I proudly handed the the woman my final time sheet today. She looked at me through exhausted eyes from behind the glass window on the second floor of the Hill Street Traffic Court House, ie: Hell on Earth.
I was a little frustrated. Two hundred forty hours and I get a grunt? I mean, c’mon!
But I quickly got over it and realized I probably would be grunting if I had her job too. I’m not exactly sure how it is that this particular court house is able to smell like unwashed armpit regardless of the day of the week or time of the day, but it is. The lines in this courthouse make the Disneyland lines look like a dream. They even make those same lines at Disneyland shared with five crying toddlers desirable.
But when I actually take time to think of it, I’d be singing hallelujah to have ANY full time job right now. It’s just that this particular one DOES look especially excruciating.
I was quickly explained the rules of my next challenge: the wonderful world of CalTrans.
I have been ordered to do five days of hard labor, eight hours each day. I am to wear work boots which I don’t have, my only pair of long pants and a long sleeve shirt. At least it is December.
I will be working on a busy Los Angeles freeway. I have asserted that I have no health problems and am able to work hard. Does immense anxiety count? No.
At this point the clerk leans in towards me and gives me a stern, motherly eye. I am not, under any circumstances, to wear a low cut shirt. I dawns on me as she says this that if I’m leaning over picking up trash or branches or what have you and a driver catches an eye of my cleavage we’re all done for. There is no underestimating the desperation of some skyscraper cubicle slaves.
This is the part of my sentence the judge took extra care to explain would be difficult for me– the hard work on the freeway, not the covered up cleavage, I mean. This makes me almost excited to meet this challenge head on. After all, according to my old operations manager, I am “the hardest working person” she knows.
When I was finally given the paper that told me where to report and who to report to, I thanked the clerk and headed to the elevator. As the elevator doors began to close I noticed the words “Conviction type: Misdemeanor.” Now, I know that’s a typo. But oh, wouldn’t that have been grand!? To wake up one morning and find out I’m not a felon after all? I mean, I honestly would’ve done all the homeless shelter work and this CalTrans work for free if the someone just asked. I love serving people. I love cleaning up, organizing, helping the environment. If this was what I’m supposed to do with my life, why didn’t someone just ASK?