Voting for Time

Napoleon Dynamite sitting on a tufted couch. With his election day t-shirt. Vote for Pedro.

He walked up to her with an overabundance of confidence. He knew appearances count. He cleared his throat. To no avail. She did not turn.

He cleared his throat again, this time using her name as he forced a grumbling sound through the back of his throat. She spun her chair around and looked up at him. Her face asked, “what?”

“Hi. Hi, I’m sorry, but uhm, I got permission on Monday to take administrative leave today so I can register to vote. I can’t come to the mandatory workshop. I need to go because they close at 4:45 p.m. and I need to go home and get {something} first. And {something something},” he went on a bit more.

She wasn’t listening. She wasn’t sure why he was there. Blathering on about something when she had less that twelve minutes to get the worksheets printed, gather a pile of laptops and spread them around the room upstairs.

Then she heard that he had to register to vote.

“Really?” she asked. “You need to register to vote? Why do you need to leave early for that?” She didn’t care–except for one thing. “You know, you can register to vote at the polls on November 8th.”

He soldiered on, not letting his confidence drop. At least not too much. “Well, it’s too late to mail in my forms.”

She was messing with him now. “Sure, but why aren’t you voting in your home state? It’s a more meaningful state for you to vote in.”

He went on by quoting some laws by their numbers and names.

“Well, I know that you can register on voting day.” The man in the next cube stood up and chimed in.

“Yeah. You can register on voting day.”

Some of his swagger was leaving him. This getting time off this afternoon was getting more complex.

“Look, I want you to vote. I’m just curious why you think you need to register today, in person, at this one office in particular?” She was just toying with her prey who started to spew additional nonsense legalese. Nonsense because he was a distraction she didn’t need at this moment, yet she felt compelled to bat him around.

She let him squirm for another twenty seconds. “Are you looking for my permission to skip the workshop?”

“Yes,” he said.

“Fine. I need to finish something up. You can go and register to vote since you said your boss already cleared your leave.” She really did not care, not a single bit, if he showed up to her thing. “I just want you to know, that today is not a deadline.”

He started to respond with more jibberish, but she had already turned away to finish what she had started. She only had nine minutes left. His scheming had all been unnecessary. She was indifferent to him. “Just leave already,” she thought.

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