Texting/chatting at the Elections Canada polling stations?


I finally got it over with. Today, I went to the advance polling station to partake in my democratic right by voting. I didn’t want to deal with the queue, forgetfulness, or mere procrastination come election day, Monday, May 2nd.

Anyway, as I followed the yellow Elections Canada signs, they led to a greeting desk. Behind the desk sat a girl…who was texting. Briefly, she lifted her head from her cell phone, asked me if I had my voter information card, directed me into the room, and promptly went back to her texting. Umm…okay.

Then, while waiting for my ID/voter card to be checked, a cell phone rang. Eventually, another Elections Canada Worker, a person whose job it is to check ID/cards, picked up her phone, and then promptly left the room to continue her conversation.

After I finished voting, on my way out, I overheard her conversation, and it wasn’t about a family matter, but a friend’s Facebook wall activity.  Huh?

Am I missing something here? You get $100/day to sit there to do a boring task. Accept your fate, bring a book/magazine to flip through while considering yourself lucky for your additional income.

Texting and chatting on a cell phone about Facebook is completely inappropriate – not to mention that it’s being done on tax payers dime! (And isn’t this misuse of technology violating some sort of privacy issue as you’re officially working a polling station?) Am I just old-fashioned or is texting/mindless cell phone babbling now part of societal norms?  If so, where was I when this happened, living under a rock?

I think I want to return to that rock right ’bout now.

70 responses to “Texting/chatting at the Elections Canada polling stations?”

  1. Sally says:

    Completely innapropriate. I would of gotten their names and reported them to elections Canada. This is a voting station, not a high school election. They are at work. Not on free time.

  2. Jaime says:

    I agree; if you’re on your own time and want to be socially inept then thats your own business but if you”re at work, but down your phone and ‘work’…….unfortunately there is a large generation of ‘young adults’ that don’t know any different and don’t think what they’re doing is rude, inappropriate or ‘wrong’; that’s the saddest part!

  3. Genster says:

    First of all, I’d like to give you props for going to vote!
    I’m a youth and i’m excited to go out on may 2nd just to do so! This election, the youth will show that we are not apathetic.
    I’m sad to hear that those working at the polls in your area were inappropriate. I know a lot of my friends will be doing so on may 2nd throughout Montreal and let me assure you that it won’t be happening here.

  4. Jessica says:

    I am working at the election on Monday and I they told us at training last week that cell phones were allowed on the premises for both people working and citizens coming to vote.

  5. slide says:

    As long as she did her job which was check your voting card and direct you to the booth I wouldn’t have minded. Sitting there and doing that isn’t really a high-paying sidejob and I wouldn’t expect the person sitting there to sit and smile all day to the voters.

    Guess I’m just used to people who are obsessive (or just slightly above the curve) with texting and social media.

  6. Krystel says:

    How is reading a magazine better than talking about Facebook? Just because you’re not up with technology, does not mean that its inappropriate.

  7. Stephania says:

    @Genster – I think all the news coverage of the elections slowly seeped into my head and brain-washed me! I’m not exactly youth, but let’s just say under-35, and usually apathetic, but this year, for some reason I felt like change was within my power.

    @Jessica – If that’s what you were told in your training, then I guess this social ineptitude is really coming from “above”. We, as the Canadian public, don’t know what was/wasn’t covered in your session, so it looks really bad from a p.r. p.o.v.!

  8. Sally says:

    So if you went into Service Canada to apply for a health card you wouldn’t care if they sat there texting?

  9. Shocked says:


    Young lady at Cinnabon, just outside the store giving samples… well, holding a plate of samples… her head was down.. she was texting… or facebooking… didn’t even look up to see who was taking a sample… did’t even notice hen the last sample was taken… sick!

  10. Stephania says:

    @slide – I would say that the second Elections Canada Worker WASN’T doing her job. She could’ve checked my ID/voter information card, but since she left the room to finish her chat (about Facebook) and the other worker was checking someone else, I had to wait ’til the occupied worker was finished!

  11. Peter says:

    Can you say, “recount”

  12. Jaime says:

    Just because people working and people voting are allowed to bring cell phones in doesn’t mean the people working were given permission to yack on their phones. And the point of it not being a ‘high paying job’ doesn’t matter…that’s exactly what is going wrong with our society is so many people think there’s nothing wrong with it. I guarantee you some kid at McDonalds is making less money but would be fired if they were on their phone at the till in between customer talking about facebook or whatever they were talking about it…because it’s inappropriate when it’s not your job. A magazine you can put down immediately and give a customer your immediate attention (although I feel that can also be unprofessional depending on the job), it’s not even comparable to a cell phone conversation unless she put down the phone immediately (which I’ve yet to ever see someone do).

