Friday, October 17, 2008

The Deputy

I'm not much one for politics but there is a stirring in my soul that longs for heroic titles accompanied by abnormal amounts of authority and power for the greater good of my fair country. All this came to a culmination on October 14...Election Day! Several weeks before, I marched into the Abbotsford Election Office looking for a way to earn some extra dosheroonies to buy an electric guitar. What I came away with was far greater than I ever imagined. Before I knew it I was walking out of the building with a title I will proudly display for many moons to come. I was to be a Deputy Returning Officer. Meaning, I would basically run a polling station on election day. My Returning Officer (of whom I was his deputy...despite the fact I was one of many) was a good man...a small man in stature...but a good man. At least I presume so. He was always wearing a matching ball cap to his sweatshirt and khaki pants, therefore, granting my presumptions. After my three hours of training we passed in the hall and with gusto he implored us to "give it everything we had" on the "big day". And give it everything I had I certainly did. For a title of Deputy pinned to my chest was nothing to be taken lightly.

From that point on I studied my training manual meticulously. I was particularly intrigued by the fact that I would have the authority to make arrests. I felt like Chuck Norris. But mostly I studied the part about closing the poll and counting the ballots so I could get out as soon as possible. You see, we were getting paid a flat rate for the the longer I was there the less I was making per in order for this to pay off I had to be the fastest in the west.

Voting day arrived and so did I, at 6:15am at my polling station. I met my poll clerk, Joyce, a fine retired woman with 10 great grandchildren. Anticipation was high as all the DRO's and Poll Clerks gathered outside the only heightened with the fact we had to wait outside in the dark and freezing cold for the man with the key to the building to finally show up to open it. This left for a scramble set up of epic proportions, but Joyce and I handled it in stride. Seven am rang true and it began. For 12 straight hours we would sit there. If I had to go the bathroom we had to shut down the poll. After hours of handing out ballots the clock struck 7pm and it was time. I had prepped Joyce all day for this, planning out every single action to stream line the closing process to efficient perfection...and that it was. Barrel's blazing it was a furry of counting, paperwork, sorting, sealing, signing, and following a complex series of actions to ensure a fair and proper election. I barked out orders to Joyce like our lives were at steak...there was no room for error. And 45 minutes later we dazzled them all by being the first one out of there. Joyce and I embraced like we had just conquered a mighty battle and it ended as it began...under the cover of darkness we slipped away...our heads held high, knowing that justice had been served. This was the day I was the Deputy.


Anonymous said...

Shannon, you made my day today! I needed a laugh. What a deputy!


Anonymous said...

Do you still have the authority to make arrests? that could come in pretty handy!!