There’s a hallway at work that is so narrow that only one person may use it at a time. It extends for around 10-12 feet and provides several daily opportunities for hilarious collisions. This constricted space was created by the installation of a large cube, purportedly to create an open work area.
A convex mirror has been placed at one end of the passage, and I don’t know anyone that actually checks it for oncoming traffic. Usually we just round the corner and discover that a Zax is already in transit. Then we back up and smile awkwardly until the way is clear.
The cube wall is about 5 1/2 feet tall, so I can see over it. I’ll sometimes see the tops of heads bobbing along, which cues me in that someone might be about to run into me. Or vice versa, to be fair.
This morning as I crept down the hallway, over the wall I noticed a thatch of dark hair approaching the intersection. This matched the scalp of a programmer I’ve worked with for a few years. Perhaps a bit loopy from my sinus medicine, I decided to spring out in front of him.
I leapt sideways out of the alley, facing my victim with my arms spread wide.
“AAAAH!” I yelled.
The release manager nearly spilled her tea as she clutched at her heart.
Sheepishly, I apologized for scaring her. She was very kind about it — even thanking me for preventing a collision — but I felt really stupid about the whole thing.
I slunk away, wondering if I’d have gotten that good of a reaction from the guy I’d intended to scare.