Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The alternative Badge of Honour

Or is that Badge of Dishonour?

Oh dear, for about only the 3rd time since I have worked here I am forced to wear this ‘unclean’ symbol! It's like I am walking around with a bell around my neck.

Where I work is a highly secured area demanding that everywhere you go you need to have a security pass to get there; to operate doors, turnstiles etc. Well this morning as I walked across the car park to the first of these automated policemen, I realised that I had left my pass at home – 45 miles away. No problem, in these instances you can get a temporary pass form the central security site. But today is probably the coldest morning we have had this winter and the security desk is about a quarter of a mile away from the optimum car space that I use to gain access to my office.

After a cold and windy walk there and a grilling as to who I am, why I need a temporary pass, where do I work etc I now have this delicate little badge to wear around my neck for the rest of the day and I as walk around the corridors I just know that everyone is saying to themselves, "tee hee, just look at that jerk who had to trek to the security desk this morning".

It is however worse than that. When they issue a temporary pass their darling little security computer system also temporarily de-activates my permanent pass (just in case I have given it to an undesirable for the day). Which in turn of course means that I will have to do the same again tomorrow morning in order to get my own pass back as this one is only valid for 24 hours. Let’s hope the forecast snow doesn’t actually arrive and that I actually remember to go there in the morning!

One other thing – our passes also serve as purses or wallets as all the retail outlets (coffee, restaurant, sandwich shop etc) operate a cashless system, taking pre-deposited money off of your pass. Yep you got there already didn’t you? The temporary pass doesn’t have that facility. Now who can I beg a coffee (and maybe lunch) from?

No comments: