Observations from the 10th Floor

By way of explanation:

The business in the office across the hall from mine recently moved to another location in the area that wasn't quite as expensive. They were replaced by Unnamed Government Agency Office. It's been interesting watching them move in, make the office their own and provide much entertainment those of us who like to watch Paranoia at its best.

The first thing they did - before they even moved in - was get rid of cheap-o partial glass double front doors and replace them with expensive full glass front doors. Then a couple of days later they removed the regular doors to what we could now see was their conference room directly behind the reception area and replaced them with double full glass front doors. We could now see directly into their conference room. A couple of weeks after that, I guess they realized that everyone in the hallway could see directly into their conference room, or perhaps they simply heard me planning the capture and theft of several of the $700 office chairs in their conference room that I covet, so they frosted the glass on the conference room doors.

We also are in a "secure" office building... there is a security guard in the downstairs lobby and he is theoretically supposed to have all visitors sign in, but that doesn't always happen or maybe there have just been a whole lot of threats on all Non-Essential and Largely Unknown Government Offices recently, so they hired their own security guard who sits inside the glass doors in their reception area. Or perhaps... they decided they needed to secure up the office from the Crazy Person who yelled to our receptionist everytime I went outside, "OK - now, you go to the front door and create a diversion. Pull up your shirt all 'Girls Gone Wild' style and I'll run in and get a chair for each of us."

But apparently they don't have much confidence in this person's ability to keep the rif-raf out (or maybe her important magazine-reading responsibilities just take up too much of her time) because a couple of weeks later, they installed a security lock on the front doors. Now, instead of just opening the doors once in the morning, they automatically locked after each use and each employee had to swipe a card whenever going in through the doors after coming back from the bathroom.

And, I guess even that didn't keep key people from fleeing the office adequately, so a couple of weeks later, they installed a button on the inside of the door. Now instead of simply pulling the door open to leave, all employees must push the button and while the button is depressed, pull the door ajar to unlatch it, then let go of the button so they can continue on opening the door all the way to escape. At the same time, they apparently put the same contraption on the conference room door.

This is what I observed yesterday from the hallway while waiting for the elevator:

Shadow of Man appears behind conference room door.
Attempts to open conference room door; door is latched.
Door jiggles many times.
Security guard yells something to shadow of man behind glass.
Shadow man's arm reaches out, depresses unseen button on wall next to door.
Man pulls open door, comes through; attempts to leave through front door.
Door does not open and man does full body smashes into glass door.
Man stops, pushes door three more times; door does not open.
Security guard says something to man.
Man reaches over, depresses button and attempts to push open door.
Man does body smash into glass door again.
Man holds button and pushes door three times; door does not unlatch
Man regards security guard, security guard regards man; no words exchanged.
Man depresses button again and PULLS door; door opens.
Man walks out of office smacking his forehead with the palm of his hand.

I didn't have the heart to tell him that the door on the side entrance to the office is left ajar about half the time.