I watched "Airplane!" (1980) with some classmates last night. I love that movie. It is HILARIOUS. Anyway, I always pick up on a new bit of comedy hidden somewhere in the background each time I watch the film. It's great. Anyway, watching the film last night reminded me that getting onto a plane is actually easier than getting into my building.
You have to have a keycard to open the outside door. This reader is notoriously broken, which means you have to go in the other tower, the one with the security guard, and cross over on the second floor. You also have to swipe your card to get the elevator to ascend. Then you have to swipe your card to get into your unit, then again to get into your room. Personally, I am satisfied. I think I'm safe. Of course, if there is ever a dangerous person in the building, I can always run through the halls yelling "CLOSE THE BLAST DOORS, CLOSE THE BLAST DOORS!"
Anyway, it is beyond me why we have to swipe our card in the elevator in order to get to our floors. It isn't floor specific, so although I live on the 14th floor, I have access to all of the floors with my card. Besides which the stairs do not have keycard access; they are always unlocked. Which means that if I was a person who managed to sneak into the building, I can still do nefarious things to people who live on floors 2-16 by merely climbing the stairs. Even if the stair doors were keycard protected, however, it is easy to "tailgate" onto the elevator without a keycard. All you have to do is say "fourteenth floor please" when someone else with their keycard out gets on, because you're almost never alone on the elevator. After all, it's a sixteen story building with two elevators, there's always waiting.
The other annoying thing is when I have to go into the tower with the security guard. I've usually just returned from running errands or the like and am pissed to find that my building's keycard reader is broken. So I trudge over to the other tower with all 8 bags of groceries taking up both of my hands. The security guards usually ignore people coming in (after all, you'd hate for them to lose that game of online tetris because you broke their concentration). Of course, however, when you have 8 bags of groceries or are carrying a disassembled bookshelf that weighs 30 pounds in, they say: "Hey! Show me your keycard!" Gee, sorry officer, I don't have one. I thought I'd just break in and drop off these groceries in some unsuspecting person's apartment. If you want me to FUCKING show you my keycard, then fix the GOD DAMN card reader in my building! While you're at it fix the fire alarm in my apartment too. I'd like to at least be awoken before I die of smoke inhalation.
Anyway, there is a policy in our lease agreement which states that we can't have overnight guests. Ever. That's right we can't even bang someone in our own damn apartment without violating our lease. That's why they decided to discourage the practice by filling vital space in our miniscule apartments and giving us DOUBLE BEDS. Why? We can never legally use more than half at a time.
Anyway, I'm starting to get pissed off (if you can't tell) because this evening, I was returning from happy hour with a classmate of mine who lives five floors down. That's right. We both live in the building. We are both residents, neither of us is a visitor. So we're going into our tower (the one without the security guard) and there's a security guard outside smoking. She says, "STOP! I need to see your ID cards." Why the FUCK do you need to see my ID card? I'm about to have to insert it into a card reader 27 times in order for the door to unlock (and that's just for the outside door, it'll take 19 swipes on the elevator, and 3 more to get into my apartment). So we both have to show her our ID cards. It's none of her fucking business if I want to bring a friend upstairs with me! What if I just need to give her a textbook that she couldn't buy? Am I supposed to make her stand outside IN THE RAIN while I plead with the elevator to take me to the 14th floor?
I think I'm just going to ignore the guards from now on. If I want to escort a guest into my room to make antiwar signs, then it's none of their business. They ought to catch the bastards who smoke in the stairwell so that I have an asthma attack whenever I try to bypass the keycard reader in the elevator which has a reliability rating lower than MARTA's old faregates instead of hassling honest people who are just trying to live and let live.
I think I'll post a new sign above the door: ABANDON ALL HOPE OF ENTERING HERE, YE.