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your help on this would be greatly appreciated August 29, 2008

Posted by That Guy in Inexplicable Memos From Above.

This post is the first in a new category called “Inexplicable Memos From Above”. The post title will almost always be the last line of the e-mail.

Going forward, please AVOID using the double doors outside of the [engineering facility] as your entrance or exit to [Corporatespeak Headquarters]. These double doors are only supposed to be use for loading purposes or for our disabled visitors.

Please use either the front doors, the doors at the North end of the [content management cubicle farm] or the doors at the back of the building by the mailroom. All three of those entrances provide double security while entering the building.

Your help on this would be greatly appreciated.

Recently on the way back from lunch, That Guy parked in a spot convenient to the big double-doors facing the main driveway out of the building. Those aren’t the main entrances, but the double-door was right there, and his car was right there, and he figured, “okay, why not?” After all, the north entrance and the mailroom entrance were both a long walk.

His keycard opened the doors; he went to his desk and sat down.

A couple of minutes later, That Guy saw the Big Boss walk to a Middle Manager’s office, say a few words, then stroll away. About a minute after that (this particular Middle Manager is a pretty fast typist), That Guy (and everyone else in the entire building) received the e-mail above.

The north entrance, by the way, does not provide double security. It appears to, but once you’ve keycarded your way into the vestibule (which leads to the room where That Guy’s office is, the north stairs, and the north restrooms), you can enter the building with impunity. The second security door isn’t locked. No one seems to have noticed, either. That Guy hasn’t tried the mailroom entrance yet; he never parks back there, or has any reason to go to that mailroom. After all, his mailbox isn’t in the mailroom. (Funny how that works.)

The front door is the most time-consuming of all. If the receptionist doesn’t see you and let you in, or if it’s after-hours, you have to key into the first vestibule, key into the second vestibule, then either (a) walk through the waiting area and key into the double-doors there or (b) key into the receptionist’s area, near the elevator and restrooms. The keycard response system in this building, by the way, is very slow; two seconds to recognize the card, and another two to actually unlock the door.

Now, That Guy doesn’t want to hate on the receptionist, because she really is a very nice, very friendly woman who, to her credit, tries to intercept annoying callers before they waste the time of other employees. But she also loves — loves — to chat. Sometimes, after her lunch break, she’ll stroll through the building and say hi to people. And that’s fine, most of the time. It’s just that That Guy sometimes — okay, often — doesn’t feel like having more than just the most perfunctory casual conversations, and the receptionist, as was said, loves to chat.

That Guy feels a twinge of pity for her, too; in the office where she used to sit, she was insulated from the hallway by a second door. In her current office, she has no barrier between the opening to her area and the central restroom entrance. Those restrooms echo. A lot. And people in this building love their Mexican food.

Go on. Connect the dots.

So… security concerns aside — and they really would be aside if the company didn’t leave the front gates at the end of the driveway wide open — why can’t employees use the big doors? If it’s raining, rain might blow in on the carpet, and that (That Guy guesses) is a legitimate concern, but it wasn’t raining when That Guy used the door. Is there a toll that must be paid? Does the company pay a dollar to the hinge company each time the doors open?

Most likely it’s just another Inexplicable Memo From Above.


1. where’s your nametag? « corporatespeak - January 15, 2009

[…] Please don’t tell the Big Boss. He still thinks no one uses the double doors. We do have an unofficial door monitor**, but he’s been with the company so long that […]

2. keys in a pod « corporatespeak - January 16, 2009

[…] I have mentioned in the past, we moved into a new building last year. In our old building, there was a spare key to […]

3. front doors - December 16, 2017

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