Friday, August 04, 2006
ISLAND OF THE BURNING DAMNED
In the inestimable words written by Pip & Jane Baker, and portrayed by Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, I repeat "IT's THIS DAmNED *HEAT*!!" Imagine Sue staggering around, sweat pouring like a fountain from brow, pits, belly, chest (are you supposed to sweat from your chest??) boobs, back, shins. The movie "Island of the Burning Doomed/ Island of the Burning Damned/ Night of the Big Heat"(1967/1971)says it all, without me having to do it.
Surprisingly, apart from some nice panning reviews online, the quotes I was hunting for were not forthcoming. So I must go on shaky memory: "First the glands go.. then the brain, some go faster than others" (speaking of the 100 degree+ heat baking everyone alive and making them act irrational!) Of course the aliens responsible for it, who resemble giant fried eggs are probably just pissed because the movie was shot in a cold climate and they wanted to spruce things up a bit.
Well, it was Valley of the Burning Doomed this week, as temperatures with the humidex soared to FORTY-EIGHT degrees C. That's like 119 F, for you Yankees :-P I had to check my eyes when I looked at the Weather Network. My left eye is a bit blurry, so I thought, geez 43 humidex, that's pretty bad. Then I saw the 48! I don't know why the 5 degree difference was such a big deal. Maybe because 48 is closer to 50 degrees and 43 is closer to 40 (in my head anyway.) I just imagined myself going out to enumerate and dissolving into a puddle. So, I stayed indoors, lay prostrate over the A/C vent in the basement (which is hard to do, because it's on the ceiling.)
My folding cooler has been working well. Wednesday, in a burst of craziness, I managed to throw 6 water bottles and an apple into it, overdue Library CD's into my bag and then exploded out the door on my way to an interview. The interview was for a term CR-3 at Stats, which is basically what I'm doing now, only it wouldn't be "Census Exclusive" (which is my current denomination.) that means that if I get the position (which is the same pay, same job etc) I would be able to apply for internal job postings. Which I can't do now.
Of course traffic was lousy (why?? it was like 10am?!), of course I outsmarted myself by taking Carling instead of the Parkdale exit (knowing the latter was closed for construction.) And ran directly into MORE construction on Carling. And, yes, I was late. What's the first thing they teach you when you're a callow youth, impudently reviewing your resume and beefing up on good Interview questions? DON'T BE LATE! Oh yeah, and wear something clean. And don't sweat in it, even though it's a million degrees out.
So, I was late. And sweaty, my brain fried to curry because of the heat, and the last 2 weeks of enumerating. I was buzzing. And part of me just wanted to let the whole thing slide. Why should I care? Why wouldn't I delight in getting laid off in November, go on EI and finish writing, drawing and painting to my heart's content? Because myself, Clay, LH and my Mom would kick my ass. Apart from putting the boots to my innate apathy (there's a reason my posts are signed "Apathy Girl") thar's bills what's got to be paid and a livin' ta be earned, girly.
So I was late.
But the security dude was helpful, the ladies at OID who were doing the interviewing; friendly and pleasant. I blanked out on a few things, but gamely hung in and peppered my answers with "flexible" "helpful" "reliable" and even knew that Statistics Canada conducts... the CENSUS. :-O
Ok, I'm an ass :-) It was nice getting the thing overwith though. Afterwards, because I wasn't frazzled enough, I worked the whole day enumerating. I chased after all my call-backs (people who finished their census forms and need it to be picked up by ME.) I hit every single place that was on my sheet. I knocked on doors, left notes (mostly mean ones) and completed a couple of 2Bs with some very friendly foreign people, who just were overwhelmed by the massive questionnaire.
Got home, peeled out of the wet clothing. The clothing was not "spotted lightly with perspiration", the clothing was not damp from a bit of exertion. The clothing was WET. It felt like I'd pulled it out of the washing machine. I threw it on the floor and passed out in bed. For 10 minutes. I could've slept much much longer, but Clayton called from the Wizard's Tower on Hazeldean, wondering if I could pick him up. What a sweety. Every day I complain that I'm tired and he says: "When you get home, why don't you just grab a quick nap?" Thanks buddy. The one day I try and do it--
So, what's next? My list was handed over to a new team and I'm left with my hands empty. I started working on crap here, organizing, cleaning and moving furniture. Joy :-D It is, actually.. 'cause the weather has broken and I am not outside pounding the pavement and dripping on strangers. Hurrah :-) Maybe the NRFU Task Force can nail the last of my respondents. Good luck to 'em; they'll need it :-)
One thing I learned from the whole deal was courage, fortitude and an endurance I didn't think I possessed. I met lots of cool people; and I think only a minority were drug-dealers (if that.) I got to talk with people of all different races and ages, with a variety of attitudes about Statistics Canada and the Census in general: again, mostly positive. Did I grow from the experience? Possibly. I think I lost a couple of pounds, so that's cool. I have a different outlook on the Britannia/ Bayshore area than I did before. I never felt threatened or unsafe when I was out, at all. Which goes to show that I went out during the DAY. Um, kidding. Would I do it again? Ummmmmmm....
Ok, enough stalling. The dishes & laundry are pestering me.
PS--for fun, here's a map of my Enumerator's Route..you can pick out where I went by following the glowing trails on the Google Earth satellite pic.