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A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Stupid Security Cocktails

So Hachette was having a cocktail reception this afternoon for literary agents to show off their beautiful new open plan offices.

To which I RSVPed on December 15.

Now, I'm curious as I walk up what kind of security thing they'll have, because having dozens or hundreds of agents waiting in line for their building passes would be kind of silly.

So they have this check-in desk with a little Hachette sign and people holding scads of pre-printed bar-coded building passes.  And we're told that these are under the agency names, and I say I'm there from JABberwocky, and like half the people on line, I'm told "we don't have your badge; you'll have to check in with the main desk" where you need to get a nice individual photo guest barcoded badge.

And I just didn't feel like it.

Did they have the badge under my name even though I was told twice it should be under the agency's name?  The email signature on my RSVP did just have my name on it and not the company name, though in theory if they're checking the RSVPs the database list would have both, and if they aren't certain, maybe somebody could check both my name and the agency's name, but Person A might have one letter of the alphabet and Person B might have the other letter, and do I really want to spend my time asking them "are you sure, do you want to check under name name as well as the agency name" when they're all so sure the badge is under the agency name?

What's the point of the security charade anyway, because pretty much anyone can say they're here for the Hachette reception and get a badge regardless of whether they're on the list or not.  So just walk over to 1290 Avenue of the Americas right this instant, wait on the first line, then have them tell you to go on the second line, and you're golden.  You can do whatever you want.  Shit, tell them you're Joshua Bilmes.

It's just bullshit, and I've got better things to do with my time than deal with bullshit in order to get a glass of wine or champagne from Hachette Book Group.

Like write a quick blog post to call Vornado, the landlord of Hachette's building, and Hachette, on their bullshit.  This is stupid security theatre.  It's scores or hundreds of agents each having to wait on line, or on multiple lines, for three or five minutes.  It's five hours of productive time on this Earth that's lost for no reason at all.