January 10th, 2005

Atacama

Just wear your damn badge already

I had a lovely entrée into the office just now: as I approached the door to our building, I noticed a blonde, pretty, salesperson type approaching, yakking away on her cell phone. I swiped my badge and opened the door, and she just walked on in behind me - even though she wasn't wearing a badge.

Now, let me digress for a minute. Back in 1995 or so, I was working for Claris, and one of the women in tech support had just begun the process of getting a divorce. The man she'd married had turned out to be physically abusive, so she'd had to move out quickly and get a restraining order against him, which wasn't easy for her emotionally, financially, and otherwise. As it was a small company, most of us knew her, and we were all painfully aware of the importance of building security. That woman was very, very afraid that someday, this guy would show up at the office, walk in behind somebody, find her cube, and assault her.

These days, I work on mobile phones. Many of you probably have one: you know that they're both very small and very expensive. This generally means that not only are they easily stolen, but that they're fairly desirable: often, people steal them and then rent them out to people wishing to make long distance calls [rumor has it, for example, that you can purchase this "service" from some of the Russian immigrants that hang out at the giant chess set in the Crossroads Mall]. We have a lot of phones in our offices, and as a result we're also paranoid about security: if they get stolen, they can take months to replace, and that really screws with our ship schedule.

Microsoft - as do most companies - has a fairly straightforward badge policy. You have to wear it visibly [so that people can look at you, see the picture on the badge, and know you're OK to be in the building], and you have to swipe it when you enter a building [to prove it's still valid].

Now, this woman wasn't displaying a badge, and didn't swipe anything [the badge readers beep when they detect a valid badge]. So, I asked her if I could see her badge. She did - it was buried in her purse - and then she started getting really, really angry with me.

Two minutes later, as she exited the elevator on the ground floor, she was yelling at me in an elevated voice, demanding to know how long I'd worked here, whether or not I was a security employee, what my name was, and demanding that I "be more polite" and not use an "accusatory tone of voice" with her.

Sigh.

You'd think people would just wear their damn badges already.
Atacama

le wine blog™ - New World to Old World: Bite me

Here's an interesting article courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald - it's got some of the most incredibly OTT wine-snob speak I've heard in years. I especially liked the gratuitous reference to Derrida.

For the record: Old World, y'all can kiss my indie-punk zinfandel drinking ass. Just because terroir is a French word doesn't mean it doesn't exist outside of France. The best wines everywhere are very much of a certain place; Clonakilla tastes like Murrumbateman every bit as much as Ch. Petrus tastes of Pomerol.