Over engineered housing

Recently I’ve become annoyed with the over engineering of security for the aparment complex I’m in right now. First, to get anywhere, you need a FOB. FOBs are great, but not such a convenience if you have to swipe it like your corporate card key to get anywhere. Your guests can’t come to your door because you need the FOB to activate the elevators so you must go down to greet them. And, when Mike is here, there’s no easy way to share the FOB for coming and going. The association does not give out additional FOBs wtihout adding someone to your lease. And, if you request a temporary one for more than 10 days in a year for the same person, they will attempt to add that person to your lease. Kind of a big inconvenience.
Similarly, the garage doors are FOB activated. But you need to swipe the FOB to open the garage doors. I learned that if the garage door is closing when you arrive and you swipe your FOB, it won’t automatically re-open. In fact, after a number of attempted swipes and green lights, the door refused to re-open–despite that it was closed at this point! Eventually, the swipe worked and the garage door opened. argh!
This particular incident annoyed me enough to rant on my laundry machine, which falls into this category of over engineering. It’s a stackable GE top loading system. My w/d are front loaders and are waaaaay nicer than these, but I couldn’t get them swapped in time so they are buried in storage. boo hoo. Anyway, this washing machine locks after the load starts. Now, I’ve had some time to figure this thing out and realize that it locks during the spin cycle. It also won’t fill or run when the lid is open. Why is this annoying? Well, I put fabric softener in during the final rinse cycle and I can’t add anything if the lid is locked. Once the spin cycle concludes, the machine doesn’t release the lock for about 2 minutes (maybe more, I get tired of waiting). This is the same behavior when the machine has completed the cycle and is done running. I can’t jump in and swap the load right away. I have to wait for the machine to unlock. Talk about a pain in the arse! As if I have time to wait on laundry…don’t they know I’m a busy person?  😛
Funny story about the first use of these machines. It was during my brief layover back from Munich to Salt Lake City. I needed my clothes in the dryer before I could go to sleep. I was tired, it was late, Those few minutes felt like forever. All I wanted to do was put the softener in, run the rinse, toss into the dryer and crash to sleep. Not understanding that the machine was dumb as rocks, I broke the lock to get the job done. That situation needed to be dealt with after I returned and after consulting a technician, I learned there is no way around this situation.
So, today’s garage door incident has reminded me how easy it is to over-engineer things for the sake of ‘security.’  May these lessons trickle into my work and I can’t wait to move from here when my lease is up, just to rid myself of these inconveniences.

About Audrey Sniezek

Audrey Sniezek is a rock climbing athlete and computer software/technology enthusiast.
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