Weekend Coffee Share

Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely catching up with friends (old and new)! To join, al l you need to do is create a post and link to Eclectic Ali

If we were having coffee, I’d say that fall has arrived with its chilly temps and its vivid foliage. I’d add that work has been full of twists and turns. Originally, Wedsneday was to be our last day. Then a judge ordered that the Census continue to October 5th. By Friday the judge decided that it should run till October 31st. We’re not sure if that means we’ll work till the 31st or not. For all we know tomorrow could be our last day in the field.

I’d tell you that I got trained to be an Early Voting judge. It was a rather a confusing session. About six groups of six were in a large room. Because all the instructors wore masks and all were talking at the same time, but at different speeds it was hard to know what each was saying. Still we went through procedures and have our manuals to guide us when the real thing begins.

I enjoyed watching Carole Lombard and Fred McMurray (My Three Sons) in Hands Across the Table. it’s a darling romantic comedy though I wasn’t thrilled with the end.

I went to dinner with my aunt and uncle. It was fun to see them before they leave for a couple weeks. We went to a small Italian restaurant. We ate inside, which was a first in months for me.

To Census Takers

As we begin the Labor Day Weekend, I want to honor Census Takers out in the field. They work hard getting mainly uncooperative people to do the Census. There’s a lot of walking and often the sun is hot so they’re roasting. For lots of reasons from forgetfulness to cranky obstinacy to fear of the government, people haven’t done their Census in the US. These folks see the importance of this data and have signed up to face lots of rejection to see that this project is completed as best as it can be.

A tough customer

Census Response Representatives are out in the community at grocery stores, food pantries, farmers’ markets, concerts, train stations, etc. They’re asking people to do the Census and few people, who haven’t done it yet, agree to. Some are nice about their choice and others are rude or mean. Nonetheless these Census workers keep smiling and asking people to complete the questionnaire.

These folks are unsung heroes. Working outside, sometimes in the rain, often without restrooms nearby with little support from the office.

Yesterday the Census sent out an email thanking essential workers for all they’ve done. For some reason they left out their own Census Takers from the list. Just an oversight and we all make them, but boy do these folks deserve some praise.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you what the schools are doing in your town vis-a-vis reopening. Every school seems to have a different approach even in areas with the same CCP Virus statistics. Then they form a plan and change it. Some people think the schools require special ventilation even if they have windows that open, i.e. the system used throughout the world and advocated by healthcare professionals. Now some schools and offices don’t have windows that open, which is a shame.

I’d tell you that work is proceeding along. It’s hard to get people who don’t want to do the census to do it, but there you are. Many think that although the Census did get a two month extension it’s not enough time to complete it. They seem to not know that we’ve already got higher response rates in much of the country compared to 2010. If people have seen thousands of ads and received mailings that they throw out, another month isn’t going to help.

easyliving16

Easy Living 1937

I would recommend you see Easy Living with Jean Arthur from 1937. It’s a fun screwball comedy and I’ll soon post a review.

I’m learning a lot about Albany Park, the Chicago neighborhood where I’m working almost every day. It’s a neighborhood with lots of diversity. I’ve come across a lot of people from Korea, Syria, Latin America and Mexico.

I’d tell you that we had a fun barbecue last night to honor my niece’s departure for her sophomore year of college. She leaves this morning for University of South Carolina. I hope she gets a full semester there. She’ll have 5 of 7 classes online. This year she’s in an apartment so if they do close down, she can stay down there.

Last week we had roofers installing a new roof. Every home in this subdivision has to get one. Ugh. It’s been quite a controversy for 3 years as many people don’t need new roofs but everyone’s got to have the same look. The workers from Apex roofing were terrific, but it’s a hell of a lot of noise from early morning till about 6pm. I am working in the field much of the day, but not all day. I tried to escape the noise, but there’s no seating in the library, the nearest Starbucks only has outdoor seating and across the parking lot is a fitness center that’s moved outside and the exercise music and coach’s yelling are not the same as the usual café music so that wasn’t a good spot to work. I wound up taking my conference call in my car in another parking lot.

 

 

Census Storytime

Here’s a charming story about the Census long ago. The illustrations are cute as is the story about a village full of people who don’t understand why they’re being counted so they try to fool the poor Census Taker.

If you need to finish your census call 844-330-2020 or go to 2020census.gov

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely  catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, we’d be breaking the Stay Home WuFlu rules unless we were doing so virtually like Scott Adams does daily.

Last week because I work for the Census and was an Election Judge, I was out more than most. We used lots of disinfectant and kept our distance, but I did Census recruiting at a nearby Early Voting site.

I worked with such a wagamama person on Election Day. Since we just had 3 judges rather than the planned 5 it was a test of patience. This woman was convinced the moving of the polling place from her usual spot at a retirement community (for the very wealthy where she admits she was spoiled with three free meals she could order from the menu) would be a disaster. She didn’t come to set up the night before as required, but spent two and a half hours calling county employees and the warehouse just to calm her own nerves and wasn’t needed. The woman wore headphones the entire day, complained to voters about how she was put out and made herself a general nuisance to the management of the Park District where we wound up and to the fellow judges in our precinct and the two other precincts that she made the management move into a different room because there’d be a disaster if we were all together. It’s a shame some people can’t be cooperative and pleasant during an emergency. I was stunned when she made voters wait while she talked with her refrigerator repairman. They seemed to be as well. It was a long day as we started at 5 am and finished around 9 pm. But I’m still glad I pitched in as judges are really needed.

After Tuesday, I just recruited by putting yard signs out along public areas where we need applicants. I was in my car and hopped out to put up signs. It was nice to be able to move around and get work done.

Friday afternoon we were still to work, but that afternoon we got an email saying recruitment efforts were to be suspended. Then Saturday I received a call saying we could work from home planning and researching. I’ve got a few ideas, but I’m not sure how many hours I can do meaningful work. I believe some people are going into the office but I’m happy to get the work.

During the quarantine, I’ve been scrubbing and organizing. I did finish watching Death on the Nile, which I listened to as an audio book. The book was okay, as was the movie, though I’d say there was a lot of over-acting in the film. While Agatha Christie set the standard for mystery writing in many ways, even she got tired of Hercule Poirot, whom she grew to find pompous. Also, this was at least her second book where a group of people all with a motive find themselves on a vehicle.

booksbookmametchicagotb51

I’m now listening to David Mamet’s Chicago as an audio book. Since Mamet is known for the cadence of dialogue in his plays and films, and that dialogue in this novel has his style, I highly recommend listening rather than reading this book. The narrator has the right cadence and tone to capture Mamet’s style.

I think Adam Corolla had offered some wisdom on approaching the quarantine, which can get on our nerves. He says that prisoners often say, “If you don’t do the time, the time will do you.” In other words, use your time wisely. In addition to working half days, I’ll be  cleaning and organizing my kitchen and basement a bit each day and starting a new writing project. Well, resuming one. I have a historical drama in mind and I’m delighted that I just found my primary resource, which I’ve been hunting for for the last 2 days.

I’m also watching Hillsdale College’s online course on the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. What I really like is how the professor shares earlier documents that influenced the creation of these documents.


Wagamama = Japanese for difficult, irritating

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely  catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I went to the funeral of one of my parents’ good friends. This woman was a true leader in the community who connected with people, young and old, and was very involved in charitable work. While it was a sad occasion, it was a beautiful tribute to a fine lady.

I believe I’ve drawn the short straw when it comes to my election judge team. What complainers! We were scheduled to work at a poll located in a senior living community. Given the WuFlu, it’s been moved to the Park District and we’ll share a room with two other precincts. Two of these people are pitching a fit. They’ve called me numerous times to complain, They’ve hassled the County Clerk workers and the Park District folks. Evidently, at the senior living community they were given breakfast, lunch and dinner. Obviously, a park district doesn’t serve meals. What’s more they want a window that opens. Well, this building doesn’t have that. One woman says it’ll be a disaster and she insisted we get a different room. So we were offered a room on the second floor, which does have an elevator. Well, “SC” asserts that this elevator is too far from the room. There’s no satisfying her. She insisted we meet on Friday night (rather than the usual Monday night) to check that all our supplies have been delivered. I thought she meant we’d do some preliminary set up too. No. So I spent an hour with “SC,” hearing her kvetch as she noted what we were missing. She couldn’t believe that the County workers weren’t picking up the phone at 6pm on Friday. I didn’t think they’d be in. I pray my other team members are more sensible.

I believe that it’s best to just do what needs to be done and not ask too much from people who’re doing their best under the circumstances.

I’ve been recruiting at an Early Voting site and getting good results. There are lots of civically minded people at this village hall and many parents are with their kids who are back home due to the WuFlu.

On Thursday I recruited with a colleague at Willow Creek Church’s Care Center. Wow! The church sits on about 300 acres. They had a job fair with 30 employers and beforehand they offered resume reviews, coaching on how to get the most out of a job fair, a work wardrobe closet where you could get professional clothing, a photographer taking headshots for people’s LinkedIn profiles. They thought of everything.

