"Our call centre will be in touch with you shortly."
I could feel the panic rising.
Just how was some guy in Delhi or Bangkok going to open the doors of a lift in Dublin?
It was a very small lift, just room for Smiley in her enormous wheelchair, and me, and as the seconds ticked by, it felt as though the walls were closing in further.
Not good for someone who struggles with mild claustrophobia.
It began as just another shopping trip with my special girl. She loves shopping, especially in familiar streets. She owns them. She sits and surveys the crowds and laughs and giggles and smiles and chats with anyone who stops to give her attention. And lots of people do.
Getting in a lift is almost unavoidable in the city centre shops, even though I dislike them. Though if they have windows they are almost tolerable. Lifts involve lots of things that makes me anxious: waiting, small confined spaces, heat, unexplained noises.
But with a wheelchair I have no choice, and Smiley has no concerns. So once again we waited, entered and pressed the button for the first floor. The doors closed and the lift rose. Then it went quiet and the doors started to open. Well one of them did. It opened a couple of centimeters and then stopped.
There must be some mistake I thought, and pressed the <> button. Grinding noises. A little shake. And again the inner door opened a fraction.
All I could think of were scenes from movies. The good, the bad and the potentially useful. I pushed at the doors with all my strength and willed them to open.
I could not quite believe that this was happening.
I knew that I had to stay calm. The lights were still on, so at least it was not a power cut.
Okay, so press the alarm button. And that's when I got the message about the call centre.
And started to feel much less calm.
I pressed the buttons again and again, and was just about to start pounding on the doors when....
Somehow, my prayers were answered and the doors finally slid drunkenly open.
Shakily I pushed the chair out and stumbled over to customer service to report the fault. I must have been a little pale as tea was offered. I declined, but have been avoiding lifts ever since...