Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Alarming Alarm

It’s not often I have to use an actual key to unlock a door. For one thing, I have Vince and he does most of the door unlocking. And I use the remote to lock and unlock my car.

Once in a great while I will be the first person to arrive at the office and then I’m forced to dig my keys back out of my suitcase of a purse and unlock the door.

This would not be that big a deal…except that I’m then required to disarm the alarm. And that task, my friends, is not a good way to start my day. Why? Because I hate the loud beeping noise the alarm makes. And when I enter the code to disarm the alarm, the little red light refuses to turn green. So, while the beeping continues, I enter the code again. And, yes, the alarm continues to beep and the red light continues to flash at me.

By this point, I’m starting to panic because I know there are only so many seconds left before the horrendously LOUD screeching alarm starts. So I enter the code in once again – and by this point, I’m furiously punching the keypad.

If the light doesn’t switch to green, one of two things will happen: 1) I will have mere nanoseconds to try the code one more time, which I enter amid loud cursing, or 2) the alarm will start and then I will have to answer the ringing of the phone that I can barely hear when the alarm company calls to get me to utter some secret code that I can barely remember.

Most of the time, I’m able to turn off the alarm. So apparently the cursing helps.

I am, by the way, entering the correct digits to the code. But for some reason, the keypad doesn’t like the way I enter them.

Needless to say, I’m never anxious to be the first person to enter the building.

I was a little nonplussed this morning to realize that I was, indeed, the first to arrive. So I dawdled in my car for a minute or two hoping against hope that someone else would show up. I listened to the answer to a trivia question on the radio. I took a few last sips of my coffee. I searched – without success – for my umbrella (which I would later discover hiding under my desk).

I even checked the status of my fingernails and debated about taking a few moments to polish my nails with the handy bottle of nail polish I carry in my purse for just such stalling moments. I didn’t – but mostly because I realized I’d probably smudge them in my panicked state while punching in the alarm code.

And then, realizing I couldn’t put it off any longer, I got out of my car. With a heavy sigh and a "put-upon" look on my face, I made the long slow trek up to the dreaded door to the office.

I pulled my big wad of keys out of my purse and – almost as if I were moving in slow motion – started to put the key into the lock and…

…the key didn’t fit!

Oh happy day!!

No, the locks hadn’t been changed in a not-so-subtle message telling me my job had been eliminated. Instead, when I took a closer look at the key, I realized it was badly twisted. And, yes, this happened last week when I inadvertently tried to grind up my keys in the garbage disposal. Clearly, I hadn’t examined all of my keys carefully.

So, even though it was a rainy and rather cold morning, I happily and patiently waited for someone else to arrive so they could let me in.

And did my colleague have any problem whatsoever keying in the code and disarming the alarm? Of course not.

So it’s me. Gotta be me. Sigh…

I spent the morning feeling relieved that I would no longer be responsible for opening the office door what with the bent and twisted key and all.

And then I came back from lunch to find a shiny new key sitting in the middle of my desk. Mocking me.

Hmmm… Wonder if anyone offers a remedial alarm disarming course?

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