I had the best example of stupid bullshit bureaucracy occur this morning. This shit writes itself.
So I have gone to court every Monday for the past three weeks without incident at screening. (X-raying my bag, going through the metal detector, etc.) Today broke that pattern in glorious fashion.
Security Guard: "Ma'am! Do you have a CAMERA in your bag?"
Ellen Aim: (thinking) "I don't know, maybe." (Probably, my little one.)
Note: This was the part where I should have said, "Oh that thing's busted," or even, "Oh, it has no battery/card/etc." And it didn't have a card! Brain fail.
SG: "You have to take it outside the building."
I mean, wtf? It's not a dog you tether to something (I never understood that, either, btw) or like I can give it to someone "outside the building."
SG: "What are you here for?"
My answer did not get me to the right Choose Your Own Adventure page.
SG: "Did you drive here?"
EA: "No. Can you just hold it for me here?"
SG: (very brusquely) "NO."
SG: "There's a cafe across the street. They'll hold it for you."
So I stand there for a moment, and no one is paying attention or giving half a shit, and the thought did cross my mind to just keep heading towards the elevators. EVEN BETTER. You know what I should have done? Gone out and gone around to the back entrance. I shit you not, there are two entrances and you know it wouldn't have come up again.
But I was kinda flipping out because I went outside and I didn't see no goddamn cafe and I needed to get to court. This is my small little digital camera. I really do like it, but I had to do something. So I totally stashed it in tall grass by a tree on the street. At 8:30am in front of a courthouse in downtown Boston. And crossed my fingers.
It gets better.
I went back in, put my backpack through again and went through the metal detector.
SG: "Ma'am, do you have a fork in your bag?"
EA: (patiently) "Yes." (I packed my lunch, which you can also plainly see, asshole.)
SG: "We'll have to take that out, but we'll keep it for you in this drawer."
And I am sorry to say that I DID mumble something under my breath but I ASSURE you it was (maybe?) completely inaudible. Because however infuriatingly fucking stupid this entire exercise was, I still had to get to court.
Better yet, they made me pull up my suit pant legs because I made the detector beep. I have NEVER seen them do that to anyone. I would also point out this is the first time I have not worn a skirt and I can't help but feel I'm being treated differently...as my colleague/friend pointed out (he likes to poke the bear), "It's a man's world here, honey, you all are just here to see the sights."
And I am very happy to say that I recovered both my fork and yes, my camera. I don't know how weird it looked when a girl in a suit bent down and retrieved a camera from the tall grass by the street, but I was happy to have it back.
If working retail and learning how shoplifters think taught me anything, it's that sometimes you can do something totally rash right out in the open and not a single person will notice. (On the other hand, someone is always watching.) So you never know. Yay little camera!