You never know how frustrating a situation can be until you get to taste the experience.

I had a quick meeting planned for 12:30 at kLab today and headed for the Telecom House in Kacyiru. As I enter the building, get through the security checks and grab out my ID card for identification and clearance – and for the Visitor badge – I’m asked to sit and wait.

“You’ll have to wait for a person to come out so you can get a badge,” the policeman said to me. “Badges for access to kLab are all in use.”

“Oh, ah bon! So I really have to wait,” I asked, to be sure. “Yes, please,” he insisted.

And then I thought: “Can you give me any other badge that just lets me enter, since I’m running late for a meeting?”

“Not possible,” he said. “You’ll have to wait for a person who comes from kLab.”

He added, “But you can call the person whom you’re meeting with.”

I didn’t want to ask if we’re allowed to hold our meeting just at the entrance of this five-star security building, which also happens to be home to a multitude of IT solution focused companies. But, well, I took a seat.

It felt comfortable in the seat. But I got confused with the situation.

I didn’t quite understand what one of my friends was talking about when he explained the situation – which he also experienced – early last week.

Why would anyone wait for a badge from somebody who’s leaving kLab, when you have no idea when they’re leaving?

While I thank the team at Telecom for bringing some changes to the procedures (I lamented last year about the registration process of laptops at the entrance), I still believe there’s need to do more.

It’s quite unreasonable to make anyone wait for a badge. It should be the other way round: badges wait for people.

It’s quite embarrassing; to have such an awkward system at the entrance of the country’s top innovation lab. Or, perhaps, I should have said I was going somewhere else, not kLab?

Today, I ask: Telecom, how innovative can you be?

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