If you work for a government agency or high-tech business that uses a badge ID or CAC (common access card) for admittance to the premises/military base, and/or for building access and computer access, you understand how important it is to remember to take it with you everywhere. And you need a foolproof way to remember CAC or ID badge.
If you forget… there aren’t too many things worse than not being able to enter the property on Monday morning when you’re headed to work! Or being locked out of the room where you working on a big project because you jumped up and ran to the restroom quickly, forgetting your ID.
Some things I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to avoid situations like these are:
1) Posting notes and signs around my cubicle
2) Posting signs across the hall from the doorway of the cubicle
The bad thing about signs is that, after a while, you ignore them. (Plus, it’s visual clutter — and your coworkers tend to tease you about your bad memory.)
After years of experimentation, I finally came across the winning combination.
1) Cut a piece of bright red or orange paper and put it in the plastic CAC holder underneath the CAC. (I carry a second badge, so it sits on top of that.) That way, when the CAC is missing and you glance down, you immediately see the wrong color (orange — not white) — and a color that signifies emergency, at that — and you know immediately something isn’t right.
2) Also, clip a big sign that says “CAC” on your purse. When you leave work at night and pick up your purse to take it home with you, don’t let yourself remove the clip until you’ve actually removed the CAC from your computer and inserted it into the holder. (Don’t trust yourself if you think, “It’s only going to be a few seconds; how can I forget it?” Believe me — you’ll get distracted and forget it! I’ve done it numerous times…)
If you’re required to wear and use an ID badge or CAC at work and have an idea that helps you remember it, please share it!