Saturday, February 02, 2008

Saga of My ID Card

This term my room at the college requires a swipe card for entry. Once inside, there is a computer hooked up to a projector. I can use a graphing calculator without having to drag one from room to room. I can put a book on the projector instead of using the old fashioned overhead.

I don't have a swipe card so the secretary typed out a letter authorizing the ID office to issue me one. This office is not open evenings so I ran over during lunch (and prep) to pick up the card. The college is only about 5 minutes from the high school I teach in and the secretary told me the whole process would only take about ten minutes. Everything usually goes well at the college, so I was not concerned.


The highway had a lane closed for construction. The five minute trip took fifteen minutes.

Mr. Homeland Security, the guard at the front gate, did not want to let me in to park. He told me that the school does not issue swipe cards. I had to wave the letter in his face to gain entry.

The secretary told me to go to a room *** but when I got there, I found a sign directing me to room ###. Of course there were no signs around pointing out the location of that room and no one was around to ask. (It was hidden in a corner behind the Bursar's office.)

The line to get into the ID office was 50 people long. Since I am faculty, I walked in without waiting. Faculty ID's could only be taken at one of the two machines and the woman, Ms. Discombobulated, that worked the one I needed, was on a break. By the way, the office opened at 11:00 and I arrived at 11:10. Ms. Discombobulated wouldn't take the picture until she ate her gum drops. She needed the sugar. Then she took a phone call. Next, she insisted I needed my expired ID (which I did not have). The number she needed was already on the computer, so she really did not need it at all. She finally took the picture, but the computer did not hold it. How anyone could lose a digital picture on a computer is beyond me, but lost it she did. I then sat for another one. It came out awful, but at that point I did not care. I just wanted to get out of there. While all this was going on, the other ID person, Ms. I Don't Give a S***t was busy doing something, I'm not sure what that something was. Meanwhile, the line outside grew longer. The kids on the line became agitated. The ten minute process was up to forty minutes but, I did get my card and I got out of there before any of the kids on that line got violent. In all that time, only two students had been taken off the line.

I still have to wait a week before I can use the card. A locksmith has to put my number into the system and like all NYC contractors, he is only in the school one day a week. But, unlike Ms. Discomboboulated and Ms. I Don't Give a S**t, the secretaries in the math department are efficient. They are the ones in charge of getting my card to the right person so it will be activated. I know that it will be working soon.

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