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At the Office...

An Introduction (2000.09.11)

Where I work we have coded ID badges. They grant us entry into the main entrances. They log us into and out of work like time cards. And they grant some of us access to storage closets or server rooms. These badges are used almost everywhere where I work, even in the bathrooms.

See, in the stalls there are three different rolls of toilet paper. Industrial strength one-ply for workers. Two-ply for management and visitors. And soft, quilted two-ply for CEOs, CFOs, VPs, investors, partners, etc. But each roll has its own container, and each container is controlled by the ID badges. You put your ID badge in the slot and enough toilet paper rolls out so you can start rolling out more. Your badge will only work for the toilet paper of your status. It will also only allow you to unroll so much toilet paper at a time, and it even stops and rolls itself back once you reach a limit. (And no, you can’t reach your hand up there to grab more, it’s just a thin slot the toilet paper comes out of.) Not only do higher-level employees get better quality toilet paper, they also get a greater ration. Sounds terrible doesn’t it? But I did say that those badges are use almost everywhere.

Sometimes co-workers try to get better toilet paper. One guy tried taking apart the container to get at the high quality toilet paper, but since you need your badge to get into the bathroom, they quickly tracked him down and fired him. Usually though the ladies just have their friends from other companies meet them for lunch, and then they borrow the visitor badges. People will also bring in their own toilet paper from home. But since this is an “open office” (you can’t lock your drawers or cabinets) that stuff disappears real fast.

But today I think some of us may have made a breakthrough. Paul says that his roommate has a friend who can duplicate the magnetic code in our ID badges. He says that if we can get him one from a higher-level than ours, he could make copies of the code. Then we could use it all the time when we need to use the bathroom, or get more staples from supply, or whatever—the ideas are just beginning to flow. We thought about grabbing a visitor pass, but they track those things very well (can’t leave with them and you have to sign-in and sign-out for them).

So it looks like we have an opportunity, but we just need a plan.

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