#204 Opening security doors without using your hands

I live in a tall apartment building downtown.

Whenever I get home from the office I tap a little gray button thing or ‘fob‘ on my key chain onto the black box sensor near the front door which unlocks it. If I forget my fob, I’m locked out and forced to nonchalantly impersonate a Trustworthy Fellow Tenant until I can squeeze behind someone else. Yes, if you come home and I’m just whistling outside the front doors with my hands in my pockets, nice to meet you! I live here and just happen to be going inside now, too.

Sometimes I’ve actually got my keys and fob with me but they’re buried deep in my backpack or pants pockets and I’ve got my hands completely full of groceries. This is when I employ The Backpack Bump and simply reverse into the sensor over and over until it connects and the door unlocks. It’s a beautiful no-hands move to get me in the door.

Yes, if you’re with me, then you know advanced moves are often required to open security doors without using your hands. In addition to The Backpack Bump, I’ve seen young and old alike pull off The Hip Shimmy, which looks like a jerky country dance move involving your pocket or belt buckle touching the sensor. This one is best done while wearing extremely tight light blue jeans and a plaid shirt tied into a knot at the bottom.

Also, let’s not forget The Head Bow, which is when you’re returning to your college residence and you’ve got your fob hanging around your neck in a jangle of assorted keys and plastic dining hall cards. The Head Bow prevents you from needing to take off the key jangle and your hands can continue munching on your dining hall ice cream cone while text messaging.

Opening security doors without using your hands is an advanced skill that requires minutes of practice. When you finally master these moves it means you’ve become an Apartment Building Jedi.


Photo from: here

27 thoughts on “#204 Opening security doors without using your hands

  1. AHH! I LOVE (and MISS) doing this! Most the dorms at my alma mater had these and we had to use our (as they called them) access cards to get through. I definitely rocked the backwards jump-up to get my back pocket aligned with the … uh, thing. Whatever it’s called. You’re SO right, though. SO RIGHT. It’s much better to go the hands-free route. Hands full of laundry? That’s ok, just make sure your card is at the front of the basket! Don’t feel like dealing with grabbing it out of your purse? That’s ok, it goes through fabric! AWESOME!

    P.S. You are what campus security would call a “tailgater” … even though like 99% of the time it was just a college kid who lived in that dorm but forgot his/her card (I mean, who hasn’t done that?!), they posted signs and constantly lectured us on the dangers of letting in tailgaters. About 99% of us who lived there totally let in the tailgaters, though. :)

  2. Awww, I totally miss this about my old apartment building. That, and the cement construction made it super quiet there… however, high tech seems to mean high priced, too

  3. Until recently, my condo still used the Medco keys to get into the building. This was especially painful on Saturday nights (well Sunday mornings) coming come from DJ gigs, with gear in hands…I was stuck doing some balancing and wrist breaking action to both open the door and keep the gear secured in my arms.

    About 2 months ago we got the fobs installed…

    …wow, what a small slice of, AWESOME!

  4. I love how you have a picture of Obi-wan Kenobi. I actually have Star Wars on right now as I was browsing my updates. Awesome.

  5. Don’t forget the purse swing where you just swing your purse back and forth against the sensor until it beeps! The female tangent of the backpack bump!

    1. I do this ALL the time to get into my office while toting coffee, briefcase, lunch, etc. The only bummer is that the door opens outward, so you still have to have a hand free to pull open the door.

  6. I have, what I call, a beep card to get into work through the gate and then to get in the building during off hours. I call it a beep card because when I swipe it in front of the black box, it goes “BEEP!” But even then, I have to use my hands. Can’t really get into a pull door any other way.
    I did have a job a few years back working for a certain automobile manufacturer. I had a beep card there too and it was to let me in the gate. There was no door but more of some rotating bars. I miss that job.

    1. Oh… I always keep my beep card in my wallet in my purse. I gotta get it out to get in and out of the parking garage and to use it on the doors… the black box thingy is too high and awkward to do anything other than use my hands to beep it.
      My old job, I had my beep card clipped on my hip with my ID card. Not much skill required there… just stand on tippy toes and swing my hips.

    2. The ones in our dorms had a horribly loud BEEP, too, followed by the door clunking unlocked. My freshman and sophomore years, our room was the closest one — as in, shared a wall — with the beep-box entrance to our floor. That sucked. We were privy to every beep and clunk that came through at all hours. Although, sometime during my sophomore year, the Pussycat Dolls song “Beep” came out, and one day my roommate busted out with: “I don’t give a *card swipe* if you’re looking at my *card swipe*” … it pretty much didn’t get old for the rest of the year. :)

  7. Ha!

    I have a key fob to get into my office building. I do the same thing. I prefer the “Hip Shimmey”, but I don’t always do it because my hands are full. Some times I do it for the thrill of being able to do it, but mostly I do it because I’m do lazy to take my keys out of my pocket.

  8. Sadly, my apt. sensor is at about shoulder level & it won’t beep through my purse. So, when my hands are full, I have to put my keychain in my mouth & then I can swing the fob past the sensor with my mouth to get it to click open!

  9. I have one of these sensors to get up to my apartment as well. Sometimes the wife and I play a game to see how well the sensor works, and we’ll each stand on side of the sensor, and try to toss our keys back and forth in front of the sensor, hopping that little “dongle” will trigger it as it flys past.

    I’t s pretty fun game, but definitely harder than you would expect! (or maybe we’ve just got really bad aim!)

    1. Maybe your lightning-fast pitches are just too much for the sensor to handle. I bet that’s it. :)

      1. Ha! Thanks – yeah.. I’m TOO GOOD for the game I made up.. that’s the problem.. :)

        In truth, I definitely don’t throw it that hard, largely because I’ve found that one of the keys to marital bliss is not chucking a heavy ring of keys really hard at your wife’s face.. (hopefully that will save everyone hear from having to learn that one that hard way!)

  10. You’re forced to “impersonate a trustworthy fellow tenant”. So you’re not actually a trustworthy fellow tenant?

  11. You lot are no help ! People are not looking for. Tips, their looking for something like how to get in side if you “Do Not” have a key fob on them when its freezing cold out side and its a bout 3am in the morning and the trades buttons not on till about 6 in the morning ……

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