    I’m an avid cell phone user, but there is still cell phone etiquette that people don’t even know anymore. Obviously she wasn’t expected to sit and look like a statue and smile all day doing nothing but taking voters cards, but she wasn’t sitting a booth at a craft fair working for herself…she was being paid by the government of canada to work; could you imagine a teller in a bank talking on her cell phone about facebook in between customers?…no, because she’d be fired!

    The point is that it looks really unprofessional and what is our world coming to where a large portion of us think it’s ok?!……disgusting…….so glad I’m raising my children to be different

  13. Bronwyn says:

    I like to take a proactive approach when I’m confronted with an experience which didn’t meet my expectations. Not taking the time to give feedback but then taking the time to write about the incident seems like a missed opportunity.

    In the advanced poll I voted at today the staff were very nice and attentive— despite the disrespectful seniors who they had to deal with. I kid you not, every other voter was a senior and unpleasant to the polling staff. It was really disappointing to see such behaviour from Canadian seniors!

  14. angel says:

    See the thing is. to do 3 days advance polling work for those sitting behind the desk checking your names and such they make a good coin for 3 days.$16.50 an hour is not a small amount. I agree with the OP and would have wondered why it was proper to answer your phone during this election process. It is wrong since you need to make sure the first time voters understand what they are doing and how to go on from there. I am highly worried becuase at my polling station they where kind and understanding and they where nothing else that was inappropriate with their desk only what was necessary maybe this person is only there for the money?

  15. Becca says:

    You say $100/day, but do you realize they work from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. or later? That’s about $6.60 an hour, no breaks, no lunch, etc.

  16. enough already says:

    does every post you make have to be whining about something? I didn’t realize Smartcanucks had become a 14 year old girls livejournal.

    How is reading a magazine in any way different from texting? How do you know the person talking about facebook hadn’t been waiting for that person to call so they could take their break?
    Would it be better if they just stared at the wall when there was nothing to do?

    Yeah it would probably be best if you went back under that rock

  17. Cheapnik says:

    Frankly texting or answering personal calls in a business environment on somebody else’s dime is rude and shows poor work ethic. Everyone takes the occasional personal call but it should be limited and texting?

  18. Christine says:

    What Jessica said: I, too, am working the polls that day, and was told under no circumstances should we bring our cell phone with us. (I mean, I’m sure we can BRING it with us, and can use it on breaks, when we’re away from our stations…)

    And, um, we’re making over $200 on election day. Not bad! A long day, and you’re pretty much stuck at your table, but still….

  19. Stephania says:

    $200? That’s even worse. Whether it’s $100-$200, it’s more than what I make in a day AND I can’t text/chat on my cell phone at work!

  20. Monica says:

    No it is NOT $100 a day. It is $168 – $211 per day depending on the job, oh and that is NON-taxable. Yes a very long day but very good money. And my opinion…very inappropriate to be texing or chatting while working! Work is work. If you have a job be thankful and take it seriously!

  21. bigshowrenfro says:

    Like previous comments…WAY to go for voting in advance or even for voting.

    Like others…I am also working at the elections and was just at my training and was told that we are allowed to have phones with us but on vibrate and left in our pockets. They are only to be used for emergencies or to check in with family during the day. UNDER no circumstances are we allowed to text because it sends the wrong message.

    With so many phones having cameras and recording devices it takes away from the integrity of the vote if workers on using their phones because you don’t know what exactly they are doing. There will be no phone use like that where I’ll be working because I think it’s inappropriate.

  22. melis84 says:

    It doesn’t matter how much they make an hour or what the job is – it’s inappropriate to be using their cell phones while on duty. I don’t think a magazine is appropriate either, but I guess it all depends on what your training allows… it’s not like you can busy yourself sweeping the floor or anything like you can do in other jobs!

  23. moi says:

    First off working for Elections Canada is HELL
    -they do not feed you
    -nor do they offer coffee/tea or water there
    -you are stuck sitting there (in my case last election almost 14 hours)
    -the person that heads the whole thing doesn’t know what they are doing
    -when I applied they only needed my name and phone number (no resume or references)

    I felt bad for those coming out to vote as most of us who worked it only had less than 2 hours training. they hired us thinking we had previous experience, yet most did not.

