Things You Should Have Been Taught: How Room Numbers Work

Sometimes basic things slip through the cracks, like how room numbers work. Never get lost looking for your classroom or an office again.

              It definitely took me too long to know this is how interior room numbers work. Luckily, I learned before it was helpful. This may be a “duh” moment for some of you, but if you’ve never had this pointed out or thought about it, it may not be. I’ve seen many adults who don’t understand this concept.

              The way interior numbers work is actually really simple. This, of course, assumes that you’re not dealing with a crazy layout that ignores the standard protocol. I have worked in an office that took some liberties with these guidelines, and it confused people. Most of the time that isn’t the case though.

              Room numbers actually tell you a lot more than how many rooms there are in a building. Actually, they tell you everything except how many rooms there are. For example, if you are in a hotel and your room number is 1503. Does that mean that there are over 1,500 rooms in this building??? Probably not. It actually breaks up in to a sort of code. It actually indicates that there are at least 15 floors to this building.

              Continuing this example, the 15 is actually an indicator of which floor you need, and the 03 indicates which room on that floor you need. It’s actually pretty clever and intuitive if you have it pointed out to you. That way, you don’t have to wander around dozens of floors hoping to figure out which floor the room you need is on. That’s what would happen if the numbers were purely linear instead of this code. That’s why you’ll often see that numbers go from 359 to 401 with nothing in between. If you don’t understand the protocol, then you might be left wondering where those other 42 rooms went.

So again, if you’re told you need room 345 then you need to proceed to the 3rd floor, and then to the 45th room (which of course should be labeled 345). Like I said it’s fairly easy and you may have even noticed it yourself, but if no one tells you it’s on purpose then you may not have realized you can count on it. I’m happy to say these are some guidelines you can usually count on.

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