#837: First Adventures On The Picket Line
- Trucks came by to deliver doughnuts and lukewarm coffee. I ended up eating three doughnuts and felt like I was jittering around the pavement like a hyperactive weasel.
- I learned that it is important to dress appropriately when you are going to stand outside for four hours when it is only 5°C (41°F). You would think that living in Saskatchewan for twenty-seven years would have taught me something about cold weather and how not lose your nose to frostbite, but sadly, when it comes to practical knowledge, I can be a slow learner. Next time, I will wear more than a t-shirt under my coat.
(It will come as no great surprise to you that I had to have an idiot string1 on my mittens in university.)
- I brought a bag of my beloved Miss Vickie's potato chips. Apparently, I become extremely thirsty when I eat salty potato chips in winds gusting to 50 km/h (31 mpr) when walking ceaselessly for hours on end. In order to combat the thirst, I downed coffee, bottled water, and a cup of tea and spent more time in a revolting portable toilet than I would ever want to. The makeshift toilet lid was really a warped piece of hand-cut plastic that would not stay up on its own, so I had to go through the repeated indignity of having it rest against the back of my t-shirt. I spent the whole shift keeping my mind away from thoughts about feces particles per square inch.
- Some loser in a rusty car made the extra effort to position himself with his hand hanging out his passenger side window just so that I could get a clear view of his middle finger while he yelled Pieces of shit! in our general direction. This caused him to swerve and nearly hit a vehicle in the next lane. It must have been really important for us to know about our being a collection of individuated shit.
- It is quite a rush to have a semi roar by and then have the driver blast his horn to show his support. All of a sudden I understood that my cause was one with my fellow 2,400 union brothers and sisters. I was part of something greater! I was fighting the fight! I was getting cheezier by the second! (I narrowly escaped breaking into the chorus of "Free At Last".)
- I ate one mini-box of (Canadian) Smarties, and they tasted decidedly stale, like they'd been saved from last year's Halloween and sat in the back of some Wal-Mart for the last 365 or 730 or 1,460 days. Then, I ate a second mini-box, and I had the same experience, only I was sure there was a little more cardboard flavouring in those ones. I did not fare any better with the third mini-box. Again, with the practical knowledge? I am s l o w.
- What is wrong with people that, after experiencing a completely non-crucial inconvenience, they think they can insinuate that all the people on strike are lazy and uneducated? 2,400 people do not collectively choose to walk around for days on end outside in a Saskatchewan November because they are lazy. Oh, yeah, and sum of us actchly went to skool an stuff.
I overheard one man telling a striker that if we had all bothered to get a real education, we would not have to be here doing this. If I am to understand him correctly, our jobs are actually the penalties we must pay for our lack of ambition and/or intelligence. My job, according to him, is basically a years-long punishment for not meeting my society's expectations, and I should not expect any more than I have been allotted as a result. Thank gawd he told us that, because now we will not have to keep up this farce of a fight for fair wages and benefits.
My first urge upon hearing this crap was to grab one of our union flag poles and jamb it into that chain-smoking pie hole of his, but then I thought better of it and decided that letting him fester in his own vile juices was justice enough.
- I actually enjoyed walking around and meeting co-workers I had never even seen before. You would have thought we had just come home from war with all the talk of hip replacements and cancer surgeries and hearing loss and whatnot, but rarely have I had the pleasure of meeting a nicer group of people. I am truly looking forward to hitting the picket line on Monday with those fine folks. If I have to share a portable toilet with anyone, I am glad that it is them.
1 Idiot string: a length of yarn that has one mitten tied to it at each end and is run through the sleeves of a coat so that the mittens dangle from them when not being worn. The idiot string keeps one's mitts about them at all times so that they cannot be left lying out where they are apt to be lost.
I am a participant in NaBloPoMo.