    As far as texting….that is bad. I mean at least if you see someone coming in to vote, put away the magazine and cell phone. Have some couth and try to be professional

    We were allowed to read a mag or bring a book and our lunch (which we had to eat at the desk as only 2 of us, they wanted us to be there at all times. Allowed of course bathroom or smoke break etc)

    It is the worst experience ever. When polls are closed it takes over 2 hours or more to get all the paperwork done. While all the while being yelled at by the head-honcho (who did nothing the whole time he was there)who then stated all day, on the hour how he has worked there for 14 years. NO one respected him. He slipped through the cracks I guess. Didn’t know a thing if asked from us or voters. Went to his ‘book’ to check….long lines…..bad….because it was the blind leading the blind!

    PS…..for 14 hours work it came to about $131 for the day

    But it looks like, from E Canada website they are offering $161 for the day this year……..

  24. Wilson says:

    I agree with you, it is inappropriate… regardless of how much anyone makes, it is inappropriate to text/chat on a cell at work – any work. I think that if my lawyer/doctor/Tim Horton’s server made me wait to take a non business related call, I’d be angry.

  25. Madazo says:

    I truly don’t understand the cause for concern. I wouldn’t expect anyone to give this job their “all”. It’s temporary! There is no opportunity for advancement, and there are hardly any transferable skills learned. The workers are not representing the government, but you can be sure that they certainly represent the population that votes for government. In a way they’re just helping hands helping to make voting and the democratic process accessible to everyone.

    So what they get paid. Of course they get paid. We live in a capitalist society where time is valued.

  26. Cee says:

    I too am working the Election and personal cell phone/texting use was not covered, at all. The only people in the building not allowed phones AT ALL are Candidates Representatives.

    That said, I do agree that if voters are in the building in line to vote, it is inappropriate. If there is no one in line at your station? Knock yourself out. It is a BORING job. Reading a book is no different at all really.

    And you DON’T get breaks. We are there from an hour before polls open until they are closed, counted, and packed up. That is a 14+ hour day with no breaks except those dictated by the ebb and flow of voters.

  27. Sally says:

    Becca. No government job is going to pay “6.60” an hour. That would be the top news story on every channel in Canada. She was guesstimating. They are paid well and of COURSE they get breaks! That would also make the news as a top story “elections canada polling employees receive only $6.60 an hour and no breaks.” Trust me. This wouldn’t happen.

    I’ve been voting sicne I was old enough to and will be headed up on voting day as per usual, luckily I live 4 houses down from my polling station.

    Madazo, temp or not wouldn’t you want to make a good impression? Who knows a future employer might see you texting and pass you up!

  28. Jaime says:

    @Madazo….just because there is no opportunity for advancement or transferable skills learnt there is still something called work ethic. And exactly..time is valued, some of those voters are running there on their lunch break, etc and when a worker is busy on their phone and leaves the room to finish a phone conversation it takes away the valued time of the voters who are now waiting for them to finish their conversation. Wouldn’t you agree?

  29. Eric says:

    I have this rather nasty habit. Any time I go to a store or fast food joint and happen to see one of the workers texting while supposedly working, I snatch it from their hand. I give it back, of course. But not without expression how I feel about them doing it. When I worked at a local call center, the supervisors (who actually did their job) kept an eye out for people using their cell phones / handheld game devices when they were supposed to be working. Any caught would lose their device until their next break.

  30. Cee says:

    @Erik – It is not your right to touch their phone, or them. Get their supervisor. If they were one of my staff, and I heard you did that, you would be asked to leave. Phones are not allowed on the floor where I work, but it is MY job to enforce this…not yours.

  31. Carrie says:

    I very much agree with the OP. I’m finding that it’s becoming more and more rude in the world. Almost everywhere you go it’s people looking down at their phones, ignoring the reality before them in person. I think it’s only going to get worse too.
    There must be a phone number you can call and let someone know what was happening. Maybe she wasn’t supposed to be using her cel. Getting paid that kind of money that we’re paying into, I would be upset if that was me standing there watching the girl. My reaction would be to ask her where a supervisor is or her superior right then and there.

