I started my new job today, as a chemotherapy nurse. It seems like it will be good… better hours, fewer weekends, patients that are more than just dressing changes and medical conditions. I suspect there will be some emotional component that I am not yet fully appreciating, but for now, at least, on paper, this is a Good Job.
The highlight of my day (besides the bus ride home, which is another post entirely), however, was a trip to the security office for my ID card. If I never had to see the control freak who does the photographs again in my life, it would be too soon. Unfortunately, I do, tomorrow, because apparently I cannot go to work at the facility unless I relinquish my old, expired, student ID card. This is a man who takes himself and his position far too seriously. He is prepared to go to the wall in not releasing a current identification card, unless I bring in the old one.
Perhaps if I had been offered a polite, or even emotionally neutral, explanation for why they require the old badge (terrorists may get hold of it and come and administer incorrect drugs to the patients; someone impersonating a student nurse may gain access to a building through the “Employees Only” entrance) his attitude would have been easier to swallow. But a curt, unfriendly, “I need your old one. NEXT!!” just doesn’t cut it.
And the woman at the front desk was almost as bad. I think she must be his wife, or maybe his ex-wife (the only thing that might be worse than working with him might be being married to, or divorced from, him). The two are quite a pair. I can’t figure out if they are a) not very smart, and therefore unable to cope with the slightest deviation from the routine, or b) power hungry control freaks who firmly believe the safety of the entire facility rests solely on their office, or c) two average people so bored with their menial jobs that they feel the need to kick up the excitment quotient every once in a while by seeing how far they can push people before they get a phone call from a supervisor.
I am tending toward b. On my bus ride home, I concluded that the only explanation for the behaviour of the photo guy was that he was not long retired from a grunt-like rank in the armed forces (perhaps because of situation a), above), sick and tired of being on the bottom rung of the hierarchy of power-to-shitkick-inferiors-at-will, and was stretching his new-found wings of authority by exerting what little control he has in life over hapless and unsuspecting potential employees. I also decided that he has a Nagging Wife (maybe even the receptionist) and it was a ship’s cat situation… captain kicks the first mate, first mate kicks deckhand, deckhand only has ship’s cat left to kick. Photo Guy is the deckhand, we are the ship’s cats.
To be fair, I can see some problems with issuing duplicate cards. Security is an important consideration, especially in the post-nine-eleven era. But does it really warrant rudeness? I don’t think so; not much does. Hopefully when I return tomorrow, I can keep my opinions to myself long enough to escape with my ID badge and without Photo Guy or Bitchy Receptionist calling in their goons to have me forcefully expelled from the building. Probably wouldn’t look to good on an employee file, the first week. I’ll let you know how it goes.