It was after 10pm, Perrin was working late and was about to leave when she went to the ladies room before heading home.
After washing her hands, Perrin discovered she was locked in the bathroom.
"I thought, ‘Ah! This cannot be’," she told ABC News. "It sounds crazy, but I went back into the stall and then washed my hands again hoping to change something."
Perrin, who suffers from claustrophobia, had left her cellphone on her desk so couldn’t call for help. Attempts to attract attention by sticking paper towels under the door came to nothing. She tried kicking in the door, breaking the handle and dismantling the lock.
After six hours Perrin tried to escape through an escape hatch in the ceiling. It didn’t work, but she did come away with a metal rod and a new plan.
"I thought about Shawshank Redemption," she said. Like the protagonist, Perrin used the rod and broken door handle to create a hole in the wall. Two hours later she had created a hole big enough to stick her arm through, so she could reach around and open the door from the outside.
"I came undone," she said. "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 realise, ‘Oh, I was just dreaming. Did that just happen? Am I OK?'"
Perrin immediately called her worried husband. No word yet on how her employer feels about the renovations.
Office worker Karen Perrin is taking a couple of days off after her normal work day ended in a scene reminiscent of something from a prison movie.