  32. Laura says:

    I don’t know there here in BC if you don’t have skills you work for 6.40$hr…now this all changes that come into effect May 1st. Its great that you did go out and vote I suppose its rude when they were texting on the phone meerily glanced up at you. They applied for the position to work that day as anything goes its like a volunteer position that someone turned into a small credit for the day type idea which I suppose that covers most peoples gas to get there. Some people in this life their parents have bombarred them with manners where others have never learned them…I suppose thats just one of them who has never learned any manners

  33. baggypants says:

    Were texting and using a cell phone listed as part of the job posting? If it wasn’t, then it is not allowed.

    This is a job that involves greeting people, dealing with voting lists that contain confidential information, checking people’s ID and making sure people follow the rules. The employee needs to pay attention to what they are doing not reading and texting.

    They were hired to do a job (doesn’t matter how much or how little) and should perform that job.


  34. Lori says:

    I would report them. I will be working at a polling station on election day and when I went to training we were informed that cell phones, ipods, etc were forbidden.

  35. KittyKat says:

    @enough already:
    “does every post you make have to be whining about something? I didn’t realize Smartcanucks had become a 14 year old girls livejournal.”

    LOL — you hit the nail on the head! ALL this poster does is whine about stuff! I am glad I am not the only one who sees this! Apparently SmartCanucks is her her own personal outlet for bitching!


  36. Anna says:

    I don’t really think it is appropriate to air concerns about someone working at an advanced voting station. This site is about deals right? Well Elections Canada does not sell products and they are not out to get customer service awards.

  37. Jen says:

    @kitty kat

    I completely agree. I seem to recall a post a while back about Starbucks cake pops where readers were calling for an end to the whiny, opinionated ‘editorial’ posts by Stephania. I come to this site to learn about sales, deals and freebies. If I wanted to read posts of this nature, I would visit sites that do whining, complaining and editorializing much, much better. Just stick to the facts, tell us about the deals, and quit throwing your ignorant two bits into everything. No one cares!

  38. Maxime says:

    Technically, there’s only one person who is allowed to have a cell phone (and a very specific model). It’s the manager of the poll station. That’s it.

  39. militsa says:

    I am working for elections Canada. The pay is about $200 for the day. Secondly at the training we received they said absolutely NO cell phones allowed, for the people working and for the voters.

  40. mhk says:


    BTW why are people making mean comments about the OP? If they do not like her style, why read the post and make negative comments?

    I wonder who the real immature people are over here.

    I hope a moderator looks at how rude some of these people have been and puts them on warning or something.

    Be nice. SC is a place where we all go to to share experiences and be supportive of each other – IMO!

  41. Madazo says:

    Unless there’s a reason to work hard, I can’t in good conscience hold these ee’s (ee= employee) accountable to having a work ethic. There is no economic incentive to work well. Several reasons I think ee’s will display high work ethic are: They don’t want to get reprimanded and/or fired, they are hoping for a good performance review, raise, promotion, or really enjoy the type of work their doing. In this case, our workers are working 1 day with zero prospects for advancement. There is also a huge demand for workers on the one day with limited screening process. I wouldn’t expect the cream of the crop to be selected for work. I do expect employee’s to be fairly representative of my neighborhood. And my neighborhood is full of people who are rude, use their cell phones while driving/on the bus and etc…

    So is what the OP posted inappropriate behavior on the part of the ee’s? It’s really hard for me to say, because I expect that type of behaviour.

    DO I expect the same types of ee’s @ health Canada and/or Service Canada. No, these people went through an extensive recruitment process, are reviewed annually on their performance , can be reprimanded/terminated for misconduct, might have promotional prospects they don’t want to screw up and etc.. This is their career and in my opinion it would be very inappropriate to see them at the same behavior as the elections Canada ee.

  42. Cheapo says:

    I agree completely! And I can’t believe they were allowed to do that. I work the polls for municipal elections, the pay IS very good (much higher than $100) and it is a long, long, hard day. You really do earn every single non taxable penny. I enjoy it, though.

    To the poster who mentioned the Seniors being irritable, I have to laugh because in so many cases it is true. Personally I think it has a lot to do with them being overwhelmed with the system and technology. Some seniors rarely get out and voting is such a huge deal for them, so there is some anxiety there. And some are just, well, plain old crabby.

    But so are many young / middle aged voters. I work for a government funded service and get preached at regularly about the “stupid” and wasteful things that the government does and how their tax dollars are paying MY wages. I just say, “Maybe that’s why the gov hires 3rd party service providers to work the front lines. So while you are thinking that you are getting a shot at the government, you are in fact tell this all to a non-government worker who pays taxes and has their own opinions just like you.” Always said with a smile.

