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The Case of the Lost Card

By Andy Warren,

Today we have a guest editorial from Andy Warren as Steve is traveling for SQL in the City.

It’s common though certainly not universal to be issued a door card or fob of some sort to gain access to the office. Less often it’s accompanied by a company issued photo id (unless you work at one of the government agencies where even your name is a secret).  Door cards that can be deactivated are certainly a step up from giving everyone a key to the main office door and for that reason alone probably worth doing, because the door key certainly didn’t get changed when one was lost or someone left the company.

Policies governing the use vary – some require the ID to be continuously displayed, some don’t care as long as you swipe your card to open doors or get the elevator to go to the correct floor. Whatever policy they set is fine with me. I’m more interested in seeing how the policy handles the real world, the one where people forget their cards once in a while. Here are some examples I’ve seen:

  • It didn’t matter because everything you needed was inside the badge zone, all you had to do was walk in with someone.
  • It mattered because going to the bathroom meant you had to badge back in. Except it didn’t matter because you knocked on the door to get someone to let you in. When that got old an ‘extra’ badge was hung on a hook for the person who forgot theirs (though you did have to get inside to get it).
  • It mattered because without a visibly displayed badge someone was going to call you on it. That meant going to the receptionist and going through some process to get a one day pass issued.
  • It mattered because you had to pay $5 to get a new card. The $5 being less of an issue than the problem of them taking cash only. Do the cards really cost $5? I don’t know.

How well does your organization handle the case of the lost card? For extra credit, what’s your preferred method of carrying your card; on a lanyard, on a reel, or in your pocket/wallet?

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