Finding Holiday Cheer

A still from a commercial for retailer IKEA shows two strangers making the best of their holiday while trapped in an elevator. Image produced by stv DDB via Ad Week.

As we approach the holidays, we are reminded to count our blessings. For most of us, that’s easy to do, because our greatest gifts — friends and family — are with us to enjoy the season. Not everyone, however, is so fortunate. According to figures cited by Sweden-based IKEA, a housewares retailer best known for its do-it-yourself furniture, about three in 10 people spend their holidays away from family. To help illustrate the point, IKEA teamed up with Italian advertising agency stv DDB to create a charming commercial that features … you guessed it: a broken elevator with two strangers trapped inside. A big thank you to industry publication Ad Week for bringing the spot to our attention; watch it here on their website.

Cold Starbucks and Claustrophobia: One Writer’s Account of Being Stuck in an Elevator

Madison, Wisconsin-based writer Doug Moe was visiting Washington, D.C., with his wife recently when he became stuck in their hotel elevator on the way back from fetching Starbucks. Moe wrote a pretty entertaining account of his misadventure for Madison Magazine. Check it out here!

Writer Doug Moe is clearly relieved to have been rescued by firefighters.

Are Mechanic Shortages Getting to a Crisis Point?

Not enough licensed mechanics to maintain record number of Toronto elevators

EW readers will know that undermanned maintenance routes are nothing new around the world, especially in North America. Now, there’s “a growing fear we may be on the verge of a crisis,” Toronto’s CityNews recently reported. The article and accompanying video outline the problem is being acerbated in the city as high-rise condominium building construction continues at a rapid pace.

“There’s no short term solution,” remarked Rob Isabelle, chief operating officer of KJA Consultants Inc. and elevator expert who’s often interviewed (by CBC here) on high-profile Ontario elevator news, such as the recent Reliable Elevators Act. Commenter Karen Peters Wallace said quite accurately:

“I am one of 53 students currently studying to be an elevator mechanic at Durham College (the only school that offers training in this field); we are in our second year hoping to graduate in April. The problem with the shortage is that getting into the elevator industry has traditionally been one where you need to know someone who is already in the industry to get in. And there was no school that offered the program. Also, the trades is not something that people want to do these days. I would be nice to see more women get involve in this industry.”