Once upon a modern time, there existed a Stop & Shop. This Stop & Shop had hundreds of people visiting it per day. In and out the people came; in one door and out the other.
Now this store had a troublesome automatic exit door that had a dream: To let people inside. It thought that if people came through it, more people would enter than leave.
So one morning when the store opened, the in door opened for a customer and.. the out door did the same.
“Well, I can’t enter through the exit door,” thought the customer, and entered the entrance.
The out door was puzzled. Why didn’t the fat lady want to enter?
Later that evening, a man with spiky black hair tried going through the exit door.
“Finally,” thought the door. “Someone will enter through me.”
The manager stopped the man. “I’m sorry, sir. Our exit door is malfunctioning right now. Please enter the entrance.”
“Blasted Stop & Shop. They stop you before you can shop!”
“Yes, ha ha, sir. Very clever.”
The man grunted and went through the entrance.
The manager, who was a Muslim woman, but that isn’t really relevant, spoke to the door as though it were alive.
“Troublesome door. Why won’t you let people exit at the right time? And why do you open at the wrong time?”
The next day, someone came to look at the exit door.
“It’s gone full-on feelings.”
“Feelings?” asked the manager, who was irrelevantly a Muslim woman.
“It wants to be an entrance. It identifies as an entrance. You can’t reprogram it at this point.”
“The heck I can’t!” She began to yell at the door in Arabic.
“That won’t work, Ms. Othman. It needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.”
“We don’t have that kind of money right now,” Ms. Othman muttered. “Well, we can just leave it alone for now.”
Soon, a new store opened up, bigger and faster than Stop & Shop. The great big Stop & Shop lost a lot of business. Even the man with spiky black hair stopped coming to buy groceries.
“And it’s all your fault, exit door! People think we’re incompetent and won’t enter our store anymore!”
The Muslim lady manager was just angry at the new rival store and blowing off steam, but the door didn’t know that. It was sad.
But the door didn’t want to give up opening for entering customers either. What was a door to do?
“I have the solution!” said Ms. Othman.
She hired a painter to write something on the inside of the door and a second person to scrape off “OUT” on the door. The new paint inside read:
The exit door was so happy. It opened the door to many exiting people who wanted to enter the outside. Even the man with spiky black hair came back, claiming he couldn’t find the yogurt his wife liked at the new store.
Ms. Othman was very happy. She tried to replicate the success with repainting the words on the bathroom doors, but it was just… just a mess.