Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I got a one-time job: running the election polls.

Thanks to my aunt and grandmother, I was able to get a small one-time job for extra cash. You know on election day when you go to vote, you have people running the polls? That was me. Normally my grandmother does this sort of thing, but due to her falling down and hurting herself (something I neglected to talk of in my last entry), she was unable to this year. My aunt got a call asking if she knew someone interested in replacing her, so she thought of me!

I first had to take a "training class" to learn how to run the polls and what to do in various unlikely scenarios. The speaker asked us to turn to a certain page in our manuals we were given, but due to a copying error, some pages were wrong. A bunch of old people started shouting at him, "THAT'S THE WRONG PAGE! IT'S PAGE x!!" And then others were yelling that previous people were wrong while the speaker got all pissed off saying it didn't matter. Meanwhile, me and this Indian lady were laughing out asses off at the ridiculousness of people. After things settled down, we learned how to set up a polling machine and watched a boring power point, the end.

Actual election day was a bit tiresome. Had to be at the election place by 5:15 in the morning and stay until roughly 8:30pm at night. Still, I was going to be paid 200 bucks for 15 hours of work (plus one hour lunchbreak) and during down time, I was allowed to play on my 3DS or walk around bullshitting. My responsibilities were also rather simple: Help with set up, get people's names and have them sign a book and a slip of paper, and occasionally work the machine by taking slips of paper from voters and pressing one button. When an error occurred or one of the few unlikely scenarios the training place warned about actually happened, I would refer to a guy on my team who knew everything.

Yeah, I worked with a team. I had a sleepy old guy who suffered a stroke once, so wasn't always doing his job correctly despite knowing it. He did the least amount of work, but I really can't complain other than he ate like a beast and farted nasty farts. Then there was a 42 year old woman who was really fun. It was her first time doing the polls as well. I talked to her a lot. Finally there was kind old guy who knew everything and pretty much said we could take breaks whenever we want.

At the start of the shift, I mainly was the guy that filled in for everyone whenever they needed a break. Smart guy was running the polls, while the other two held the books. Eventually, sleepy guy hardly did anything other than eat, so I would take over the poll book AND play substitute. At one point, the woman took both books while I ran the machine because smart guy needed breaks sometimes. All this though? Hardly any work really. At worst, I might have forgotten to number or initial something in the book so had to go through a bunch of slips of paper to find where it was.

Also provided was fresh and tasty bagels in the morning, with pizza at lunch time. I ate like a pig between that, granola bars I brought, and buying chik n fil-a on my lunch break. Despite the long hours, this job was incredibly easy. When things got boring, I'd play on my 3DS or chat with the team. Most the voters were pretty polite too, sans like 1-3 people that were either impatient or felt they were holier than thou. Also one guy who was running for mayor got all pissy when he visited and saw something that hardly mattered out of place. (Crooked sign, OH NOES!)

Easiest tax-free 200 bucks I ever made. Only problem is it won't get to me until a month later. Ah well.

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