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Over Labor Day weekend my roommate had gone home to visit her family, so I had our room to myself. Sunday afternoon, I was FaceTiming my boyfriend and, in the middle of our conversation, I had to use the bathroom. Since I live in a suite with a bathroom, I closed the door to my bedroom behind me. When I went back to my room, I found that my bedroom door had automatically locked behind me, with my key inside.

I made the long, awkward walk over to the front desk, feeling sneaky because I wasn’t wearing shoes and my steps didn’t make noise. My shoes had also been locked in my bedroom. I got the temporary key like you’re supposed to, and the woman at the desk had me sign the paperwork at 5:52 p.m. with a disclaimer saying “failure to return this within the hour will result in a $15 fine.”

I assumed returning the key on time wouldn’t be an issue; I can get it back in five minutes. I rode the elevator up and got off on the first floor it stopped on which, as it turns out, wasn’t actually my floor. I was so focused on getting back to my room I had failed to check that it was my room I was getting back to.

After briefly wandering my residence hall, I finally got back to my room. I unlocked my bedroom door, got some shoes finally and revelled in my accomplishment, until I went to put the temporary key in my pocket and dropped it on the floor, where it disappeared from sight. I then proceeded to tear apart my room looking for it, moving half of the furniture in our room. About half an hour into this, I started crying on my floor. There’s only so much of my own embarrassing actions I can take before I panic.

I looked for that stupid key for about 40 minutes, finally finding it at 6:49 p.m. — 3 minutes before it was due. I grabbed the key and the shoes that I now had access to, making sure to grab my keys this time, so as not to lock myself out for a second time in one day. I waited for the elevator for a few seconds before deciding I was wasting time and, for some idiotic reason, decided to run down the 11 flights of stairs that separate me from the main lobby. I ran through the lobby as fast as I could in my flip flops, only to get to the front desk at 6:53 and have the $15 fine added to my account.

Never feel bad about locking yourself out. My disaster of a day was most likely much worse. Luckily, housing is the best because they responded to my upset email within a day and removed the charge.

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