Tuesday, June 05, 2012

how to embarass yourself at work: part 5

yeah, the number is probably more than 5, but i'm not gonna check now.

first, some background. i got a new job recently (yeah, i don't like talking about what i do for a living... let's just say it pays me enough to bring home the bacon :) without being particularly glorious in any other aspect).

on the first day of work, we were shown through the building, so that we knew where the important facilities and whatnot are located. since we were a largish group (too large to fit in an elevator), the guy showing us around told us that he'll take us through the stairs instead.

i don't know why offices insist on calling the stairs the fire escape. i like taking the stairs. they provide a bit of much-needed exercise, some private space when you expect to be on a personal phone call that takes more than 2 minutes, and more.

anyway, the first day of work was spent in all sorts of orientations and talks by people from various functions, so my second day was the first time i was actually free to move around the office. to start off, i had to meet someone two floors below. perfect.

so i exited the elevator lobby and swiped my access card at the staircase.

somehow, it didn't strike me that the staircase was protected by access but the elevators weren't.

anyway, the door opened, and i found myself in the huge stairway. walked down the two floors, and then realized the door was locked from inside. interesting. walked down another floor, and the door was locked from outside. but my access card refused to work on it. i walked down 5 floors in all, and each of them couldn't be got out of.

finally i figured i better go back to my floor and use the elevator. so i walked back up five floors.

the door opened.

but that's when i realized i had to swipe my way through two doors to get to the stairs, and i was back through only one. the second set of doors were glass, and they refused to open from inside.

so i stood at the glass doors, knocking on them and waving out at everyone who passed by, hoping someone would notice. a few did, but they walked on anyway.

worse still, this being my first day, i had exactly one colleague's number on my phone. she didn't work on this floor though. and she wasn't even answering her phone anyway.

as minutes passed, my gestures got more frantic, and finally i managed to grab the attention of two middle-aged looking women who were walking by.

since it looked like nobody could hear my knocks on the door, i had to communicate via sign language. i told them with signs that i was locked outside and my access card didn't work, and theirs probably would.

that's when one of them said "one minute", and i heard her loud and clear through the door.


she tried her access card. it didn't work.

at this point, i was more freaked out than embarrassed.

it looked like i was locked in the fire escape, and there was only one glass door through which i could communicate.

anyway, while these desperate thoughts were going through my head, the two women were having some sort of discussion among themselves on the other side of the door.

the finally came to the conclusion that the only way out of the fire escape was to walk all the way down 12 floors (my office was only in the upper half of the building), and get out through the lobby.

thankfully, on my way down, i found the door of the 2nd floor held open by a plank of wood. used that door to enter some other company's office. luckily, i got to the elevator without further event, and got out into the lobby (and then took another elevator back to my office - the two sets of elevators are separate and don't go to each others' floors!)

and that, ladies and gentlemen, was how i spent the first 20 minutes of the first day i was allowed to roam freely in my new office.

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