Wednesday, December 5, 2007

ID

Today in the my Catalan class we had to do one of those sesame street "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things is not quite the same..." Exercises (how many of you sang that as you read it? Hmmm?)...there were want ads for available jobs, which had silly requirements in them that were extraneous or illogical. We went through the exercise, but then I mentioned to the teacher that the ads that requested a photo with the CV would be illegal in NA, rightly so we felt. Certainly the requirement was extraneous and illogical.

She was surprised and asked why...we pointed out the rich possibilities for discrimination that providing a photo offers, and she seemed startled and thoughtful...one of the unbearable OLD SPANISH LADIES (OSL's) in the class of course had a lot to say. I ignored her entirely and continued to talk over her. I am so RUDE sometimes and they still don't get it....

Many people felt that asking for photos allowed for greater discrimination, some of them quite strongly, one of them felt it wasn't a big deal, we take photos all the time. Of course, my point being that our penchant for photos does not bear on your opportunities at finding work....then I mentioned that I found it strange that in Spain it is mandatory to carry photo ID with you at all times...technically I am supposed to bring my passport with me everywhere I go. Can you imagine? In BARCELONA???? The chance of keeping it for a year is next to zero...I am sure the consulates would be happy to go into nearly full time production of new passports while simultaneously posting Interpol warnings about stolen ones.

Many of my fellow students were surprised to discover that it is not mandatory to carry ID everywhere in Canada or the US, nor in the UK...in my frequently inflammatory style I mentioned that it is reminiscent of fascism....left some folks thoughtful, others laughed.

I do find that very strange though...very big brotherish....

They were surprised to realise that I NEVER hand in a photo here, nor did I in the Catalan class when it was requested. Interestingly, the only other person who didn't, that I know of, was the American in the class.

OH! My SECOND health card came in the mail today, after a record two weeks or so from application. Amazing. Now to apply for the pan-EU card...

This is the year of bureaucracy.

*groan*

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Carrying ID is almost universal in Europe except for the UK, so people regard it as normal, I wouldn't push the facism button too hard.

Sea Dog

Anonymous said...

You have forgotten that NA bars, pubs, nightclubs, discos used to - and I think they still do - demand ID from patrons/students to prove their age and so did movie houses in the days when films were censured!
That was a mind blower for European tourists in NA.
Count your blessings that you don't have to fill out a form anymore and hand over your passport for a day, every time you check into most European hotels.And it wasn't just in the USSR either!
AND the UK? it's more big brotherish than most people care to notice. Ever looked at the lamp posts while standing at a bus stop?
Wouldn't REQUEST BUSSTOP be quite different if that had been the case in the 1950s?GM

Theresa said...

I don't think having a photo on the ID cards is such a bad thing, at least you know the card corresponds to the person who's showing it to you (usually). And stores that don't ask for photo ID when I use my credit card make me nervous, I want them to make sure it's me before letting me use the card. I have nothing to hide, so why should I care if asked to prove my identity? Besides in America almost everyone has a driver's licence with a picture on it, and when asked for ID it's what they use, so basically it's the same thing. It's not manditory, but without picture ID over there you can't buy alcohol or get into a bar, and lots of places require one to buy something with a check or a credit card. And about the resumé thing, I don't think sending a photo helps or hurts your chances, because if they want to discriminate based on someone's looks the person just won't get past the interview. People here are just more laid-back about certain things, and I don't think it's such a bad thing.

oreneta said...

Sea Dog, I said it as a joke and left it there....though it still seems strange...

GM: I agree with you about London and the UK, more cameras on you than anywhere else, can't pick your nose or your undies there in peace without a million eyes looking at you and recording it...creepy.

Theresa: I know what you mean, but I still find it very strange, and I have never ever liked being asked for a photo for an application of any form and only very rarely do it, for instance the guy who is printing up an ID card in front of me, or the passport office...for some reason it doesn't feel right somehow.

Sirdar said...

I guess we don't realize the freedoms we have here in NA. I just wonder how long it will be before we do have to have photo ID with us at all times. We have to have our drivers licence with us at all times when we drive...but that isn't the same. I guess there is just a different perspective of freedoms between the two continents.

Nomad said...

I am beginning to believe it us North Americans who are odd...
Here I figure it is becuase there is a political border every 6-800 kms or so and lots of nationals from all over milling around, the european governments need to (try) to keep everyone straight...

But yes it is perplexing. It was like that in France, a photo for EVERYTHING, and yes I did and do carry my passport with me everywhere then and now, I get asked for it all the time here too. The other peculiarity I find is that we have to not only sign and date everything but also write in detail the location of the completion of the transaction...

I like to say different ...but not strange...but I must confess I am not so sure...

I just account it to different political history, lots of borders and a very different sense of political union that has not quite caught up with itself yet...

Dawn said...

Although it is true we often have a drivers license with us, it is not mandatory to carry. We will not randomly be asked to show it or any other piece of ID. I for one, in my 40s would never be asked for ID in a bar to prove I am old enough to drink, so although that may be true for someone who is 19 or 20, it is not true for the majority of people. I agree with you on the idea of showing a photo when applying for a job, that it could be discriminatory.

I know people from El Salvador, and when an ad is put in the paper for a secretary, it will specify a pretty, not older than 25 year old for the job. A 35 year old would have just lost the job, because she is too old and not pretty enough. We do take our freedom to not be discriminated against for granted here in NA.