Thursday, August 16, 2007

Extra Secure

I love the Security system at my office. It’s fun being a contractor. You get to jump through meaningless hoops so someone else can feel like they are effective. There are a number of excellent rules and regulations here. For example, every day all contractors enter through the side door. You can tell who the contractors are because they all have red bordered badges to contrast with the regular employees blue. They stop at the security desk to check in. Security click a button on the screen next the contractor’s name. How many of you think that does something? Perhaps it checks the employee in and activates their badge? Keeps them hones about their hours because they check in and out? Nope. It just acknowledges that they stopped by the desk. In order to prove that you checked in, they have to put a round sticker with a red C on it on the back of your badge. The sticker has day of the month hand written on it. It’d be impossible to circumvent this system. Well, maybe Tom Cruise could do it in the next MI movie.


The best part of the whole system is that it is possible to go out through a door that you are not allowed back in through. The first such place I found was the patio of the cafeteria. It was a nice day, so I went to sit at a cool and shady table while I ate. None of the doors would allow me back in. To add insult to injury, the patio is surrounded by a tall iron fence to prevent outsiders from eating with us without security clearance. The gates leading out through this fence are locked and not badge activated. I was trapped on the patio until someone opened the door for me, which by the way is a security violation. No piggybacking allowed.


Why am I ranting about all of this? I had to mail a letter at work today. The mail pickup is at the reception desk. I walked out to the lobby and dropped it off, completely forgetting that my badge does not allow me in through the lobby. Further, the receptionist is not allowed to open the door for me. So even though I just walked out that door for the sole purpose of putting an envelope on a tray, I can’t go back in. She looked at me without a hint of pity and said “You have to go around”. So, I walked out the front doors, down the far end of the building in the hundred degree heat, and back in through the unlocked doors. I then walked past security, which saw my red bordered badge and never bothered to check for the scarlet C. I then got the customary snub from my star-bellied, er, I mean, blue-bordered colleagues, and finally made it back to my desk. Well, I feel better.