Yesterday I went to work at a data center in NJ. I don't often go as the round trip is more than 5 hours on the road. I had to do some heavy lifting and I wasn't sure if I had access to the last place I needed. So my pal walked me to the man trap there so I could check.
Man traps worked like this: I badged into the trap, the first door closed me into a small room. I badged to a second door, added another type of mandatory authentication and the second door would open. If it didn't work then the first door will unlock and I would have had to exit and try again. Or I just didn't have access and I wasn't getting in.
I did this. The second door opened. Sweet! I walked through and waited for my friend to join me.
Once I closed the second door on the data center side, the LCD panel lit up RED and the speaker started loudly repeating these words.
PIGGY BACK ALERT! AN ATTEMPT TO PIGGY BACK INTO THE DATA CENTER WAS MADE!
That happened. It was loud. It did not stop, it just yelled at me on a loop.
The stern recorded voice just kept repeating that. I was in the data center and the door would not open to let me exit. There was an emergency open door exit button for safety but there was no way I was going to set off that alarm too. I was not in any danger.
I had to call my pal on his cell. He was on the other side of the man trap and he could not come in either. The speaker was on both sides and we were both getting yelled at by a recording.
In short, I put that section of the data center into lock down mode.
What happened was that the first door's handle was not quite in the fully reset position. The door was locked magnetically (I checked) but it wasn't considered fully closed. When I went past the second door pandemonium was the result.
A security guard came and reset the system. He was a good sport about it and it happened to other people before. I tried a couple more times just to be safe. It was all good now.
I'm just glad the local cops weren't called. That would not look good on my next employee review.