November is finally here. Usually I don't look forward to November because it seems to signal the end of the beautiful fall weather and the beginning of winter. In fact I have been know to chant, "No, No, No, November this year." But this year I was glad to see it come. For better or worse, November is ushering in not only a new season, but also a new subject matter for our mails, our e-mails and the television. Whether you were happy or sad on Nov. 4th, you heaved a sigh of relief. The campaign was over.
The politicking is probably not over, as the losing side may be watching very critically to see what happens next with the new cast of characters. But the die is cast and we will live with it and I predict that we will come out just fine. (Of course I am writing this column five days before the election, since I voted absentee and will be over at the YMCA of the Ozarks leading a class at an Elderhostel on the actual Election Day. I might not be quite so optimistic if my preferred candidate didn't win.)
Recently I was privileged to hear our county clerk give a presentation on the responsibilities of her job. Since I had helped in the elections many times through the years, working at the booths, I thought I had a pretty good grasp on what her job entails. I was very mistaken. I found out that she does much more than keep a fair, efficient Election Day.
As she enumerated all the parts of her job, I thought how quickly we jump to conclusions about the lives of other people. We think we know how hard it is for a certain job to be carried out properly. But sometimes we are lucky enough to learn more and find out that what we knew was only a fraction of the total duties. It takes away the urge to criticize when we really understand what other people are faced with.
I couldn't help wondering if each candidate that worked so hard to be elected for any of the offices, really knew what he or she was getting into. Tammi Beach shared with us that her first concepts of her job were not what the position really entails. I am sure there are others this week who are taking a deep breath before facing the truth about every thing they will need to know, or learn very quickly, as soon as they are installed.
This year I am sure that the problems the new President will be facing are great. Let's hope that he will not be tested too harshly until he learns the ropes.
I remember how in each new job I began that sometimes some of the littlest things were a problem until I learned the system, got acquainted with the equipment, met all the personnel and found my way to my desk. (Probably not in that order, however.
Like a new kid in school, beginning a new job can be a time of testing. Sometimes, like the school kids, the other workers are not as helpful as they could be. Underlying resentments and background situations can sometimes make the new employee walk very carefully.
On the national scene the party that didn't win can be quick to find fault or delay passing on information. We hope that will not happen and that after the campaign ended that some of the barriers dissolved.
And let's hope that somebody was kind enough in the first day of the President's tenure to at least tell him where the bathrooms are.