Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Katie Notopoulos scored an interview with the guy locked out of his WeWork office by an umbrella

Over the weekend, an umbrella left leaning against a wall had fallen over and blocked the sliding door of their WeWork space. It was impossible to get inside.

Mike, one of the employees who was locked out, agreed to speak to BuzzFeed News on the condition that we not use his last name or the name of his company to avoid the embarrassment of being known as the company foiled by an umbrella.


“The umbrella has turned our office into, essentially, an unmanned panic room with no way in.”

It would be three days before Mike and his colleagues were able to enter their WeWork again.


Sure, just jiggle the handle, you say. Nope, didn’t work. What about a wire coat hanger? Nope.

“Two of my coat hangers went down in the fight,” Mike said. “It was a ‘does not compute’ moment, because the situation had absolutely no apparent solution. It wasn’t like there was an answer — ‘Go outside and crawl in the window.’ The windows to the outside don’t open, there are no gaps in the walls or other doors, and no wiggle room in the door panels. There was no crack to slide a coat hanger, like a car thief in a movie. The whole room is, essentially, a geometric cube of glass with an umbrella tucked in an impossibly perfect position. I really appreciate everyone’s ideas on Twitter, but we tried everything.”

Finally, on Tuesday night a WeWork engineer