Thursday, August 5, 2010

The meanest lady in the world.

I have been at my current job for over seven months now. I have lost my building ID card once. Allow me to tell you how this caused me to encounter what is arguably one of the meanest ladies in the world.

It is important to note that I am prone to losing things. I am relatively certain that I will never receive an engagement ring because I have lost nearly every piece of jewelry gifted to me by a significant other. I have lost drivers licenses. Keys. And building passes? Yeah. I lose those on a semi-regular basis. For those of you who have never had to get one, a building pass is a common accessory you receive when you are working in a building in a big city. Sometimes it has your photograph. Sometimes you have to scan it as you walk by security. But in every grown-up job I have had, I have had to use a building pass. And every building pass I have ever had has been lost at least once. (That's at least six, for the record.)

So, of course, two months into this job, I drop my building pass somewhere in the quarter block walk from my office building to the courthouse. How I lost the ID is not the relevant inquiry to this fact. I know that when I receive a building pass, it is likely to get lost at some point. When I will lose the ID is the important question. After several unsuccessful visits to lost and founds (did YOU know there was a lost and found in the Daley Center?), I was faced with contacting Human Resources and telling the representative that I needed a new ID card. This is a chore in and of itself. After I had waited the requisite three days to make sure that no one mailed it back to building security (seriously?) and showed the video proof that I had gone to all available lost and founds (kidding), I was able to get on the list to get a new ID. Ten days later. Say whaaaa? Oh yeah. They only print the IDs once a month. Shoot me now. (Or then. You know.)

So ten days of having to ask the receptionist to buzz me into the front door (supremely annoying, trust me), I hustle down to the second floor to get a new ID. I join the growing line of employees waiting to receive a new badge. At my present place of employ, you wait in a long hallway with a few chairs. When it is your turn, they will say next. At that moment, you are expected to be in that office explaining how you are (a) on the list to get a new ID and (b) that you are not an incompetent buffoon for either losing your ID or requiring a new one (because yours has expired.) Speed is key here. This woman is already angry. The key is to attempt to not anger her further.

As we all anxiously awaited to bolt down the hallway when it was our respective turn, the conversation stuck to one topic: the insane meanness of the one individual who printed the IDs. I am not sure how long she has worked in the building, but she is notorious for giving the business (which is my speak for being nasty) to anyone and everyone who requires this basic necessity of a building ID. After approximately twenty-five minutes of anxiety, it was my turn. I changed into my running shoes and positioned myself close to the door so that when she said next, I could be in the chair in a flash.

I knew she was going to be upset from the get-go because I had to tell her that I had lost my ID. I sat in the chair as she looked through each and every one of her email print-outs that put us on the ohsoimportant "list" to get a new ID. She looked through those emails probably six times. After I nearly had a heart-attack thinking that she was not going to give me a new ID, she found the email. I then explained to her that "no, my name didn't change, I just lost my ID." The look of disdain that woman gave me probably knocked me down to an even five foot six inches of height (down from five foot six and a half). She then asked for my drivers license and began the process of printing me a new ID. Of course, at this very moment, the machine chose to break. Out of toner, she says. Apparently, this was all my fault. Ten minutes later, she fixed the toner problem, all the while spouting nasty little blurts implying that this trouble in her life was due to me losing my ID. I received the ID after being in that uncomfortable chair for fifteen minutes with a stern admonishment: "This is your ONE. DON'T lose it again." Alright, lady, I got it. Now you know why I hold it in an obnoxious pink holder. Less likely to lose it again and go through this nasty process.

Every time I see this woman outside of her ID-making cave of an office, I laugh. Honestly, how can anyone be so incredibly mean to every single person who walks through her doors? It is actually quite hilarious. I anticipate after I have been working at my job for awhile longer that I will want to mess with her. Maybe after I have been with this job for a year. Then it is likely for me to lose my ID and have to go pay her another visit. I actually get very excited when I see her. She maintains a look on her face that makes me think she has just taken a swig of sour milk, then squeeze a half a lemon in her mouth for good measure. I don't know how any person can look so sour day after day. Perhaps this is her special gift. Or curse.

The other day, I was reminded of this awful mean woman. I was riding the elevator down for lunch. I stopped on the tenth floor. A woman was trying to get onto the elevator, but she paused. She had this panicky look on her face as she pawed through her purse in front of the open elevator. She did one of those self-frisking moves and realized she was wearing the item for which she had been so fervently searching: THE ID. She gets into the elevator making an offhand comment about how she can't lose her ID: That woman who makes the IDs is the worst. I laughed. Perhaps I am the only person who is amused by this mean lady. However, it is certain that I am not the only woman she has verbally abused.

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