A solar flare outage just made me lose all of this post! It's also making my mouse do weird things...
It was lucky that I only had to go three miles because the gas gauge allowed me eight before I would have to push. Since I forgot to get directions, I had to drive by braille (as Mark says) thinking I knew about where this church was. I found it first try, tucked behind some buildings on a side street. Winning again!
If you've ever wondered why you can never find a parking spot at the polls it's because the workers park in front. Many of them had handicap permits and used those spaces as well. We weren't going anywhere for 15 hours! It was also an unusually sunny day here in Ohio in March, so we weren't even dodging rain.
After swearing in, my first order of business was to change the roll of toilet paper in the ladies room. Ahhhhh, just like home. I can do this!
The set up hour went fairly quickly. The other workers were very nice and chatty, which helped the day pass. It was kind of weird to see the precinct tables lined up on the altar. (The church uses it as a worship/multipurpose room.) About 6 a.m. I smelled something odd and it took a few seconds to place it. Chocolate chip cookies in the oven! The wonderful church ladies had cookies and coffee for everyone the whole day! (We tried to conjure up that smell as we teary-eyed-ly, but politely, helped a group of farmers who had just been in with hog poo... Ugh! and they were on their way to lunch???)
There is definitely a senority "dibs" method to who does what. I was assigned the "number a pink (R) or green (D) or white (other) voter slip to each voter in chronological order." But, then I also got the "hand out the 'I Voted' stickers" job on top of that. No problem, I was born to multi-task! On my own I decided to keep a running tally to make it easier to balance during the day. What initiative! I also managed to knit half of a scarf... we weren't allowed cell phones (no service anyway), newspapers or computers. Voter turnout was low because it wasn't a general election and there were no issues for our precinct to decide.
Of course we had to learn the other positions as folks took breaks, so I got to do the cool "put the cartridge in the voting machine and explain" job. With us switching off and often doing several of the jobs, little boo-boos happened, but we balanced the books quickly at the end of the day. We got out at 8:30 p.m. which I am told is a record.
If you are wondering about the pay, know you will not get rich from this. Ninety percent of the workers are retired and call this their way of earning "mad money." I was by at least a decade the youngest there. They get to visit with their friends and see lots of neighbors if they are working in their own precinct (which I wasn't...dibs again!) We get $25 for the training meeting and $100 for the 13-hr day before taxes. They say it takes about a month to get paid. (Just got check! We must have gotten a $10 raise!) I probably will volunteer when I get to that age as well. I don't think I will be doing the prez election. It will be crazy and I hope to be working a regular job.
So, on to the next assignment. I've been hired as a temporary "Crash Test Dummy." Seven 10-hr days in a row at the end of this month. From the looks of it, it will be more like bumper car dummy. But, the pay is $160ish a day and we can use it right now. I won't be getting photos as we aren't allowed, but trust me, I will give you a full report!
Until next time,
Quote of the post:
"A true friend thinks you are a good egg even though you're slightly cracked." --Author Unknown