A Balance


Let’s start from the very beginning. When you arrive you must take the elevators, there are  6, and all of them drive you crazy. The way you discover you’re in the Capital is taking these elevators. There is a recorded voice that says “going up, nous montons, going down, nous decendons”. Yes, everything is bilingual in Ottawa. The first time you hear that voice is ok….after a month you want to be deaf.

15 floors to reach the International Boredom Office. I start at 8.30 am, my boss, the registrar starts at….eh…well, if he comes at 9.30 am is a miracle, most of the time arrives after that or simply, doesn’t come to the office like today, and he wasn’t sick yesterday. If you arrive late that means your day finishes day…but nobody stays so late to confirm if the registrar leaves late.

It’s pandemic in the federal government not to come on Fridays or Mondays. Something happens those days. A pollen epidemic? sometimes. Sickness? Impossible, but that happens suddenly and very often in all offices I worked before. It’s curious, in those offices the managers never were sick, but in this tribunal, that guy is just a case. He laughs all the time, when he walks is like he’s trying to shake and get ride of ants  from his pants. He’s beard, a short one but shaves giving a funny space behind his chin and cheeks. He wears glasses and looks kind of handsome. In fact, it’s like old big boy. He’s dream is to hunt a bear and going fishing. Yes, a real Cro-magnon. He told me at the very beginning he had 2 projects on mind to make work on it. The problem is already finished. Conclusion: I got nothing to do.

There’s a nice girl, mother and devoted housewife from Hungary. She’s nice and her voice drives me nuts. It’s like somebody is pinching her nose. She’s short, shorter than me, wears glasses and despite she have had a daughter, her body looks perfect. She’s very nice to me and explained me a bit about how the tribunal works. As an immigrant we get along very well.

There two officers quite estrange. One, is a big woman, big in all senses, obese, everything she does is in slow motion. It seems she’s taking antidepressants. She has an immigrant boyfriend and is very close to the Hungarian girl. Once she said ” when I met my boyfriend and his son my they gave a meaning to my life”. Looking outside for that meaning is not a good sign. Her neighbour is a chubby a rare woman. She looks nice but has a kind of sad aura around her. Rarely smiles, I’m sure she is with a man with kids from another compromise. She makes jokes and is super friend with the big woman, maybe because they were born in the same region.

A woman who is such a case is Sarah. She wears always on black. She is younger than me. I guess she’s 25 but her vertebral spine looks like a menopause elderly woman. She has a pretty face but her way of talking is just weird and funny. It’s like she feels she was born in the royalty and waves her hand like her words were leaving her mouth in a harmonic way that her hand needs to show its way out.  She talks a lot to the manager.

Madame Potatoes, she is one of the best officers in the tribunal. She’s feed up with her Potatoes file, boxes and copies are ready to go to the hearing in Vancouver. You cannot imagine how guilty I felt the day I made photocopies for her. I felt as if I had a chainsaw and I was cutting down 250 trees with the photocopy machine. I made copies for 7 members, I stamped the seal “protected” and I made boxes and boxes. It was so horrible.

The happy girl beside me…with 24 years on her body, her slob body, her pneumatic belly, she looks like Flubber. She reads all the time when there’s nothing to do. That happens very often.

The last one, the pearl of all those women is the other clerk. She looks at me as if I were a parasite. Younger, impatient and bossy…unbearable and hypocrite…I wish to leave this office before my mental health gets compromised.

It’s written on my cards I will have another job, related to finance, something I will love…but when!!!


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