Monday, August 4, 2008

Memo to file: don't try to outthink client's security system

There's a bit of a problem with my badge. It won't authorize me to hit a floor on the elevator before 7 am. I learned that today. I'm on the 20th floor. I was able to ride up to the 19th floor and thought, this is an easy problem to solve, just take the stairs up to the 20th. It seems that the building's security system thought of this. I figured it out just as the stairwell door closed behind me. I got to go 20 flights down to first floor where door is unlocked.
I found the experience of going down 20 stories strangely reminiscent of an experience I had about 10 years ago. I was fresh out of college and looking for work. My dad was kind enough to allow me to work at his office at the time answering phones. I didn't have my CS degree at this time, only my English degree--PROTIP: English degrees are good, but not by themselves double major an English with something that will get you hired.
The good thing about that job was I could use it to look for other jobs. It wasn't easy going. I had no idea what I wanted to do and when I found positions that looked interesting, Administrative Assistant if I succeed do I become an all powerful Administrator?, and I applied for them. There was probably a good month of my getting nowhere in my job searches. I finally found some companies that would talk to me. They were staffing companies.
One such staffing company had its office in downtown Chicago. I think it was on the 25th floor. I remember this because when I got out of the interview I deduced that the single elevator that serviced this building would take a very long time to get to my floor. So I did what I normally would do, I took the stairs, 25 flights down is nothing.
The only interesting thing about the trip down is that between the second and ground floor was a door with a lock. I noticed this as the door closed behind me. I also noticed that there was no obvious exit at the bottom of the stairwell. There were a few doors, but they didn't have any handles on my side.
I didn't panic. I didn't think about how long it might be before I was discovered in the basement of this building, 3 days? I looked at one of the doors. It was a double door with light on the other side of it. The gap was wide enough that I was able to stick one of my keys through the gap and pry the door open.
The door revealed a restaurant kitchen. Freedom! I walked through the kitchen to the dining area, found a seat at their bar, and had a drink.

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