Just when I thought everything was behind be trouble-wise regarding the company security card (they issued the first one with a woman's photo on it instead of my own), when I tried to use my card with the new IC chip entry system (you hold your card up to a sensor for a second or two instead of swiping it through a slot), I got a low tone beep (instead of the higher tone "Okay - you may enter" beep) and a red light lit up next to "NG" ("No Good") - off to the security office I was sent, where I got in line with several people who had forgotten to bring their new cards.
Feeling a bit miffed after all the trouble I'd already been through with my card, after I finally got a temporary security card for the day, I went immediately to General Affairs (not sure if that's English, but that's the way they generally translate that section from Japanese) and complained with a bit of a head of steam, but at least I was able to force a smile on my face and pretend to be joking about it still. Once up on my floor, I was happy to discover that all of the contract workers on my island (island of desks that is - two pairs of six desks facing each other for an island of twelve - no partitions) were having the same problem.
But... one by one their cards were fixed and mine still wasn't working (you have to use the new cards constantly now, not just when leaving the building, but when going from floor to floor and even to the break room on the same floor) and I got up a new head of steam when I went by the company store and the money I had prepaid into the card last week had gone missing (according to the cash register computer that is). I marched back to the General Affairs Department in a new and merry frame of mind (the first impulse was irritation, but then the comedy of errors began to seem funny and I switched into a "the worse the funnier" frame of mind.
Finally, just fifteen minutes before leaving for the day, the card began working. It took them a good five hours longer to mix mine than every other person on the island though. Why? I have no idea, but thinking of that, my merry good laughing frame of mind is conjuring up new dark storm clouds. Someone in General Affairs having a merry time of causing me trouble? Probably not, but why I am having so much more trouble with my bloody security card than everyone else?
Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon