Tuesday, December 16, 2014

All locked up

Since I come in so early, there are a host of locks to undo before I can sink into my office chair and take that first blissful sip of coffee.

The first is a keypad with a number code. The code was changed about six weeks ago, for the first time in several years. I still catch myself starting to enter the old code. Every so often, on a particularly muddled morning, I stare at the keypad, knowing there is a new code and wondering if I can remember it.

The second is a swipe lock. Our IDs have a magic magnetic stripe, one that not only can take deposits so you can use it as a prepaid card in the vending machines and at a growing number of on- and off-campus vendors, but as a key to various rooms.

The third, and final barrier to coffee consumption is my office door, which has a conventional key lock.

The building I'm in also has an attached eighteen story dorm, along with a fairly large Recreation Complex, including a lap pool and even a small theater. The building was at one time the downtown YMCA. During the holidays, the Rec Plex generally limits its hours. This year, however, they shut down entirely (I suppose the community members who have memberships are simply out of luck) for some remodeling.

And that would be why, at 6:15 this morning, I was standing outside the building, work bag over the shoulder, coffee in hand, staring befuddled at the door that didn't open when I pulled it.

Yeah, the building, since the students are not in residence and the Rec Plex is closed, is locked until 7:30 a.m.

Never fear, the handy dandy magic stripe on the ID opens these doors as well. At least I'm used to juggling bag, coffee cup and card, switching the coffee to the hand on the arm that holds the bag, then using the other hand to swipe and grab at the door handle. All without (usually) spilling any coffee.

Sigh. I feel as if I've worked a full day just getting into my office.

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