Work Stuff

Navigating an Escape Room – Did We Do It?

Hint: see picture.

From left to right: Me, our medical secretary, our doctor, our nurse, our physician’s assistant.

We’ve been a team now for … nearly four years (?). We are a close-knit group and I’m very blessed to be a part of this group. It’s so rare to find people that you genuinely like, let alone want to stick around for that long together. We all recognize how blessed we are to have one another and we don’t take advantage of that. We celebrate our birthdays, medical secretary, nurses, physician assistant and medical assistant weeks together. We all know our roles on our team and we work well together. We just click.

I figure I have about ten more years before I retire. That will closely coincide with my doctor’s plans as well. He’s younger than me but being a surgeon is hard on your body so doctors typically retire younger than the rest of us mortals.

I know him pretty well and he has come to trust me. I’m very loyal to my doctor because he had my back when I was dealing with his nightmare nurse. And I stuck it out. I put up with her for two years and it got so bad it started affecting my physically and I ended up in the ER with what I thought was a heart attack. Thank God it was only anxiety. Something I never had before in my life before that nightmare on legs waltzed into my life. (And she was a legit nightmare – she was one of those people who loved being called a nurse but didn’t really want to be A nurse. Don’t get me started). And when I say loyal, I mean, he chose me over his nurse. I will forever feel grateful for that. I don’t know that anyone has ever really stuck up for me like that.

Telemedicine has been super hard on all of us. It’s completely reshaped who we are as medical professionals and in how we approach our processes. And Dr. M has seen how it has affected us, his team, and he wanted to show his appreciation by taking us out for Christmas.

Last Wednesday, we had a short clinic and after clinic, we all went to an Asian-inspired sandwich shop. We were all a little nervous to eat there because we didn’t understand half of what was on the menu but it was fun to try something different. I played it safe and stuck to good ole chicken but DAYUM, the chicken I had was delicious! It was heavy on the breading but it melted in my mouth and was so good!

He bought all of us presents. He gave me a foot massager. It’s not one of those with water but you stick your feet into the machine and it massages your feet. I haven’t tried it yet, but with my plans on getting back to walking, I’m looking forward to using it.

After our gift opening, we headed to the Escape Room. We checked in and Dr. M was kind enough to reserve the room so we wouldn’t have to worry about sharing it with strangers. He knew we would have much more fun if it was just the five of us. The name of our mystery to solve was “Missing Musician.”

Your mentor, and one of the world’s premier musicians, has gone missing.  On the precipice of releasing his masterpiece that would put his name with the great musicians of the past.  He’s always been a bit of a strange fellow, to have that kind of talent requires some level of insanity.  Over the past few months he’s become paranoid and reclusive and now he’s vanished with the only clue being a letter directing you to his study.

You decide to investigate but once in his study the door has shut and locked behind you.  Was there foul play involved or has he simply run off to never be heard from again?  It’s up to you to find out what happened to him and figure out how to get out of his study.

After going over the rules, they locked us in the room and we had one hour to try and figure out how to get out. There was a sofa, a cabinet with a box inside, pictures on the walls, something in the wall we had to open, sort of like a safe, a piano, and a bookcase. There was also a suitcase with three locks on it. The piano bench also had a lock. The piano cover had a lock on it and there were a few keypads around the room. In essence, we had to figure out codes and combinations to open the locks and punch into keypads. There was a large, flat screen TV on the wall and it all started with a short video explaining what happened to give us some context. If, after about ten minutes, we didn’t discover and solve the first puzzle, a clue would appear on the TV. We did not discover the first puzzle but we were able to figure it out after the clue was given. It all started with a cassette case in a box on the bookcase. On that cassette tape was the order in which we would find clues. That was hugely helpful but it was still very challenging.

I’ll be honest, we had a lot of clues. At one point, we found a key that opened a drawer in the wall which had another key and a flashlight/black light. We used that key to open another door which started a disco ball thingie on the coffee table turning and loud music to play. It also threw the room into a black light setting which allowed us to use the flashlight to illuminate clues on the walls. (I neglected to mention there was graffiti on the walls). After unlocking the padlock on the piano bench, we pulled out a series of music sheets that we then had to use on the piano to unlock another puzzle. It’s all very complicated and hard to explain, especially since the whole experience was a bit of a frenzied blur, but suffice it to say, I did little more than offer ideas now and again leaving it up to our nurse and physician’s assistant to solve the harder stuff.

Oh. There was one part where we had to place an aux cord into a power board using the clues we gleaned from the black light clues on the wall but for whatever reason it wouldn’t work. We KNEW we had it right but nothing happened. After about five minutes, one of the Escape Room workers popped his head in to see what was happening and he said they had had a power surge the night before and the board wasn’t working. Obviously, he gave us the next clue so we could move on and gave us extra time which was greatly appreciated.

The next to last clue was trying to figure out some hieroglyphics on some sheet music and once we figured it out, one of the pictures on the wall dropped scaring the beejeebus out of all us. All of us girls actually screamed and it was pretty funny. That was our jump scare, I suppose.

The last step was a series of levers that we had to either lift up or down, depending on the clues that we had and that gave us the combination to put into the keypad to unlock the door.

WE WON! We had six minutes to spare though to be fair, if we hadn’t been given extra time because of the malfunction it would have been SUPER close. But damn, it was fun. I think Dr. M had a lot of fun, too.

After we took our picture, we all got back into Dr. M’s truck (yes, he drove us all – how nice!) and headed back to the hospital. The day wasn’t quite over so me, our medical secretary and our nurse all went back inside to finish the day.

That is an odd feeling – to go out, have loads of fun and then immediately go back to work. lol

Anyway. I think it would be fun to do something like that with the family. Maybe I can talk them into doing something like that, we’ll see.

It was a great Christmas gift and we were able to forget, just for a time, the COVID nightmare for a little while. Though we all wore our masks the whole time so we couldn’t completely forget about it.

Have you ever done an escape room?