Fixing things is a great way to find stuff you never thought you’d find.
Just ask this weirdly specific Reddit prompt.
You might not think there would be so many stories about this kind of thing, but boy oh boy…
1. A driver’s license
I once accidently lost my drivers license down the little gap in the elevator doors, just dropped it and was super unlucky as it slipped through. It turned up in my mail 10 years later!
Obviously long expired, but still crazy some maintenance guy found it and bothered retuning it.
Worked at a hotel. Guest dropped their phone down the shaft. After a few failed retrieval efforts, we called the elevator guys.
They went down got the phone and also found a carton of eggs. Rotten, but not cracked. I don’t even understand how that could happen accidentally.
3. The mag bandit
My dad has a great story about this.
He supervised the mechanics, and one of them called him from a mental hospital and said “you’ve got to see this”.
The maintenance guy was called because the elevator wasn’t quite sitting level on the ground floor; it was about half an inch too high and both patients and staff had been tripping on it. But all other floors were no problem.
My dad arrived to find the maintenance guy cackling, looking into the bottom of the shaft. There were probably tens of thousands of magazines down there. They had to get a bunch of shovels, a small crew, and a rolling dumpster to clear it out. When it was all done, my dad decided to stay behind and pretend to read a newspaper while he sat in the lobby. After about half an hour, he sees an elderly patient holding a magazine, shuffling slowly toward the elevator. He stops in front of the doors, glances left, glances right, and quickly stoops down, slides the magazine into the gap, and shuffles away as fast as he can with a huge grin on his face. My dad could not help but laugh hysterically. This guy had probably been sliding magazines in there multiple times per day, every day, for decades. I should ask him whether he reported it or let the guy have his fun. Wouldn’t surprise me if my dad went with the latter.
4. Bugging out
One time, we were doing a rip out at an old factory. They were gutting them and turning them into luxury apartments. The elevator we were taking out was a sh**ty old freight that hadn’t run in years. When we finally ran it up, we went down to inspect the pit.
It smelled like a dead body had chilled there for half a century. The bottom floor wasn’t lit so I shined my flashlight under the elevator and the whole floor started moving. Roaches. Nasty
– [deleted user]
5. Aw, crap
Obligatory wasn’t an elevator tech but hotel maintenance.
Guest reports waterfall sounds in elevator shaft en route to the lobby. Investigation ensues. Sump pump at bottom of shaft is running constantly. Water is still coming out of the drain it’s connected to after I unplug it. Find out from notes of 3rd shift maintenance that multiple first floor rooms had repeated clogged toilets all night long. Plumber called. 6 inch sewer drain for the entire building is clogged. “Worst clog I’ve seen in 15 years.” Wash cloths and tp. Over 7 inches of clog in the pipe. Apparently it was clogged so bad that it was backing up into the laundry room, the drain for the elevator shaft and the rooms closest to the main pipe out of the building (first floor suites).
Solid turds were left at the bottom of that shaft. I quit about a week later for unrelated circumstances.
6. The adventures
Work for a major transit hub, we have our own trade departments. I’m in elevating.
Weirdest things i have found are as follows.
Chucky doll head. 13 rubber duckies in one pit. Drug needles almost daily. Silicone Gimp mask.
Everyday is an adventure.
7. Diamond in the rough
I used to work at an old 22 story building that had the first automated elevator system in our state. The idea was, in order to control the flow of people in the lobby you’d push the button for your floor and the elevator would tell you which one to get on. The elevators would make sure the crowds spread out over the big lobby.
Anyway, it was the first time I’d ever seen the auto-open eyes used, too. I worked on the executive floor, where long winded executives would often stop me as I was leaving. I got used to passing my hand through the doors to break the eye and hold the doors open.
You guessed it; my left hand didn’t trip the eye. The doors closed on my hand which was prevented from closing completely because of my heavy engagement and wedding rings. Crushed the whole mess and lost a two two carat diamond 22 stories below. My hand was only bruised, thank goodness for a safety shutoff.
I like to think that someday, someone will find a tiny treasure.
8. The key to it all
Not an elevator repair person, but you would be shocked by the number of nurses that drop their keys down the shaft.
20 stories up and 2 buildings away from the parking garage and they already had their keys in their hand. I had to call maintenance all the time for retrieval.
9. The price is right
Retired 40 years in the trade the best I ever found was a $20.00 bill but know a man that found a $7000.00 diamond ring kept it for six months no one ever asked about it and he gave it to his wife.
There are at least 6 people who saw a purple dildo and everyone left it there.
Either all have seen the same purple dildo or purple dildos are more a common sight at the bottom of the elevators shaft.
Absolutely sure everyone is telling the truth.
11. Really on the ball
i asked a guy this at work last night. Wasn’t as surprising as I expected. Just a ball. A very large ball. That had no business being able to get down there.
Then I asked if he ever left anything strange down there for the next guy. He went quiet and slowly turned to me, pulling a barbie out of his pocket…
12. Virtual pet peeves
It depends on the building / neighborhood. I’ve seen everything from dirty diapers, to used needles… keys, wallets, phones, picture frames, sandwiches, and I guess the icing on the cake was a tomagachi.
No, it didn’t work. So we typically just trashed everything unless it was valuable. I always turned jewelry into the managements office but I worked with guys who def sold valuables for unsavory purposes.
13. Let’s get it on
I had to clean some bad isolation at the top of the elevator chamber. So the maintenance guy bring the elevator with the top at the second floor and we go on top to drive to the top, on the elevator cabine were a few pairs of women underwear and used condoms.
So someone was having sex on the top of the elevator, how the got there was a mystery because it was a very modern one and you need a special key to open the control box to access the top of the elevator.
14. Slice it up
In college I pulled out my lanyard on which my motorola RAZR was sitting.
My phone flew up in the air and dropped in the gap between the elevator and the floor. It dropped 4 floors.
Maintenance was able to climb down there. My phone barely had a scratch.
15. The brick
Not a elevator-maintenance folk, but I remember when I was maybe 10 I had a Nokia 3310 I believe, one of the brick ones anyway. I dropped it down the bottom of the elevator shaft in the small gap in the doors from the 6/7th floor.
It was down there for months until I saw the elevator-maintenance man and asked if he could have a look. Not only was it still down there, unbroken – it also still had battery. Those were the days
I guess the lesson here is that they just don’t make phones like they used to.
Do you have any strange tales like this?
Share them with us in the comments.