TAKE FARLEY TO WORK WEEK, PART II: ROAD MAINTENANCE CREW
Farley spends three, full seven-hour workdays with the City of Hamilton’s most misunderstood workers: Road Maintenance Crew, City Managers and a surprise first – for any journalist – to end the week. Today, Farley sits in with Chet Morrison, a City Clerk for 5 years.
Chet Morrison looks smart in his three-piece suit and alligator skin shoes as he strides across the lawn of City Hall to shake my hand. We walk through a maze of grey cubicles until we reach Morrison’s desk, decorated with pictures of his family, a signed Pigskin Pete hat, and an electric pencil sharpener. It’s 8:00am.
“The day starts with a meeting at 10:00am to establish the meetings for the day. I know, I know – it’s a meeting about a meeting – but it’s important to know what’s going on for the day.”
I ducked out of the third meeting, “Should Meetings Minutes Have Bullet Points or Numbers?,” and had a look around the building.
The yoga instructor in the Relaxation Room told me, “The idea that City workers have cushy jobs is exaggerated.” When I ask her about the latest firings, she says, “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.”
I meet up with Morrison in the sauna as we wind down the day. We discuss the inefficiencies of high paid senior staff, who sit in council all day in case they are called upon to answer a question. “It’s expensive to have them all there,” he says, “but the room would feel empty without them.”
As we part at MacNab and Hunter, Morrison yells across the street, “Farley, we decided to go with bullet points.” I realize he’s talking about the third meeting I missed, and I smile to myself knowing that tomorrow’s follow up meeting is already in his Blackberry.