Sunday, June 24, 2007

Smarted by the smart card

Saturday evening. After a hectic week in which despite working seriously (with minial distractions i.e chatting and almost no procrastination :O ), I was still lagging behind quite a bit with respect to the work that needed to be done. And that afternoon was quite weird, weather wise, as it displayed the full essence of the whimsical english weather. It was bright and sunny for an hour and then it poured like the first monsoon rain back home and then got back to sunny. And repeated this whole cycle every hour. Anyway, I decided to go to the lab and get some work done. I often make such decisions during weekends but rarely implement them. But this time, I actually did, so what if I was supposed to go before 4 but went after 6?

As I reached the building and was entering the lab, I came across two other such 'lifeless' souls (lifeless because they dont have a life! they come to work on weekends!!) who were just leaving the lab and exchanged our trademark sad smiles at each other's fate. It is not usual for the 150 people strong lab (spread over two floors - internally connected) to have even 2-3 geeks working on a saturday like this. Well, I entered the lab, swiping my wallet (which contains the smartcard having the rfid tag) against the sensor to open the door only to face a dark lab. The corridors light up as I walk through them to reach my desk. Yeah. every nook and corner of the lab has a movement sensor. I sit down at my desk, do some work and lots of chatting. Right in the middle of work, it suddenly strikes me that I might me the only person in the lab. Atleast, I was sure that I am the only person in 1/4th of the lab. And looking at my wallet which is placed on the desk, I vow not to leave it behind while going out of the lab. Then, I tell myself not to be silly, as in the past 7-8 months that I have been working in this lab, I had never left my wallet behind while leaving the lab, even if for a minute. It was kind of ingrained in me to carry my wallet whenever I leave the lab. There have been numerous ocassions when other people have forgotten their cards and had to knock on the doors and wait for someone to hear them and let them in. Ofcourse, today there didnt seem to be anyone else to even hear the knocking. The best part of the building was that the wall to the external corridor had huge glass paned windows, so anyone inside could see the people outside and vice versa. Coming back to the narration, I did some work and then decided to go home. Checked the bus timings online to see that I would be leaving at the right time and not have to wait outside in the rain.

And then I leave the lab. Just as I step on the corridor outside and just after the door closes behind me, I realise that I have done it! I forgot my wallet inside! Now, I dont have the card to get it. The same card also acts as my bus pass and ofcourse, it contains my money too. Yeah, and I left my cellphone inside too. Cant even call one of my lab friends to come and help me out. I had exited on one end of the lab. I start walking to the other end, with the faint hope that someone might be there in the lab, near the windows to notice me and open the door. And yeah, right at the very end on the other side, there was this guy inside. If there was to be only one person in the lab, it had to be him. On the many ocassions that I leave the lab, late at night, I find him staring deeply into his monitor and wonder at what I assume is 'his boring life'. However, today I was thankful that he was such a workaholic. He notices me and opens the door. I thank him, and get my wallet and cellphone and then out of curiosity make a round trip around the lab to see if there was anyone else who could have helped me.

Nope, there was no one else in the lab! Whoaa, had this guy not been there, I would have been in deep trouble. Lets thank the world that it still has some no-life workaholics around. Also, lets accept the fact that your subsconsious mind holds great power over you and makes you do things that you fear you would. Or we can just say that I am clairvoyant :D.


agastyabhrata said...

Smart Cards, Security measures? Very Very irritating.

kunal said...

Lets thank the world that it still has some no-life workaholics around.
Dude, it is not good to poke fun at yourself in your own blog... :P

Sreejith said...

The guy must have been an indian for sure! Btw you sure you dont work in area51?

mythalez said...

@sage, they are pretty good actually .. much better than carrying a bunch of keys around :P

@kunal, well .. 'humour starts at home' .. nice quote eh :D thanku thanku

@sreejith, naah .. not indian .. he was from the most workaholic brand - he was chinese .. btw he is also married and has a young kid too .. perhaps thats why he doesnt stay much time at home?? ;)