While I believe in caution, I think we’ve gone to far in canceling mass. Let people decide for themselves. Sadly, few Catholic churches are packed on Sunday anyway. It’s easy to sit a distance away from people where I go. I pray the WuFlu soon is under control so that life can return to normal. I refuse to live in fear, but with so many placed shuttered it’s a hard to live a normal life.

What was COVID-18 or COVID-17 like?

 

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I finished reading Kafka’s The Trial, which I liked, but I need to reread it or do some research so I understand it fully.

I completed my training to be an election judge for our primary election on March 17th. We’ve got new sleeker equipment, which should be easier to work with and quicker to set up and take down. Fingers crossed.

I am rather disappointed so many candidates dropped out just before Super Tuesday. It doesn’t give states that come later much voice in the matter. How can a state change when it holds its primary, I wonder.

Saturday I attended a Lenten Retreat organized for alumnae of my high school. My all girls’ school closed in the 1990s, but we still have alumni events. It was a small group of just 35 or so and no one else from my year was there. Still the program was a good start to Lent (though Lent started 10 days before. My former freshman homeroom teacher was one of the co-leaders and I did sit with two sisters of one of my classmates.

I’ve continued to work a lot and I am enjoying recruiting. This week I attended a nearby Toastmasters and not only did I get some people to apply, but I got to see a very active group, again of all ages and a mix of first languages.

 

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m enjoying watching the classic film Giant with Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean. I’m about half way through this saga.

I went to Massachusetts for small claims court and I’ll describe that experience some other time. In a nutshell, mediation failed and I’ve asked for a continuance. I did get to meet with Jane, a friend I taught with in 2009-2010. I’d seen her a couple times since then, but I think it’s been about 8 years since the last time we met up.

One of the things I wanted to do for Lent is to use my writing talent by writing for 20 minutes a day. That hasn’t worked at all. I put a lot of my time into work and it’s hard to avoid that and will be for the next couple of weeks. I’ve also given up wine and chocolate. The thinking behind this isn’t just to make life hard for no reason. I’m influenced by a friend who believes it’s good to examine what little crutches she’s turned to when things get tough and to eliminate them and turn to God as one should. Some of my wine and chocolate consumption is just out of enjoyment, but Lent is also a way to experience deprivation. I’m also doing a 40-day Bible study for Lent and I like how it challenges one to do a different act of kindness each day.

Last Monday I attended a Kiwanis meeting to recruit for the Census. The people were lovely and I got to hear a nurse speak about a book she’s written called Getting the Best Care: Rescuing your loved one’s from the healthcare conveyor belt. It’s got a lot of insight into how the healthcare industry effects the elderly and how a trip to the hospital can be the last thing they need because they’re likely to come out more confused and less healthy. She writes for the average reader and her style is clear and concise. The author Margaret Kilpatrick offers information on how to stay in control of what can be a confusing journey, which makes people acquiesce to the people in the white coats.

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d probably first bring up my bafflement that the local food kitchen won’t allow a Census Recruiter to come recruit at their site. They’re supposed to help the poor. Geez. Also,last Tuesday  I went to a Power Employment Workshop for job seekers and not one person was willing to apply. It doesn’t make sense. The pay is good and the hours flexible.

Last Monday I went to recruit at a Kiwanis meeting and was impressed by the members, who’re very service minded. I also liked that the group had members of all ages. The lunch was at a Senior Center, but 3 or 4 were much younger. I like when people socialize outside of their demographic. That night I recruited at the Evanston League of Women Voters’ Drinks & Dialog event. Lots of vibrant, smart women were there.

I’m getting nervous about a quick trip to Boston for a Small Claims Trial I initiated. I wouldn’t have bothered but I was out almost $2500 and that makes a difference. I’m organizing documents like emails and want to dot every i and cross every t. I’m not eloquent in such novel situations and the other side is sure to have a lawyer. It may snow tomorrow. I hope I get there for the Wednesday proceedings.

Wednesday I attended a mystery book club to discuss Dick Francis’ Nerve. I wasn’t blown over by the book, but the group is engaging and fun. Monday my Great Books group met to discuss Nietzche’s Birth of Tragedy. Boy, was that dense. I really didn’t like the reading, but again, the group’s insights redeemed the whole experience. Next month we read Wealth of Nations, well the first 9 sections of that.

Thursday I got a little joy out of saving my second warmest winter coat. The zipper got off track, but the marvelous Michelle at my library’s makerspace knew how to fix it and with some pushing, tugging and crimping we got it fixed. Good thing she owns a zipper repair kit. I didn’t know there were such things.

I’m not sure where I’ll be working after the Census ends in August. I applied for two teaching jobs. One’s in Cambodia and the other’s in Kazakstan. I do plan to look into Instructional Design jobs here. My skills transfer, it’s just a matter of convincing an employer that they do.