The door handle broke after work; I’m stuck in the bathroom.

The door handle broke after work; I’m stuck in the bathroom.

I can’t believe I’m trapped in the bathroom.

Hashtag #myinternationalifeinChile

I am so convinced that these special moments happen to me just so that I can make a funny and interesting blog post. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!! So, this is how it all began tonight.

Typically, either my office mate Olga or myself are the last two people to leave the office for the day. Since the recent change to daylight savings time in Chile (we recently entered fall season), it has begun to get dark outside even before we all depart from the office work day. Today, Olga and I left around the same time and I decided to stop by the bathroom in order to make my walk home more enjoyable (I drank a lot of juice today).

It had been raining like Noah’s Ark this past week and the door is made of all natural wood. It was particularly damp today as my glasses started to fog over as I worked at my desk. In response, I opened a window to help with air circulation upstairs. Returning to my bathroom account, as I attempted to exit el baño downstairs, the unlock mechanism would not engage to open the bathroom door. Now there are two locks on the door, one is a simple turn-key device and other is an automatic lock. I looked at the area more closely to ensure that I had not mistakenly turned the manual lock the wrong way. To my shock and later horror, I realized that I had not made a mistake and that the manual lock was open; and that I had in fact been trapped in the bathroom.

Everyone was gone for the day and the campus was approaching empty with regards to inhabitants. I kept trying to turn the lock manually in hopes that it would pop open but, the damp weather had softened the wood. Instead of popping open, the lock hand and screw just popped off into my panicked hand.

At first I just stood there in disbelief waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out of nowhere and tell me I had just been “Punked” (a popular US TV program). Then, I began to frantically search for any MacGyver-like instrument that could be used to free me from my “indelicate” prison. I located a steak knife that was under the bathroom sink cabinet where we keep our coffee supplies and tried to pry the lock open. But, it wasn’t working. I then started to pound on the door, “¡Hola! ¡Hola! ¿Alguien está allí? ¡La puerta se rompió y estoy atrapado dentro!

I next, just took a step back and calmed myself. I started rationalizing, well it won’t be so bad if I have to spend the night in the bathroom in our office. At least I have coffee. Then I thought, well I usually get home after everyone else in the house and they will likely not even notice that I’m not home. I felt the panic starting to mount… what if my daughter sends me a Facebook share or message, and I never respond back during the whole night? I know after a few hours she’s call my cell phone and that’s inside of my purse which is now resting on the couch on the other side of the door. Then, she’s going to get upset and call one of my sisters and before we all know it, it will be an international incident being played out on CNN (of course I’m exaggerating for humor’s sake). So, I said to myself, I’ve got to get out of this bathroom. I took a deep breath, said a prayer (which I should have done in the first place anyways) and the knife popped the door right open. I don’t know how, but I was free.

As I approached the exit there was a man standing there with his cell phone in hand who had heard my cry for help. He was in the process of calling the campus guards to come help me. I told him what happened and that I was fine. We both had a big chuckle as I explained to him what had happened. I thanked him for his willingness to rescue me and headed home. I first wrote our office manager a note on Facebook about the incident when I arrived home. But before that, I left a note on the door in Spanish telling everyone not to close the bathroom door because they will be trapped inside. lol I finally rushed home to write this blog post. I guess the moral of this story is don’t panic, because I am just lovin’ my #internationallifeinchile. 🙂

2 thoughts on “The door handle broke after work; I’m stuck in the bathroom.

  1. Happened to me a week ago, I didn’t want to bust the door, so I was able to use the nail filer from a pair of nail clippers to undo the screws and pop the door knobs off and tried to move the mechanism inside to pull the bolt back, nothing, i tried and tried, I was getting hot and sweaty because I just finished a shower. I started getting desperate, no one was home, i had no phone with me. But luckily I had my machete in the bathroom (left it in there after cleaning it from yard work) So I said **** it!, wedged the tip into the door knob hole, popped the mechanism out and began wedging it back and forth to try and cut the bolt out, needless to say the door was flimsy and began splitting down the side and so i just pryed it back and thats all she wrote.


  2. Ha Ha great story!! Good on for you regarding the ingenious escape! We really find out what we are made of in a situation for survival. No? 🙂 Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing your story.


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