"Oh No This Is an Elevator" — Man Tried Calling the Department of Education

A woman fielded a mysterious call while riding solo in an elevator but here's the catch, the call was coming from the elevator itself. Details ahead.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Oct. 2 2023, Published 4:07 p.m. ET

There are so many ways in which the 1996 movie 12 Monkeys nearly parallels our lives today. For one thing, it's partially set in a dystopian future where the remaining members of the human race are forced underground when a deadly virus wipes out most of humanity. Scientists have figured out a way to send people back in time in an attempt to stop the virus from spreading, and they often use criminals. Bruce Willis is one of these criminals.

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When Bruce's character is sent back, he is told he'll be able to communicate with the scientists of his time by calling a number and leaving a voicemail. The number is for a carpet cleaning company. In what feels like a deleted scene from this movie, one woman on TikTok was riding in an elevator when a voice began speaking via the intercom. Evidently he was trying to reach the Department of Education, but was he secretly trying to contact scientists in the future? I really hope not.

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As if elevators weren't scary enough.

When Sydney Utendahl stepped into an elevator, presumably to go up or down, it went in an entirely unexpected direction. While taking advantage of the unusually good elevator lighting, aka snapping selfies, Sydney was interrupted by a disembodied voice.

Was it a deity of some sort? Did the Wizard of Oz pop up to caution her against peeking behind the curtain? Perhaps Sydney was riding in a haunted elevator. Incidentally, imagine being forced to spend your afterlife in a lift. I guess that would be the afterlift?

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It was actually D, none of the above. The mystery man whose vocal stylings appeared out of thin air belonged to a gentleman who somehow called the elevator, and I don't mean called it to his floor.

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"Is this the Department of Education," asked the confused voice. In what can only be described as the perfect comedic response, Sydney said, "Oh no, this is the elevator."

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What really gets me about this exchange, is how the man calling is so accepting of the status quo. "Oh OK," he says after Sydney tells him he has rung up an elevator. If that were me, I would immediately point out how weird it is that I dialed a number that belongs to an elevator.

To her credit, Sydney is equally as nonplussed. In this moment, neither of them wants to comment on how freaky this actually is. What other wrong numbers will take us to elevators and how can we be sure this error is limited to those call boxes? To be perfectly honest with the invention of cell phones, call boxes aren't nearly as common but still, what a thought.

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Sydney then apologizes, which is also very funny. It's nice of her to feel bad that this poor man is calling an elevator and not the Department of Education. "I don't know how to end the call," she tells him before the confused gentleman hangs up himself.

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In the TikTok you can see a button that reads "Call Cancel," which a few people pointed out in the comments. In a followup TikTok, Sydney explained that this button only works if she picked up an actual call. "I was literally taking selfies in the elevator, and then I hear a 'Hello?'" That was when she hit record but also, and I agree with this, Sydney said those elevator buttons are scary. I've seen far too many horrifying elevator scenes in movies to just be pushing buttons, all willy nilly.

As of the time of this writing, Sydney posted one more TikTok about the incident in which she expressed her hope that the elevator man sees the original TikTok and reaches out. Wouldn't this be a crazy meet cute? And that's how I met your mother.

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