Day #151: Project Jenny, Project Jan – “320”
Since starting the new job two months ago, mornings at the office have been periodically interrupted by loud cheering and applause from whoever occupies the office space on the floor below ours. On some days, this goes on for hours. Since the organizations on our floor are the only ones listed on the lobby directory (don’t ask me why), no one could figure out who these peppy people were, or why they were so goddamn cheerful. Solving the mystery became a nagging game. Could it be motivational training for future salespeople? Maybe lowly telemarketers. Perhaps some self-help group learning about the enumerated habits of highly effective people? Or what if they’re a delusional religious cult that happen to rent office space to do their indoctrinating?! Whoever they were, I just wanted them to shut up so I could get some work done.
In the last week, the clip board activists have been standing around the door to our office building. These are the scruff-looking college kids hired by cause organizations to stand on the streets with clipboard in hand, asking people passing by whether they’ll sign some petition or donate money. When the weather warms up, and the tourists come out, the army of clipboard activists take to the sidewalks downtown. Unless someone is looking to pick a fight (usually a verbal, political fight), most people try to avoid them. I do that, too; they have become yet another obstacle in my commute to and from work, adding to a trail of solicitors too long for the one block walk between my office and the metro. “Do you have two minutes to talk about the environment?” one asked me. Does anyone? I wondered as I shook my head and hurried past him. Another opened by asking “If you could have one superpower, what would it be?” He didn’t explain how donating to his organization was going to help me fly.
I used to smile when I passed them and make some excuse about having to be somewhere, but now I just do whatever I can to get around them. Kind of like this:
Only, their presence has become more numerous, especially around my office. So much so that they’ve positioned themselves right in front of the door to the office building. Sometime in threes and fours. It’s like they’re waiting for me. Yesterday, I realized why that was. As it turns out, the mysterious motivational occupant of the office below ours is Greenpeace. And all that noise is their recruitment sessions. Of all the places I could have wound up in the city, I managed to find a job in the same building as the clipboard activists’ regeneration cell.