Our paper recently moved into a different office (well, half our paper, but that's a long unfunny story) and you need a security pass to access the building.
That in itself is pretty unextraordinary for most offices these days. It's hardly surprising that the secrets of community newspapers need to be fiercely protected. But I often wonder, if we didn't have passes, if people would just wander in off the street and start doing our job without being paid. I'm often tempted in cafes to do that when I have been waiting too long for a coffee.
However, I realised this evening (after somehow leaving my pass at home… it's not as if it's something you take out of your bag to use once you have left the office, I don't know how it ended up on my dresser), that you also need your pass to get out of the office. It's very cruel and difficult when you happen to be one of the last people still tied to your keyboard at 6.30pm to discover that you can't actually leave work.
The only option is to greatly annoy another unpaid-overtime-working-desk-monkey, get them to walk all the way to the exit and swipe their pass so you can leave. It's especially awkward when you don't know any of the people in the office. And I imagine it's not best practice in case of a fire or other emergency to trap your workers inside the office.
But I think maybe the whole "swipe and leave" system is designed to shame people into just staying in the office overnight to keep turning the grinding wheel of capitalism rather than dragging some sullen office inmate away from watching YouTube clips of people harming themselves to open the door.