Fun with sliding doors

Finding a way in to work is more challenging some days than others

At the entrance to my office there's one of those electronic glass sliding doors. This, I realise, is not the most exciting opening to a piece of text. But it has been causing me mild consternation over the past few weeks.

You see, it's not one of those automatic walk-up-and-just-keep-going doors. There are only two ways for it to be opened. Either you wave your pass in front of the scanner and wait for the beep, wait again, wait a bit longer, eventually realise that you've been using your driving licence, get out the right card and wave again until it opens.

Or, for people without passes (or who have left them next to their keys, wallet and carefully-prepared packed lunch on the kitchen table at home), the receptionist - who faces the door - can press the little button under her desk. Easy.

So far, so mundane. But the receptionist in question appears - unless I'm very much mistaken - to be having what one might call "a bit of fun" with her powers of door opening. I'll explain.

Most times, if she's sitting at her desk and I'm clearly headed towards the door with a confident "I want to get to the other side" stride, she'll simply press the button as I approach and let me through, saving me the bother of having to use my pass. This, as you can imagine, is a perfect arrangement.

However, sometimes - let's say, one in five - just when I've perhaps begun to expect the door to be opened as previously described, she chooses for whatever reason not to press the button. Inevitably, on these occasions I march confidently towards the door, which doesn't then open, and I have to stop myself millimetres before smacking myself on the glass.

It gets worse. Several times, having noticed that the door wasn't going to be opened for me, I've begun the long and arduous task of finding my pass. Now, I'm not going to lie to you here. I'm a somewhat disorganised person. My pass doesn't have a dedicated "place" and looking for it invariably involves emptying the contents of my bag and whatever rubbish has accumulated in my pockets on to the floor.

After a bit of stomping around and the occasional desperate flinging of arms in the air, it usually turns up but it's only then, just when I've repacked my belongings, shoved the fluff back into my pockets and am fractions of a millisecond from waving my card in front of the scanner in jubilation, that the receptionist presses the button and the doors open sarcastically in front of me. I've never heard anything or seen the slightest hint of a grin on her face, but I'm sure she's sniggering at me.

Whether the receptionist is doing it on purpose or not, I'm going to have the last laugh. Next time I'm heading for the door, before she's had a chance to press the button or not, I'm going to sprint suddenly towards the glass at full speed without stopping. That'll teach her.

 

Published: January 27, 2011 04:00 AM

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