Morning coffee, 8.7.17

There’s something wrong with the office doors. Let me explain.

Our office is a cul-de-sac; we’re the back room in our building, and there’s no hallway connecting east to west. Due to this, my company uses the doors at either end of our room as a makeshift corridor. We see a lot of foot traffic–mostly IT and maintenance, who use the breezeway to move parts and deliver packages. But there’s something odd about those doors.

Each door opens exactly three seconds before someone approaches it. Wide open. Like an automatic door at the supermarket. As far as I can tell, there’s no sensor on the door, and it isn’t caused by the wind or air pressure.

They only open when someone approaches our room with the intent of entering. If someone is heading to maintenance or to one of the back offices, then nothing happens. If someone approaches with a question for us or to move stuff from A to B, the handle turns and the door swings open. Exactly three seconds. Every time.

I know it’s three seconds because I’ve timed it. One of the maintenance carts has a squeaky wheel; I can hear it a hallway away. Whenever it approaches, I count the seconds on my wrist watch. Every time, the maintenance lady approaches, the door swings open, and she passes through, nodding, smiling, and asking me about my day. Exactly three seconds, every single time.

I also time various PMCs. Every time I hear the door handle turn, I count Mississippi. Every time, a PMC strolls through after three seconds.

The people who use the doors seem completely unaware that they’re opening by themselves. It’s become so normal, no one seems to care. Or maybe they don’t remember.

Now that I think about it, I don’t recall opening the door this morning. In fact, I don’t recollect ever touching either of the doors. Then again, I don’t remember not touching them, either.

I’ll have to pay better attention in the future.

Word: ignition



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Marketing Strategist at The University of Alabama.

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