Tuesday, February 5, 2008

In a Fog

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Bright Light in the Mist

Getting to the polls at 5:45 am was no small feat, since I could barely see through the clouds on the roads. I turned on my extra-bright back-light on my car, even though no one was driving behind me.

When I reached the elementary school in my dress-coat and pre-swim bed-hair, I was #4 on line. An older man and his older, female companion, stood in front of me -- the man's body odor was bad enough that I had to move away from him. We left at the same time and they got into a fancy model of Audi. Anyone can smell bad, I was reminded.

The first person on line was an attractive white woman with a classic, Japanese surname -- presumably her married name. She said it aloud when she was asking for help with learning her ward number.

Finally, it was 6 am. The poll-worker handed me the wrong colored slip and I pointed it out, rather than signing it. Oops. She was sorry and gave me the right color. It was a new sort of polling machine. Computerized. A little, green "x" appeared next to the candidate that I selected. It was neat to see the light, but less exciting than moving a lever, which is what this polling place enabled until this time.

At the pool afterwards, I saw a woman I often see, who was showering after completing her swim, just as I began showering prior to mine. "I voted," I told her.

"Do I dare ask for whom?"

I told her and she was pleased.

At work, a couple of Indian colleagues in India knew that it was Super Tuesday (evening for them) and they told me who they liked. It's amazing how people from other countries watch our elections.

Taking the shuttle to the lower parking lot after work, I couldn't believe that it was even foggier than it had been in the morning. Was it symbolic?

Two of my colleagues from our Operations team were on the shuttle with me and I surprised myself, saying as I got off prior to them, "Hope you'll vote on the way home; any vote's a good vote."

They smiled, nodded and one agreed, "Mm hmm."

I never talk politics at work, but I think I had the fever. This election is so interesting. What a fascinating collection of candidates. My course this semester is talking about life history and leadership. What calls someone to run for president? How early does the ambition start? What is it like among their families right now? How do their families comfort them? How do they celebrate them? What could be a bigger celebration, or a bigger disappointment?

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