9.12.2006

The Badgering Badger

I felt like a common criminal, sneaking through an unlocked window of a poorly guarded home. I wasn't doing anything illegal, to be sure. Still, I found myself evading security as I tried to make it in to my office this morning.

Like many large company employees, I was issued a badge on my very first day at work and instructed to wear it any time I was on the premises. I respect the policy. I don't feel as though any civil liberties are being violated despite the fact that I am forced to where a photo ID that hasn’t been updated since 1994.

However, in all honestly, because I can be a bit scatterbrained when it comes to personal possessions, I probably lose or forget my badge more than the average worker.

I've been employed for the same company 11 years next month, and the tendency to lose my badge hasn't been an issue. I walk in, go directly to Kathy the security receptionist, and apologize for my faux pas. In return, she validates my existence and issues me a temporary badge until I locate my permanent one.

No big deal, right?

That's what I thought last Thursday, when true to form, I walked in without my badge.

"I'm sorry, Kathy! I might have dropped my badge in the parking lot this morning. Can I get a temporary?" I asked politely.

'"Why don't you go out and look for it?" Kathy responded.

I was a little surprised by her terse reaction. Given that I was already 15 minutes late for work and the parking lot, which accommodates 400 workers, is enormous I told Kathy I would prefer not to retrace my steps that particular morning.

The following day and still without the proper ID, Kathy issued me another temporary badge. I planned to call and have a new one issued when a Good Samaritan called my office. He had found my badge and left it with Kathy at the front desk.

I went to the front desk to picked up my badge. I started to put it in my purse so I wouldn't lose it again. Kathy stopped me.

"You know, you are really supposed to WEAR your badge," she said. "It's company policy."

I complied with Kathy's request and put the badge on my jacket, never giving it another thought. When I turned in for bed that evening, I still wasn't thinking about my badge. It remained on the jacket and in my closet, even when I returned to work the following Monday.

Sheepishly, I walked up to Kathy.

"I am really, really sorry, but I left my badge on the jacket I wore Friday."

Without a word, she issued me yet another temporary badge. I felt so guilty about my error that I went home at lunch and found my badge that very day.

Kathy must have been unimpressed because I got an e-mail from her supervisor.

"Diane, I understand that you forgot your badge three times last week and that, in fact, you can't find it. Would you like me to order you a new one?"

Wow. Big brother and the badge patrol are watching! I emailed the supervisor, thanked her for the concern, and informed her that I did, in fact, have my badge this particular afternoon.

And then this morning came...

I just couldn’t face Kathy again without my badge, so I waited at a locked, back entrance for someone I know to let me in, on the sly, to the place where I am rightfully suppose to be. And, at lunch, I'll go home and get my badge yet again to avoid the wrath of Kathy.

Am I pathetic or what?

5 comments:

3rdtimesacharm ( 3T ) said...

Ohhh, not pathetic, but certainly forgetful! ;-) You could do what my husband does, as he has to wear a badge to get into his offices as well. He keeps it on his rear view mirror. Never enters the house with it on. Clips it on the rear view before coming into the house, and then it's always there when he pulls into the parking lot at work. (Just a thought) ;-)

3T

jayfish said...

you need to get implanted with a chip!

...or maybe get them to put id's in fashionable things like bracelets and watches!

kenju said...

What I might do is to develop the habit of pinning it over the strap of my purse everyday when I get home, so that it would be with me when I got there the next morning.

running42k said...

Don't you find it weird that they know you by name, yet you need a badge to get by them? Bizarre. Truly a screwed up system.

Empress Juju said...

Sounds like some cream puffs are in order... I work among badge-checking bureaucrats, as well, and nothing delights them more than little bakery boxes accompanied by sheepish grins and gratitude for "helping you out" a couple of weeks ago.

They have the most thankless jobs ever, and a little sugar makes them feel appreciated (and avoids scathing supervisory e-mails).

Just a thought...