose from the “great flood of June 20.”
Not to be confused with Noah and the Ark, when 40 days and nights of rain covered the earth, the seven to 10 inches of rain our area received was plenty. I cannot begin to imagine what 40 days and nights of that stuff would do. Noah and his family built an ark. Noah had pretty good advice.
Back to that fateful night in the elevator at 1127 Tower Ave.
After my son Chris and I were trapped, with massive flooding imminent, Superior’s other finest, the Fire Department, came to rescue us from our potentially watery tomb. Vern Johnson, Jim Lehikoinen, Joe Tribbey and Lindzi Campbell saved our lives. For that, we are forever in their debt.
However, as Paul Harvey used to say, “And now, the rest of the story.”
Friday, June 29, was hot and humid. My phone rang. I answered it. It was Amy Nelson, executive secretary for the bank’s CEO Steve Burgess. She asked me to come to the bank at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the bank’s commitment with the iFan Sports Network.
The marketing director, Valerie Blanchenay, and Burgess wanted to see me. The bank has been advertising with iFan since day one, nine years ago.
“Discussing their commitment” sounded rather ominous.”
I arrived promptly and saw many close personal friends, including Sandy Mattson and Lissa Hendricks. (Obviously they were there to administer my blood pressure medicine.) I saw others but can’t remember who because I was apprehensive about my about-to-occur meeting. In my opinion, there was nothing to “discuss” about the bank’s “commitment” to iFan. President Bruce Thompson has declared the National Bank of Commerce as the “Official Bank of the iFan Sports Network.” Who am I to argue with the President? What was there to discuss? Woe was me.
I was led to an area where Valerie and Steve were ready to implement their dastardly scheme.
Valerie spoke first in matter of fact deliberate tones. “We need to discuss the bank’s commitment to iFan.”
As she said this, she looked away from me and sighed deeply. With regret in her voice and despair in my sinking stomach, I was asked to turn around. Assuming we were going to the conference room for bad news behind closed doors, I turned and there were all of the employees currently working in the bank. Apparently all of the employees were going to give me the bad news. Valerie and Steve know there is strength in numbers and felt compelled to enlist all of the workers of the bank to assist them while discussing their “commitment.”
Rather than scaling back or even cancelling their advertising package with iFan, they presented me a survival kit suitable for use if ever trapped in an elevator again.
What an act of kindness.
The kit contained great stuff: a couple of plastic pails used to bail water, (where would I throw the water?), a couple of cans of Coke, (not a good idea to drink anything when stuck in an elevator), a rubber ducky (I guess the little fellow could float around as the water level increased), and lots of other playthings, (to keep me calm while the fire department is summoned).
These people are great, and their sense of humor was incredible. I was reeled in and almost, I said almost, speechless.
If my son and I had not been stuck in their elevator at 1 a.m., no one from the bank would have known of the flooding and the basement would have suffered extensive water damage. I asked for a new Durango from Superior Chrylser Center, but the kit was my “reward.”
We owe a lot to Bobbi Dumonsau and her husband Frank, who laughed at our plight when I phoned them for help. Bobbi came to the bank, assured us we would not drown, (my son did not believe her), and called the fire department.
The people at the bank, especially Amy, Valerie and Steve, bagged me good; hook, line and sinker. I thank everyone at the bank for their support after such a traumatic event. As I said before, I may never again be normal.
I gave my son the Cokes but I kept all of the toys and pails for myself. He takes the stairs, but with my knees, I take the elevator.
Who knows, there may be another story one day?
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