Cai poses for his screen test.
This entry was written on Saturday morning, because there won’t be any time on Tuesday when I work a thirteen-hour shift. Please think warm thoughts about Themarvelousinnature, because she’ll be doing the same thing.
E.g. talked me into calling Elections Canada to see if there was still poll station work available on election day. There was. I was asked to come to a three-hour training session. I did.
The training session was for poll clerks (PC) and deputy returning officers (DRO), the two people who sit at the table with the ballot box on it. The DRO is the one in charge, while the PC draws lines through names on the electoral list and other assistant-type duties. Since I’ve never worked an election before, I would be a poll clerk.
Or would I? I waited all week for some news about what station I would be working at, and finally concluded that they wouldn’t need me after all. Maybe my instructor didn’t appreciate my evaluation-sheet critique of his pedagogy.
At suppertime last night, Elections Canada called. They already had enough poll clerks. I therefore had two options:
- Show up at the office at 08 00 in case anyone canceled — if no one did, I would be paid for two hours; or
- work as a DRO.
I am ashamed to say that I actually hesitated. Despite the fact that, in order to work at an election, you need no greater qualifications than legal adulthood, I was worried about trying on the managerial position. Soon enough, however, I realized that I would be able to someday use this tale in a job interview. I’m responsible! I perceived a need and filled it! I was promoted on my first day! I wasn’t the sniveling crumpled heap sitting in this interviewee chair!
And besides, the DRO position pays an extra thirty bucks.
So the caller gave me my station number, and asked me if I could come that evening before 20 30 to pick up my station’s ballot box? I could.
What’s even better, E.g. came with me. We took the car, and parked in the parking garage south of Ryerson U. A few blocks farther south is the elections office from which we exited, E.g. carrying the polling screen and I carrying the ballot box.
I threw my jacket over the box as we settled into a booth at Johnny Rockets for supper. Apparently this restaurant is part of a 22-year-old American chain, but neither of us had heard of it before. It was great! One server drew a ketchup smiley face on a plate for our onion-ring-dipping delight, and three others line-danced to a 70s disco tune.
That was Friday night. Today is Tuesday, and I’m in a gymanasium somewhere with 11 other polling stations and waves of people, and I’m smiling and repeating instructions to an endless string of voters and doing very well at it. I hope. Wish me luck.