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The war of the badges

Do you have a badge? Do you have the right badge?

Once upon a time in a land far, far away there was a castle. It was a big fortress, where rules were being set, and where lords from all over the world came to seek advice and approval. All day long, within its tall glass walls there was a whirlpool of activity. Everyone from simple serfs, to knights, and penmen was doing his share to serve the people as best as possible and to pass on the knowledge of democratization worldwide.

Order was a must, so every knight carried his heraldic blazon proudly along the fortress’ halls, a badge that said who he was, what was he doing. There were many types of badges: a blue one, a red one, a green one and so on. The law of the land spoke of respect and professionalism so they all could live their enchanted lives in harmony.

Still, while all the animals were equal, some were more equal than others. And so began the war of the badges. The feud with the castle’s guards began when the heroine, let’s say that her name begins with A and ends with ndreea, arrived at the gates. She had a blue badge, but for some reason the guards were a little reluctant seeing it and they decided to make further inquiries anyways. That is a very strange thing, thought the heroine, who saw everyone else passing by the gates in a hurry without being stopped. In time she discovered that the people with red badges went through the same process as well. It all became clear one day, when a redheaded fairy explained the whole system.

Back to the future

The modern fairytale has to end because we don’t leave in medieval times, no matter how medieval may seem the different kinds of treatment you get because of the badge. So, the red badge is held by the external employees, hired by companies who work for the European Parliament. The blue badge is worn only by the employees of the EP, but there’s a difference here as well. There are permanent employees (that don’t have a date written on their badge), temporary employees (that have the above-mentioned date) and, at the end of the food chain of course, there are the trainees (Hello there! How’re doing? I’m Andreea, nice to meet you!), that have a blue badge with the “stagiaire” specification and a date on it. The trainees are often held at the entrance and they are asked to show their badge, so that the guards can take knowledge of the date of their traineeship. If you’re an external employee and you’re in a hurry…well, to bad for you. Chances are they will stop you at the entrance, look at you badge and ask you to put your bag through the scanner. Take a 5 minute safety gap before going to your meeting.

If you have a blue badge: Let’s do something for you! Let’s take you out for ice cream; if you have a red badge or a blue badge with “stagiare” on it: No dessert for you tonight!

Aaaand, that’s not the end of it. There are certain places you can’t go to when you are carrying a trainee badge. For example, you cannot enter the canteen at the 12th floor where trainees are not allowed. More over, the trainee badge draws a lot of attention just by walking on the EP’s halls. Every guard is sudden interested in the date of your traineeship when he/she sees you. And if you don’t carry your badge in sight, stop fooling around! Put your badge where it can be seen immediately!

So, to sum up: if you have a blue badge: Let’s do something for you! Let’s take you out for ice cream; if you have a red badge or a blue badge with “stagiare” on it: No dessert for you tonight!

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your bluish badge!

The medieval system is not highly followed in all the EP buildings. There are places in which everyone is treated equally like the building I work in, where you are not stopped by the guards at the gates and you are not considered a villain just because your badge has the “stagiare” mention on it.

Looking across the street at the enormous glass building of the EP, I have a dream! I have a dream that one day all the trainees and external staff will get together and fight back! I have a dream today!

Till that day, from the EP castle, I greet you!

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