A Slow Day at the Voting Station

I went to the advance voting today because I’ll be away during the elections here in Canada.  There was about a dozen people in front of me.  I thought this would be quick.  But the line wasn’t moving at all.   There were 3 stations we had to go through.    The area for the voting is small and narrow.  The stations were tables set up against the wall leading up to the ballot box at the end of this small hallway.   All the tables were parallel to the wall.  The line up covered the all of the tables.  When the line up moved by 1 person.  Only the first person in the first station  could take on the next person.  The other 2 people couldn’t do anything because of the line up in front of them.

The first person looked at my voting card and tried to match it against thick binder.  Once she located my name and address, she would carefully cross out my name in the binder.   She gave me back my voting card.  I couldn’t move because of the line up so I stood in front for another 5 to 10 minutes.  At the next station, a man took my card, matched my name against the list of names in his thick binder and crossed it out.  He also reviewed the 2 pieces of ID.  He then wrote my name and address down on a ledger and asked me to sign it.  This took a few more minutes.  Then I had to wait for the line to move before I was able to get my ballot.  The woman who gave me the ballot asked me if the man beside him already took down my name.  I said he did. I can only guess she wasn’t watching.   She gave me the ballot and I continued to wait because there was only 1 voting booth.

But thankfully this last step was quick.  Once I marked the ballot, I walked back to the previous station and put my ballot into the box.  The woman then looked at me and said I was supposed to give it to her first.   I stared at her and wondered why she never told me that.  She then sigh and said that was ok.  I shook my head as I walked out.  As I left, I passed the growing line up.  Some people were complaining loudly.

I can’t believe in this day and age we have such an inefficient process.  A barcode on the voter card, some scanners and a few laptops / iPads would go a long way to streamlining this process.  There were 2 people who looked like supervisors.  Yet they did nothing to improve the long wait.

It’s probably one of the reasons why people don’t vote.  No one likes to line up.   It just contributes to the apathy.  A low voter turnout probably makes the incumbent government even more entrenched.  Despite all of these headaches, mind numbing inefficiencies and madness, I still vote and am thankful that I live in a country that allows elections.  I just wish our government and Elections Canada would make it easier and more efficient.

Let’s Play Doctor

My family doctor has retired and I’m going to miss her.  She was a great listener, inquisitive and a straight shooter.  She didn’t believe in prescribing medicine for the sake of prescribing something.  She told me at our first meet and greet that if I wanted pills for every ailment then she’s not that type of a doctor.  She expected her patients to stay as healthy as they could.   She was the 3rd or 4th doctor that I had a meet and greet with and I knew I found the right one.   While she fussed over me, I got to listen to her perspective on what it takes to run a family practice.  When they changed their computer systems, I tried to give some advice on what to look out for.   She cared about her profession and worried about the decline in government funding.

She told me once that there are some doctors who are very picky about their patients.  Younger and healthier patients require less time so they can bill for more visits per day.  Her office was always busy and none of my appointments were ever on time.  But a lot of her patients didn’t seem to mind.  I was always able to nap on her waiting room.  I remembered dozing off into a deep sleep only to wake up when I almost fell forward.  Everyone in the waiting room was staring at me.

She had a wonderful sense of humor and I always tried to find something funny to joke about as she poked, pulled and inspected parts of me that I never want anyone to inspect.  One time, she told me to go to the washroom for a urine sample.  She handed me a small bottle and said I could just give it to the receptionist when I’m done.  I paused.  I told her everyone will see what I’m handing over and what if the receptionist gets grossed out?  She chuckled and gave me a plastic bag.

I had the option of following her partners but they were moving to another office and I didn’t want to travel too far.  So on her last day, she gave me file to take to my new doctor.  I gave her a thank you card and a hug.

So now, I’m meeting a new doctor for a meet and greet.  I hope it works out.