May 17, 2004

Bit of a slow day today….

The call center is surprisingly quiet today. The less people bitching about their bills, the better, I say! To fill my time, I’m working feverishly through a mind-bending harry potter word search, and partaking in far off imaginings about sitting in the sun that has made its appearance today. Highs of 22 degrees today! Hiyo! For the most part, Mondays are generally quite lachrymose, but since the sun is out and I only work until 4:15 today, I am willing to give up my staunch unhappiness about this place for a while 

I will be headed down to the river side after work (insert Raffi songs. Or Sharon, Lois and Bram…whoever sung that ‘down by the riverside’ song…) to help my canoe and kayak club get our docks back in the water. Back in the Fall, we made the mistake of waiting mere days too long to take the docks out of the water… we had a big dump of snow, and we had to chip the booms out of the frozen river’s edge. It was a good workout I suppose, and hey, who really needs feeling in their lower extremities anyway, right? But I digress… not sure if I’ll actually go on the water for a paddle tonight as well or not. I want to paddle this year, but I’m not going to bother with racing. I’m too old, slow, and most importantly, broke, to make a go of it this season! I think my membership should be mostly paid for, as I work a whole bunch of bingo’s throughout the winter as a fundraiser for my athlete’s account, but I still can’t be bothered to foot the bill for a club membership. Any of you ever worked a bingo before to raise money for your club? Man I tell ya, it’s barely worth it!

Imagine, if you will, a large hall filled to the brim with seniors, waiting-to-die mid-lifers, and a mediocre short-order kitchen. Eighty to 90 percent of the customers keep a cigarette dangling from their mouths, most likely lit with the butt end of the last one, which will in turn be used to bring death’s life to the next cancer stick out of the pack. The resulting smoke wafts softly into the air, creating a haze across the whole scene. The walls, stained a sickly yellow, are a lasting memorial to all those cigarettes that came and died at the lips of bingo addicts generations before.
I, as a volunteer, must run around the hall selling break-open tickets, odd/even, and satellite cards. I go wherever a patron’s hand shoot’s up in the air, a shiny coin, crumpled bill, or bingo dapper raised up in the universal sign of ‘get over here and sell me some tickets pronto, before I raise a fuss’. It all roughly equates to 8 hours of walking around in a cloud of smoke, moving ever closer to having the ‘Black Lung’ by the time I’m thirty. But hey, it’s worth it to raise funds for my sporting career! There are certainly the customers that make it worth while though, like the old ladies that you would kill to have as grandmother. You just know they would have given out candy like… well, like candy… on occasion, one of these types will slip me a tip if they win a bingo, and I happen to be the one that sold them the ticket. Ah, sweet rewards! Okay, so I take it back. Before I said it’s barely worth it. Those types of people make it fun!

So, as I said, hopefully I have worked enough of those bingo’s to cover my membership costs. That way when I fall in the freezing cold river, bobbing to the surface gasping for air, or workout for a few hours at a stretch, having my muscles scream with every forced rotation, I’ll know it was all worth it 