A woman who found herself locked in the office ladies’ room managed to eventually free herself after she was inspired by The Shawshank Redemption.
Karen Perrin, who is on the staff of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Washington D.C., was working late on Friday evening. As she wrapped things up, she called her husband to tell him she was on the way home.
Before leaving the office, she made what was supposed to be a quick trip to the bathroom, and understandably left her cell phone and other belongings on her desk.
After washing her hands, Perrin discovered that the door had locked behind her, and no one was around at that hour, especially on a Friday. She would spend the next eight hours — equivalent to an entire work day — stuck in the bathroom.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Perrin said. “I felt hopelessness. I felt like I was going to die in there because of the anxiety I was feeling.”
Among other things, she pushed hundreds of paper towels under the door to try to attract the attention of the security cameras.
She also unsuccessfully tried to reach an escape hatch in the ceiling, but in that effort she discovered a three-foot long rod that evidently turned out to be her “redemption.”
As reported by the Daily Mail:
“In a scene straight out of the classic 1994 prison-break film Shawshank Redemption, the office worker clawed her way through the wall using the metal tool until she was able to make a hole big enough for her hand to reach through it and open the door from the other side.”
“I thought about Shawshank Redemption,” Perrin revealed, adding that after she clawed through the door “I was crying. I felt like I was escaping a bad dream, like when you have a nightmare and you wake up and your heart is pounding and you realize, ‘Oh, I was just dreaming. Did that just happen. Am I OK?’ ”
After this ordeal, Karen Perrin — who is married to former Washington Redskins running back Lonnie Perrin — is resting comfortably at home and says she doesn’t have any plans to sue. She is, however, urging building management to change its procedures, so no one is ever trapped in a locked bathroom again.
[thumbnail image credit: Raysonho]