People who know me very well know in what high regard I hold the television program NewsRadio. The NBC program that ran from the mid to late 90s was truly a brilliant comedy, NBC’s best of the 90s as far as I’m concerned.
One of my favorite episodes from the series is one from the fourth season named “Security Door.” As you might imagine (or perhaps you might not imagine this and I’m giving you a little too much credit), the episode focused on the problems that arise among the employees when a new security door is installed in radio station WNYX. Now I’m not going to provide a synopsis of the episode, but I would direct you instead to treat yourself and watch it at your leisure…or while at work, whatever works best for you.
What brings this episode to mind is the fact that I sit very close to such a security door, within eyeshot of it in fact, and I do enjoy the hilarity of observing the frustration of others when dealing with it. Ordinarily the door works just fine. A person uses his/her badge on the card reader, a beep sounds, which is followed by the sound of the magnetic door lock being released shortly after, then allowing for that person to pull the door open. When a person desires to leave the secured area, a motion sensor detects the movement of the person as he/she approaches and releases the lock allowing for exit.
Occasionally though, things don’t go this smoothly. In some instances, and it appears to be happening with ever greater frequency, the timing is a bit off, whereby the lock releases, but then reengages almost immediately (if such an idea has any meaning), preventing the person from entering/leaving. And this is when the fun begins.If someone is trying to enter the door, after the first failed attempted pull, there is a little confusion. After the second failed attempted pull, the frustration starts to build. The door pulls begin to get a little harder, more violent. And after about the fourth or fifth attempt, pure anger sets in as, though muted to some degree by the door, I can hear the yelling and screaming. Oh so fun to watch.
But significantly more fun comes when a person attempts to leave and is thwarted. Admittedly I am no mind reader (though this would be a very useful talent to have), but based on reading the emotions of people as they struggle to get beyond the door, I think I can fairly accurately quote the monologue taking place in each person’s head.
The door fails for the first time. First there is bewilderment. The person presses the red “exit” button, but is still unable to leave. True fear sets in now. “No, no, no… I have to get out of here! They’re never going to let me leave! I feel like crying… Wait, I can’t cry right now and let everyone see me. I have to try again…” The person attempts to leave again by waving their hand or something they are carrying in front of the motion sensor. The door again disengages, but the person is too slow to exit before it once again reengages. Then comes the anger. “You son of a b----! You let me out this instant! I will not let you keep me here!” Honestly, I think much of this is actually audible. What are also audible are the noises caused by the violent pushing and banging on the door that occurs at this stage.
And then after this comes the hate. There is the hate experienced by the person who fears and is angry that he/she will never be able to leave. This person hates the door and is willing to demonstrate this hate. And in demonstrating this hatred for the door, the person is willing to dish out some suffering to the door. This fearful, angry, hateful person grabs hammers, books, shoes, calendars demonstrating the truly dubious artistic talents of the children of the employee’s coworkers, anything to exact revenge on the door. I know that you don’t believe that doors have feelings, but trust me, I can feel the door’s pain as it is repeatedly tortured…
Let’s see, we have fear, anger, hate, suffering… I think we all know where this is leading…
Journal Entry: It’s leading to the Dark Side of course! And if you know me very well, you understand now my pure delight in watching people struggle with the door. I enjoy watching others descend inexorably toward the Dark Side. I enjoy leading people inexorably toward the Dark Side. The reason? The Sith have always been much cooler than the Jedi. Now I’m not saying that this door is evil or an instrument of the Dark Side. And I’m also not saying that it isn’t evil nor an instrument of the Dark Side. What I am saying is: People, please be smarter than the door. Actually, don’t be smarter than the door because that would ruin my enjoyment.