austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

So let out your heart, please, please, from behind that locked door

And it turns out I spoke a little too soon in declaring everything at college was fine. In my defense, it had been just fine. I had my class, my schedule, and if I did board talk instead of PowerPoint slides that suits me fine. I even had my faculty ID coded to allow me access to the room, in case it was locked before I got there.

Only, Tuesday, I learned that I didn't. I found out after I'd locked up when a student came back to retrieve a book. The sensor beeped when I waved my card near it, but the door didn't unlock. I went to the faculty lounge, picked up the phone, touched the 'Security' button, and learned that was the emergency security number, which makes everybody all tense. Um, oops. But they were able to send someone over to unlock the door, and gave me the non-emergency number which for some reason isn't identified anywhere near the phone.

As office hours were slow I ducked out to security to get my card fixed. They found I was properly on file, and they had my employment dates right, and couldn't find any problem. Deeper in the database was hidden the mystery: somewhere along the lines my 485-digit badge number had been entered wrongly in the list of allowed numbers. That explains that. They fixed it and I was soon back to the classroom to verify the fix. I called the non-emergency number to let them know all was well.

The only lingering mystery is why did it seem to work before? I'd certainly waved my card at the sensor and got into the room. But I'd also waved it at times people were getting ready to leave; possibly I had just been well-timed up until now.

Well, the other mystery is, ahead of me was a person just getting her faculty ID card and parking sticker. The regular term's half-over, and the quick term's one-third-over, so ... do they have even quicker terms out there?

Trivia: The standby computing center IBM set up for Project Vanguard was located at the company's Research Computing Center in Poughkeepsie, New York, connected by transceiver to the Vanguard Computing Center in Washington, DC. Source: Project Vanguard: The NASA History, Constance McLaughlin Green, Milton Lomask. NASA SP-4202.

Currently Reading: Otis: Giving Rise To The Modern City, Jason Goodwin. (I kind of suspect the whole book was written on the strength of that subtitle.)

PS: Looking For Infinity On The New York Thruway. It's past the final toll booths, if that helps.

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