You Shall Not Pass: Umbrella Blocks Tech Employees From Their Office Workspace

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You Shall Not Pass: Umbrella Blocks Tech Employees From Their Office Workspace


On Monday morning, employees of a tech startup were in for the most bizarre surprise of their lives— an umbrella lodged in a sliding door of a WeWork office space, reports Katie Notopoulos of internet and media company Buzzfeed News. According to Notopoulos, the umbrella was left leaning against the fall over the weekend until it fell and blocked the sliding door, rendering the space inaccessible to employees.   

Mike, one of the employees who was locked out, tells Buzzfeed News that he sent a photo of the “umbrella-sealed WeWork office” to Neeraj K. Agrawal, his friend. Agrawal’s tweet about the lockdown went viral, saying that the umbrella had been jamming the door for two days and “no one can figure it out.” Mike comments, “The umbrella has turned our office into, essentially, an unmanned panic room with no way in.” 


An umbrella blocking the sliding door / Photo by: Neeraj K. Agrawal via Twitter and The Guardian


Mike and his friend were able to enter their WeWork space three days later. Mike shares, “Casey, also in sales with me, was first to arrive [at the office], then me, Monday morning.” They then discovered that the umbrella was obstructing the door. The scene even baffled their WeWork community managers. “Things like this don’t normally affect the idyllic world of coworking,” Mike comments. 

Apparently, jiggling the handle or using a wire coat hanger did not help address the situation. In fact, two of Mike’s coat hangers “went down in the fight.” It’s not possible to use the windows outside, as they cannot be opened. There are no gaps in the wall or other doors either. Mike appreciates every idea he has received on Twitter, but they tried everything. 

On Tuesday night, a WeWork engineer finally cracked the code. The engineer “drilled a hole in the ceiling above the door” and moved the umbrella away from the sliding door using a wire. This left Mike and his colleagues shell-shocked. In the aftermath of the WeWork space “exile,” Mike realizes, “Not to get too existential on it all, but it reinforced our appreciation for the little things in life. We take so much for granted.” He reveals they had to share one MacBook and iPhone charger during the “exile.” WeWork did not comment on the statement, as the company is preoccupied with its upcoming initial public offering, writes Kari Paul of British daily newspaper The Guardian


You shall not pass! / Photo by: Vuxicon MediaEmp via Flickr