Ask a good-humored elevator operator how his job is going and he might say, "Well, there are a lot of ups and downs."
That's such a bad joke.
Humor aside, Ball State student Megan Peppers is probably the person least likely to find that joke funny right now.
Peppers, a freshman, called police at around 8 p.m. Sunday from an elevator in Brayton-Clevenger. She said she had been stuck in the elevator for more than an hour.
The elevator was running but not making any stops. Normally, the elevators in LaFollette Complex only stop on the sixth floor (and the first floor, of course).
A witness said the elevator went up and down approximately 51 times. Peppers said she counted to around 60.
Police said they were waiting on an elevator repair person to arrive and stop the elevator car. The repair person lives about 90 minutes from Muncie, the police said.
"I laid down and took a nap," Peppers said. "There's not much to do in the elevator."
Peppers said her roommate was stuck in the elevator earlier in the week and said she saw signs posted telling students to ride the elevator at their own risk. Peppers decided, however, that she would take a chance.
Sixty elevator trips later, her chance became something else - an alarming and long-overlooked safety issue.
Does anyone else find this situation ridiculous?
If the elevators are this unreliable, there are two choices - and negligence is not one of them:
1. Remove the elevators, shut them down and don't use them at all.
2. Repair or restore them to new condition.
There is no excuse - none - for an inoperable or unreliable elevator in a campus building. The residence halls are overcrowded and students need operating elevators.
It's bad enough that students have to deal with the daily inconvenience of an elevator that does not even stop on their floors, but now those elevators are failing?
Even though Peppers was not physically injured during Sunday's incident, one must wonder, what will it take to get a reliable, safe elevator?
The elevators in LaFollette are historically unreliable, and it's time to take this safety issue seriously.
Fix the elevators before someone gets hurt.