03 May 2010

Lobby Fo(u)r Dozens

This won't take long...

Walked into City Hall today, the one for My home town of Cabo Rojo, barely a 5-minute walk from My house. Oddly cool day with a muted sun, about 11:20, not much traffic what with the stupid construction still going on in Our streets.

The Cabo Rojo City Hall is fairly new, remodeled this century, and unlike the traditional Spanish layout, this City Hall is a block removed from the Plaza. Like the Plaza cares.

I walk in with My face in poker player mode...for I'm guessing what I will see. And lo and behold, I am right. Again.

Dozens--and I mean dozens--of Municipal employees huddled in the lobby. Not on strike. Not in a fire drill. Not doing anything besides standing around and chattering away like brain-addled magpies.

It's been like this every time I drop by. I counted 39 employees, with their oddly eye-catching blue polo shirts, the uniform of the uninformed, parading or lollygagging in the lobby. Signed the Visitor's Register (this time I signed as Ivan the Terrible) (I have My reasons) and mazed My way to the stairs and the second-floor office I needed to visit. Knocked lightly; walked in.

One woman, alone, looking like Ivan the Terrible had peed in her café con leche. Sour. Almost comically sour. Piles of papers on her desk. She looked up and practically snarled: "What do you need?"

I said I was there to pick up a copy of the Urban Planning summary for FY 2009-2010. She soured even more. Got up. Hunched over. Crab-like. Grabbed a file, yanked it open and gave it a mean hard look. Slapped it shut and gave it to Me. "Thank you."

She grunted. I'm serious: she grunted.

I walked out and down the stairs. In the lobby, where another 8-12 people had showed up in My brief unnoticed absence, I was stymied, blocked, hemmed in by the blue-shirts. What the heck: "Joining the U.P.R. strike?" I said over the conversational buzz.

Volume down from 8 to 4, then back up to 7. Not a chuckle. Not even an embarrassed smile.

Tough room.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

1 comment:

Davsot said...

Are you saying I can just walk in to Dorado's alcaldía and pick up an urban planning report too? I like urbanism and always wanted to contribute to Dorado's development but was always shy.

And every time I ask the headmaster of the town's public school for permission to take photos she glares at me like I'm some sort of terrorist.