Report from the picket line at Depot 74, Vancouver; Day One
12:00 High noon, and tensions are high as well. Management is hiding inside the depot, so to set an example for the world and save face we will have to beat one of our own union members into a bloody pulp with a baseball bat. Volunteers are requested.
12:01 No one volunteers. Morale seems low. This could be a long strike.
12:02 We randomly select one union member to "volunteer." In what is surely a meaningless coincidence, this turns out to be the smallest, stupidest and most fragile worker there.
12:03 The plan is stymied when our "volunteer" runs away with our only baseball bat. Recreational events for the weekend will have to be cancelled....
13:00 After only one hour, I am already bored and frozen, stiff being the appropriate adjective in each case.
14:12 Newspapers (the Province), books (Plato's Republic) and radios (CKNW talkshows) are abandoned when one of our union brothers reveals his former identity as a Special Forces Vietnam Vet. His anecdotes about home-made explosives are especially informative.
14:36 Several of the union brothers and sisters pay a quick visit to a nearby paint store.
15:27 Morale leaps up suddenly when a Federal Express truck overturns and explodes in front of the depot. Despite our best efforts, the driver manages to escape from the flames.
16:30 I go for a lunch break of chicken souvlaki at the trendy coffeeshop next door, Automotive.
17:00 We are forced to abandon our defensive positions in the back alley due to the encroaching darkness and the proximity of the fast-moving cars there. Somewhat daunted by losing the best place to drink unobserved, we retreat to the depot's frontage on Homer Street.
18:00 My first tour on picket duty is over, and I have survived to whine about it for another day....
You know you are in Vancouver when...
Your co-worker tells you he has eight body piercings - none are visible.
You make well over $100,000 and you still can't find a nice place to live.
You think anyone who drives a car to work is decadent.
You keep a list of companies to boycott.
You would never dream of crossing a picket line.
You realize there are far more Rainbow flags in the city than Canadian flags.
The guy who cuts your hair is straight, and your plumber is gay.
Old friends you haven't talked to in years suddenly call. "Do you have a spare bedroom for a weekend?"
You think anyone wearing a Preston Manning haircut is Preston Manning.
You can't remember...is pot still illegal?
You go to your office manager's baby shower. The parents are named Judy and Amber.
You give a "thumbs up" gesture to a car with a "FREE TIBET" bumper sticker and you mean it.
You have a very strong opinion where your coffee beans are grown, and are willing to fight about it.
A really great parking spot can move you to tears.
A man walks on Robson in full leather regalia and crotchless chaps.
You don't notice.
You curse those damn tourists - but always stop to help a cute person who is looking puzzled at a city map.
Your child's 3rd grade teacher has a nose ring and is named "Breeze".
You are thinking of taking an adult education class, but you can't decide between a Yoga, Channeling, or Building Your Web Site class.
Your new neighbours go to temple, but you are still not sure if they're Jewish or Buddhist.
You own an expensive Gore-Tex mountaineering jacket and wear it 90% of the time.
You run the risk of being trampled by all the running clubs out at 8am on Sunday morning.
Your choices for vegetarian food aren't limited to the salad bar at Bonanza.
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