Over the first two days I’ve done four hours of actual work for the government — they’re paying me for eight. My partner revising agent, Patrick, and I arrived at the office at noon, and waited while streams of people moved around us. At 12:30 they told us to come back at two. At three they finally gave us an assignment — starting at five.
Patrick and I talked about our relatively similar recent employment histories while we walked to a condo building in the centre of downtown. We were scheduled to sit at a desk and check passing resident’s names with the voter registration list.
The building manager buzzed us into the lobby — a high ceiling room with lounge chairs, a chair-less desk and coffee tables, all made from cheap fake wood. We stood in the lobby, waited, waited, discussed the situation, and finally asked what looked like a building-employee where the building manager was. He pointed to a set of elevators outside the lobby, but said he didn’t really know because he was from the fire department. We went up the elevators and found ourselves in an office, which, after talking to the office manager, we discovered was the reception area for the office floors, not the residential floors.
The building manager sounded annoyed when we buzzed her again. She said, “You were supposed to bring your own desk.”
I called Joy at the elections office: “She says we’re supposed to bring our own desk.”
“Use their desk,” was all I got from her.
The building manager sounded even more annoyed when we buzzed her again. “Our manager says we have to use your desk.”
“You can’t use our desk, it’s too expensive and you might ruin it.”
After buzzing her twice more we were finally granted permission to use two lounge chairs and a decorative side table.