Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

15 October 2008

Hello Earl... I'm the scrutineer

My friends and family have learned over the years to not give me detailed tasks. Let me talk, strategize, lead, delegate... pull that string and I'm like a "Chatty Cathy" doll, but details and Dave sometime have issues. Turns out... being a scrutineer is a detailed task. Doh! Let me walk you through last night's election process.

5:30- Arrive home... ready to head out to vote and be a scrutineer at the same poll

5:45- Looked at my folder... "Hmmm I don't vote at a school on Main Street". Where is Main Street?

5:46- Google Mapped "Main Street"

6:00- Dropped my ballot in the box... ah... that felt good.

6:15- Arrived at Main Street in Brantford. Turns out, it's not so main of a street. It also turns out that it has no polling station on it.

6:20- Pulled into the train station to find a phone book

6:21- Discovered that pay phones and phone books aren't found easily anymore

6:22- Realized that my campaign package INCLUDED a map... OF PARIS!!!

6:45- Arrived in Paris to a grumpy old feller (that I nicknamed Earl) carrying around a "how to be unpleasant to scrutineers" government handbook

6:50- Sat down at a desk with my 100 bingo sheets (the system of tallying who has and hasn't voted) and transcribed them on to my papers

7:40- Left bingo sheets in Paris and drove back to Brantford with my homework in a 1987 Topps Baseball Card Tim Raines novelty folder.

7:55- Campaign office tells me that all I needed to do is bring the bingo sheets in. My homework was useless (which was kind of like my high school homework). I hear that these instructions were in my training. Darn these details. Darn them to heck. Darn them to an eternity of papercuts and Smooth Jazz.

7:56- Also realized I had a "PC Party" sticker instead of "Conservative". I'd change it up but I doubt ole Earl at the polls has his sticker printer program on his Macbook out in Paris tonight.

8:15- Returned to Paris. Thought I'd take a stroll to kill time.

8:20- Paris is dark and boring.

8:25- Two teens just came bursting out of the polls yelling, "YEE HAW GREEEEEEEEEEEN! They told me I couldn't wear a green shirt but look at this baby... GREEEEEEEEEEEEN!"
Truly inspiring moment. Where's a camera when you need one.

8:30- Sat down to wait until the polls closed with a man who talked for an hour about when and where he's purchased old butter crates over the course of the last decade. Riveting.

9:00- Took a walk through the Catholic elementary school. Saw a bleeding Jesus on the cross statue on the wall with a handwritten note on it saying "Should children really be looking at this everyday?" Dang Protestants and their protestant ways. Spectacles, testicles, wallet, watch.

9:30- Polls close. Hallelujah chorus ensues.

9:31- A gym full of hockey moms begin to tear down boxes and count ballots as if a bomb was going to go off and Keifer Sutherland was about to break in.

9:45- We launch into a ten minute discussion (complete with diagrams and legends) about what the voter meant when he put a squiggly circle in the box instead of an "X". This is the stuff movies are made of. I "scrutinized" it though. I scrutinized it good.

10:30- Got my last final tally sheet and headed for the after party.

By the time I arrived and ate 3 chicken wings... Steven Harper was Prime Minister again... Phil McColeman was Brantford's new MP... and the party was hoppin'.

This is now the second time I've put my name to a candidate's campaign but playing vastly different role's in each. Both times I was struck by the nearly artistic contrast that an election is. It's all so big... and so small at the same time. All across Canada, there were hockey mom's in gyms, retired teachers reading government manuals, discussions about spoiled ballots... and families walking the dog on a chilly October evening to the polls to speak their mind in government issued pencil.

It's grand and humble. Micro and Macro. I like learning about people. Who we really are, why we do what we do, and how we effectively communicate a passionate message to the masses . It's an exercise in seeing the big picture, then and setting out a small scale plan to achieve those big things. I love it. The strategy makes me tingle. Maybe that's a better role than scrutineer for Dave.

Ha... ya shoulda been there.

1 comment:

lyn's lyrics and lifenotes said...

I'd say I wish we could just vote on-line ... but I'd hate for you to miss all that fun and nostalgia.

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