Today I was scolded for leaving my access card at home for the second time. From my point of view, this causes about 10 seconds of work for the people at the reception. When I asked why this would be such a big deal, I got only evasive answers pointing to policies and power plays ("this is not up for discussion"). This leaves me with the impression that the person scolding me doesn't actually know of any negative impact, but just tries to overly strongly enforce policies. Is there a term describing such behavior?

EDIT: My use case for the term I am searching for is for writing a blog post about my experiences with this company. Example sentence: "The company is very hierarchical, beaurocratic, and encourages ${TERM}."

EDIT2: I know it's a bad idea forgetting your key card. I am just trying to understand whether the harshness of the reaction is justified. Imagine you are 5 mins late for a meeting - you know it's bad behaviour, but you would probably consider it too harsh if you get fired for that.

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    Hello, and welcome to EL&U. If the "access card" is like the ones I have had to use in medium to high security areas...it sounds like you are violating basic security measures. What are you actually looking for here? An insult to put them in their place? – Cascabel Jun 11 '19 at 3:03
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    "Justified annoyance"? "Reasonable criticism"? If they haven't reported you to management, then perhaps "overly patient"? NB please read our own site rules, particularly for single-word-requests: "To ensure your question is not closed as off-topic, please be specific about the intended use of the word. You must include a sample sentence demonstrating how the word would be used." :-) – Chappo Hasn't Forgotten Monica Jun 11 '19 at 3:31
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    Authoritarianism is probably the word you're looking for. There may be very good reasons to inflict hassle and criticism on you for leaving the card at home, but when people insist that the fundamental justification is merely the policies in force or the diktats of their superiors (without any deeper knowledge of the rationale, or interest in considering it) that tends to suggest an authoritarian outlook. – Steve Jun 11 '19 at 3:57
  • Someone who blindly follows the rules is sometimes called a jobsworth (from I'm sorry I can't let you through, it's more than my job's worth). – user339660 Jun 11 '19 at 4:00
  • Incidentally, one of the main reasons for their behaviour is to deter you (and others) from attempting to gain access more frequently without your card. It is not merely the time cost (although that may become significant with many people), but that you are forcing the "gatekeeper" to revert to an approach based on personal recognition and promote a habit on their part of admitting entry to those without the necessary identification. The likelihood eventually is that they will admit somebody either unfamiliar to them, or who has had their access revoked. – Steve Jun 11 '19 at 4:03

This may be what you are looking for -

redtapism: behaviour, practices, or attitudes associated with an excessive adherence to official rules and formalities

It basically refers to unnecessary rules. The "you don't understand" part doesn't fit, I would say.


Bangladesh, on independence, drastically changed the old complex procedures breeding red-tapism and corruption.


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