Do you ever feel trapped by a company because of their ineffectual and unsympathetic ways? Reader Josh had that feeling because he and his friend Omar were literally trapped inside Public Storage for an hour-and-a-half when the facility locked its gates 10 minutes early. Omar called Public Storage's 800 number, and after waiting on hold for 20 minutes, he was told to call a different number which also placed him on hold. Meanwhile, Josh decided to call the local police department who told them they had no way to open the gate. While searching the facility for a place to escape, they discovered the trailer where the manager lives. She was none too happy to help Josh and Omar and told them that their release would result in an extra charge on Omar's bill.
"Brea Police Department."
"Yes, my friend and I are trapped in a Public Storage complex. We think the gate is broken."
"Oh, that's no good."
"...this is the police department, right?"
"Okay. Is there some way you could send someone down here to let us out."
"Where did you say you were again?"
"OH. Hold on."
"No. We have no way of opening the gate."
"No way whatsoever."
"What if our cars were on fire?"
At this point I seriously considered setting our cars on fire.
"No. There's nothing we could do."
"So you'd let this place burn down?"
"There's nothing we could do. You should try to park your cars and hop over a fence."
This particular story jumped out at me because the police do, in fact, have a way of opening the gates. Emergency services have a special code that they enter to open the gates in case police or someone needs to get inside one of the storage units. In the case of a storage facility near my place, it's *911 on the keypad. It even works on the doors to the main building.
The lengthy pause was the operator's supervisor telling them not to give the number out.
You learn something new every day.