Friday 16 October 2015

The Loser

I spent a fascinating three hours today in training for my work on October 19th as a Deputy Returning Officer for the long anticipated national federal election.

I had applied earlier for work on the election, but for whatever reason I wasn’t selected. My buddy and Louise were, and after the first little bit of disappointment I was kind of looking forward to a quiet, relaxed day while my lovely wife worked enforcing the democratic process. I thought that listing things that indicated I was a good, productive and contributing member of society was the way to go. Who wouldn’t want an upright citizen that volunteered with kids sport and Scouting for many years? Turns out that Elections Canada had different criteria in mind.

Louise went for her training and when she came home she said that they were still looking for people to work the election. Yayyy??? She told me not to put the same lame shit down this time, but to talk about years of service delivering mail, being bonded and passing numerous security checks. I was called about an hour later. I hate being wrong when I know I should be right!

Today I and about twenty others were sworn in as elections officials. A sorrier bunch of reprobates you’ve ever seen in one room. One of the guys was a chain smoker and said that he could go 14 hours without a smoke no problem. Sure, if he were being held in solitary confinement. He would know. I’m sure that several of the people couldn’t read or write but were pretty good at making X’s. Two of the guys there were twitchy drug user types and were looking forward to getting enough cash for a hit or two. One of the women was bored from the first minute and when the instructor mentioned there would be a break midway, she got up to leave. She heard “break” and figured that was it.

I’m pretty sure I can do the job just as long as there are no real complications. If someone comes in with a mask on, as long as they have two pieces of ID then they can vote. Anything really serious and I just refer them to the person in charge. This should be pretty easy, and I think I should get a lot of reading in.

My biggest worry is that when I tear the ballots out of the book I will destroy the ballot. If I ruin enough ballots, I have no idea what I have to do. Do I get more? Do I have to tape the wrecked ones back together? Will I still get paid?

I am sure that this is a pretty mindless job. Well, it should be judging by the losers I took my training with and the loser they took their training with.

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