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The Sentry

Work annoys me. And what annoys me while I'm at work is the constant stream of people entering into or exiting from our bay. Unfortunately, my cubicle is right next to the glass door and that has further aggravated the situation.

But there was some respite in store for my much-troubled soul. I guess one of those nondescript deities floating around in outer space had been trying very hard to convince me into believing in the paranormal. As if to offer me some relief from work, the exit button that releases the door was busted a few weeks ago by some heavenly scheme of things. And thus began the daily melodrama each time someone needed to exit our cursed bay.

The inmates of our bay are by now used to the faulty button and do not expect the door to open in the first five-six attempts. But it's the unsuspecting victims who unknowingly stray into our bay by a simple swipe of the access card who present us entertainment-starved techies with regular installments of melodrama and bewilderment.

The poor guy feels trapped, looks confused, tries the button harder, pushes the door forcefully, looks askance,...tries again...and again...and again until it works. I enjoy these precious moments and it's becoming increasingly hard to hide my excitement. And even though we've got another door that works just fine, it's slightly awkwardly positioned and is thus rarely used. Repeated attempts at one door seldom leads the victim to the other. I guess it's a matter of pride. How can we allow a simple door exit to defeat us? After all, we deal with thousands of lines of buggy code and somehow make them work well enough through brute force. Years of being conditioned to bad code must have elevated our level of patience!

One of my colleagues from the other bay was particularly harassed today. She had made far-above-average attempts at exiting, but all in vein. I took heart on her, reached out for the buggy button, pressed it with a subtlety that could easily be lost on strangers, and lo...the door flung open! There were oohs and aahs and even a small round of applause at the achievement from the small crowd of colleagues who had begun to assemble close to the door to offer some assistance. Weeks of being in close proximity with the door had let me in on a few secrets to successful exits. And I won't tell you any!

Q: What's a fantasy?
A: Entry into the bay by swipes of the access card is made impossible!

Q: What's a nightmare?
A: Exit from the bay by pressing the busted button is made impossible!

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