The fishbowl effect

This week I had the very good fortune of visiting a swanky office block. It was one of those groovy places with a multiple storey height foyer. From my position just inside the front door I could gaze up through the many walkways on each level, all of them lined with glass. I adjusted my posture and walked confidently to the (glass) lift.

Arriving at my required level I exited the lift and confidently followed the signs to the suite I was seeking. I strode across a glass-framed walkway, reaching a frame-less glass door which opened on my approach. I was now in a small, largely glass hallway separating the two office suites on that part of the floor. I buzzed, stated my business and was permitted into a vestibule. I could see people working in the office beyond the vestibule and someone arrived promptly to assist me.

I left the vestibule and walked confidently back to the frame-less glass door separating me from the lift and, ultimately, the exit. It did not open.

I stepped back and strode again towards the door. Nothing happened. I looked up at the censor. I waved at it a little. Still nothing.

I looked around. I could see people in offices on either side. I could see people coming and going out the main entrance of the building. I could see people in the offices on the other side of the foyer, and on other floors of the building. I could see no way out. The door plainly opened to let me into this glass box. There appeared to be no escape.

I am not good with enclosed spaces. I get anxious if I lose the direction of the exit in the back of a department store. Getting a jumper stuck while trying to get it over my head has a particularly adverse effect. I did manage to refrain from pounding on the door and screaming. Without decorum, I waved my arms wildly at the door's motion censor.

A kind soul in a nearby office, through all the glass, eventually noticed my flapping and came and pointed out an extremely low profile, well hidden button. He pressed it. The door flung open and I was released.

In case you can't work out where the button is this week, it's here.