Tuesday, September 15, 2020

All the Doo-Dah Day

It sorta snuck up on us... a local election postponed from March. Not even our hyper-competent office manager, the heart of our organization, had much advance notice when the county Board of Elections dropped off the voting machines yesterday afternoon. I got the call around 11PM, a coworker told me the machines had been delivered and that we needed election day coverage. He was working the overnight shift, and agreed to stay for an additional four hours. The usual Tuesday afternoon worker flat-out told the boss that, due to COVID-19 concerns, he would not work today- for the record, his primary job is in a facility that houses elderly residents, and they lost thirteen senior citizens in the early days of the pandemic. I set the alarm for 6:30AM and drank a quart of water (this is 'setting the kidney clock'). When I arrived, I saw that my predecessor had used stanchions and 'CAUTION' tape to cordon off most of the building, and furniture was strategically placed in front of the entrance to the basement, and the large public bathrooms. Our handicap-accessible bathroom is the one designated for use in these fraught times, this reduces the amount of surface area that needs to be disinfected every day (our cleaning contractor comes in once a week for a thorough deep-clean of the whole building. My boss was also present, he stopped by to check up on a major construction project onsite, and caught us up with the Main Office scuttlebutt regarding the upcoming Fall season. We get along very well, he's got an irreverent sense of humor that meshes well with my own snarkiness and that of my even more sarcastic co-worker. It's late morning now, and with the warming conditions, I have set up a small folding table in front of the building so I can remain outside. It also gives me a good vantage point from which I can ensure mask compliance... everybody has been good about this, probably because we all know people who have contracted COVID-19. I can also visualize the potential complications which will await us in November, when the polls will be busy. I am already envisioning chalk marks every six feet, and will suggest that we open up a side door for use as an exit to provide a one-way traffic flow. There's been a slow-but-steady trickle of people coming in to vote, and the general consensus among those who have spoken to me is that this is the dry run for the critical November election. One elderly woman spoke poignantly about how her mother told her about not being allowed to vote in the Poland of her birth, other seniors have spoken about how cloistered they've been since March. I plan on voting early in my beloved City of Y______. November will be busy, and I want to make damn sure I've exercised my franchise before possibly working another twelve hour day. In the meantime, I have seven weeks to request the necessary supplies for the day- additional caution tape and chalk for starters. It's going to be a L-O-N-G day, but it'll be good practice. Hell, even staying away during these unaccustomed hours will be salutary.


Anathema Device said...

Hope it all went well. I was exhausted just reading about it!

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I went well, with one brief blip when a transformer across the street blew and we lost power for eleven minutes about an hour and twenty minutes before the polls closed.