Although I sometimes have prepared or quasi-prepared posts for O.C.T.O.B.E.R. and M.A.P.L.E., oftentimes they are inspired by something that happened during the day or previous day. Well, autopilot is that inspiration today.
It actually happened twice! When I was leaving Tech for the day, I rolled my bike into the elevator from the fourth floor, and hit the “1” button. The door opened, and I prepared to wheel out… except that the person getting on told me, “This isn’t 1.” I’m so used to the elevator not stopping at an intermediate floor, even though the elevator is not an “express.”
And then it happened AGAIN when I got back to my apartment! After hitting “9,” I went up, and the door opened at 8. This was very unexpected, so naturally I prepared to exit, before realizing that the posters in the lobby were NOT the Diego Rivera ones that are on the ninth floor.
So what causes autopilot tendency? It is much more often associated with driving than use of an elevator or transit. When you get into a routine, it can be very hard to change. When I lived in Lincoln, I frequently had “autopilot” tendencies to either Runza or Southeast, and occasionally took a wrong turn toward those places when I was really headed somewhere else, like the office.
However, when you have an autopilot mistake on a bike or in an elevator, it is much less pernicious than in a car or on public transit. Especially the latter, since you would then be at the mercy of the “rhombus.” (Yes, I had to end this post on an incredibly lame pun. This was not intended as a buildup to it, though!)
Today is the ninth day of O.C.T.O.B.E.R. That makes one week and two days.