Thursday, March 03, 2005

I'm cleared!

Apparently, the way to get a security clearance is to stay home with a cold for a day. I checked my email this morning to find the happy "Clearance granted" email waiting for me in my inbox. This proved to be the deciding factor in the "Am I still feeling too sick to go to work today?" debate. I wanted the darn badge!

So, I came in to work and went over to the badge office to get my nice new badge. So, first I wait in the line, with only one person in front of me. I get called up, hand in my old, uncleared person badge, and receive a nice thick booklet to read and sign. The booklet basically said "don't do anything stupid with your new clearance", although it took about thirty pages to enumerate all the things I shouldn't do. I
sign some forms to indicate that yes, I understand this is a big responsibility and yes, I read the whole booklet.

Back in line. I'm the only person waiting for service, but I still have to stand in line on the spot where you wait for the next person to become available. I get my new badge, but wait! There's a problem! I don't have a hyphenated last name! That should be a space, not a hyphen.
Her: We can't change that here.
Me: Really? When I changed my name on my badge last September, they were able to get it right. I saw them edit it right on the computer there.
Her: Well, we can't change that here. Call this person at this number to get it fixed. There's a phone at the end of the counter.
I shrug and go down to the end of the counter, call someone who is located elsewhere in the same building, explain the annoying error, and am informed that it has been fixed.

Back in line, alone, again. Back to the same woman. Hyphen is still there. The badge creating program must have cached my information. She looks up something else, marks my incorrect badge as destroyed, and looks up me again. No hyphen. Yay! I select a PIN for the badge swipe boxes that require one and leave the building with my shiny new badge.

I immediately head to the nearest gate to make sure I can actually get through it on my own. Swipe card, enter code, and I'm in! I head over to the building where most of my department is located to find someone to celebrate with me. Unfortunately, by this time it is around noon, so nearly everyone is out for lunch. At least I can high-five our secretary and find out in which office they'll put me.

Of course, this brings up the next issue, moving. I'll have to share an office again. *sigh* I really kind of like my office here in the trailer. I just didn't like having to be escorted around any time we had a department meeting. I'll have to pack up my office and have the moving guys haul it inside, maybe next week.

Now we only have one uncleared person in our department. The poor guy is almost certain to be forgotten for meetings now!


Mom said...

Yay for you!! Finally!! I knew you were bound to jump that pesky clearance hurdle soon. I'm sure it'll feel great to dump the escort service. Hope you're mostly over your cold. Talk to you this weekend, honey. Congratulations, oh cleared one! Love, Mom

silnith said...

Dump the escort service? Just what were you doing? And how did you get clearance with that in your background?

Squeaky said...

Note to my mother: We tend not to refer to someone who escorts the uncleared person in the restricted areas as an "escort service". It gives the wrong impression of what is going on. *grin*Hmm, I wonder what sort of (legal) past jobs would hold up the clearance process, anyway?