the search for a white wall’m working as a contractor for a company and will be editing some Microsoft documentation. I could write a Stephen King-esque horror tale of the nearly 5 hours I’ve spent on the phone with the MS help desk over the past few days, attempting to sort out the process I need to follow to get logged in to their corporate network — but I won’t, because even thinking about it causes my eye to start twitching.

Side note: after finally negotiating the sadistic labyrinth Microsoft has constructed to welcome newcomers, I wrote a step-by-step “how-to” guide and emailed it to the other contractors who were just starting the same process. This morning, one of those people politely bowed out of the project, saying she didn’t have the heart for that sort of struggle. I nearly quit several times, but, as my husband said afterward, I wasn’t going to let them lick me! 😀

Anyway… the grail at the end of the hours with the help desk was getting my own smart card, so I can breach the corporate network’s walls. The final requirement was that I send my manager a photo of myself. (What do they use it for? They didn’t tell me. I’m assuming it will appear on my smart card. Maybe it’s so that if someone finds the card, they can be sure they’re returning it to the correct person. Or maybe the Smart Card Police travel around the country, popping in unannounced and yanking the smart cards out of remote workers’ computers just to be sure We Are Who We Say We Are.) No problem; I had several photos that I took for Guilderoy Byrne publicity. I cropped one down to my head and mailed it off.

Yesterday comes the return message: The photo has been rejected. Turns out it must be taken against a plain white or blue background, face forward, like a passport photo. Can I please go to a Costco or other store and get such a photo taken? Sure, I can; but I won’t. I’m damned if they’re going to make me drive out and get passport photos when I can have someone take a perfectly good picture here at home.

So this morning my husband got the camera — and we realized that we couldn’t take the picture in the kitchen, because the walls are bright red. I couldn’t stand against a door because the doors aren’t flat, and the Photo Trolls might reject the photo due to excess background bevelling. In the living room, where the walls are gray? Better not; they specified white or blue. The bedroom walls are yellow; both kids’ rooms are colorful, too. Where in our house do we have white walls? Only one place: our bathroom.

The problem there was adequate wall space for me to stand in front of. Mirror on this wall, tub on the other wall, doors, towel racks … that left the wall behind the toilet. We ended up with me standing right beside the potty, against our lone, bare, plain-white wall.

My house is colorful outpost in a white-walled world. I may be temporarily a cog in the Microsoft wheel, but they can’t that away from me!

Photo link.

One response to “the search for a white wall

  1. Bedsheet? Tablecloth? Even a towel if the camera is close enough.

    Maybe the software you use for processing images has a function to change the colour of the background then you could take the photo against any unified colour and alter it.

    Email SilverTiger

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