    Back to cell phone usage and texting. It’s a shame really that it has become such an abuse of time especially in the workplace. For those who use it for business purposes are accused of being rude or conducting personal business.

  43. FallenPixels says:

    The pay is $161 for advance poll and $210ish for election day – you are ready to open at 8am, you are there until 10pm or later – its not good money but certainly more than $6.60/hour, not much higher than minimum wage though

    Should she have been on her phone? Probably not, especially leaving the room – its a huge no no and her supervisor should have stopped her if she was not on a scheduled break and you could have reported it to the supervisor instead of whining on what is meant to be a deals blog

  44. Camille says:

    Actually Elections Canada DOES NOT pay well. I just finished working the advanced polls over the past three days. I worked 11 am to 9 pm plus I need to go back for another 2+ hours on election night to count the ballots. There were people who lived 2 minutes away from the poll listed to vote over 5 hours away. People who have had to register every time they have voted over the past six elections even though they hadn’t moved in 40 years. People who for some reason had their spouses middle name on their VIC card and people who lived in the same house who had to drive to two different advanced polls. The only break we got was when we had to close the poll to go pee… because if one employee leaves the station the polls are officially closed and you are not allowed to vote. There were only two polls but people were waiting 40+ minutes to vote for the entire time we were open. We had to shovel food into our mouths while processing paperwork. The only reason I took the job was I had nothing better to do this weekend as my family was out of town. For this I get $335. When you do the math it works out to be $10.46/hour less than someone who works at McDonalds(and that’s only if it takes 2 hours to count the ballots). Statistics Canada on the other hand is pretty good to work for $14.50/hour. I don’t really think they were expecting the polls to be as busy as they were.

  45. gcai says:

    Where did anyone get the idea that the money earned is NON-TAXABLE? It most certainly is TAXABLE- remember they have your SIN number (yes I know its redundant).

    Having worked more elections than I care to remember the pay is barely adequate for effort expended and in many cases the voting public is extremely rude expecting instant service and whining when there is 1 person in line ahead of them or bitching about the temporary facilities – it all costs dollars folks.

  46. susan says:

    totally agree with you. I have been hired to work that day and we were told in the training that cell phones for anyone in the room are not allowed. if someone has this problem again please go directly to the person at the door and let them know what you have witnessed. This should not be happening.

  47. mhk says:

    But people – where are your work ethics? And honesty and loyalty to your employer, whoever it may be – even for a day! When you apply for a job should you not be applying for the job – its not that someone is forcing you to take the position – you are the one wanting to do it.

    My belief is if you take on something, even if it smells like a canal in Amsterdam, do it well. You take on a responsibility, you do the job well. That is your duty. Why sluff off?

    What are we teaching our children with this poor behaviour? When something does not work out your way, do the worst job you can?

    C’mon – we are Canadians! This is voting time. If you did not want to work at the polling stations, please, you should not have applied for the job. I am sure someone else would be grateful for the job.

    It is sad, but now I see why so many jobs are being outsourced to other countries, where people are grateful for their jobs, and do them well too. We have to improve our culture here in Canada and be more positive and DO OUR JOBS WELL! I remember when DS was in the Beavers – they were taught – DYB DYB DYB (Do Your Best)!

  48. Sandra says:

    You are so right, people are turning into Robots now, they MUST HAVE THEIR FRIGGIN’ cell phones on ALL THE TIME. I even heard one go off at a FUNERAL. Now talk about inappropriate. Are these people total idiots or do they not have a life. Get real people, there is a time and place for everything and cell phones have their place and it is not at a POLING STATION or a FUNERAL.
    HOW G.D. rude can people be????????

  49. Rachel says:

    i think yes, it was rude…..but i’m the sort of person who wouldn’t ring to get them fired/spoken too. if they do it all the time, their boss will eventually notice and let them go…..i’m not one for taddling on others….karma is a b**ch and i believe it will come back to haunt you. plus do you really want to be “that” person who got them fired…let it happen in it’s own time.

  50. Kiki says:

    I remember an exactly similar incident happening the last time I voted in municipal elections in Ottawa. There was a line of voters accumulating but the girl on duty was seemingly too busy with her phone to do her job for any more than the time it took for her texting buddy on the other end to reply to her latest missive.

    No matter the wage, the temporary nature of the job, or anything else, it’s still a job and an expectation of professionalism and basic work ethic isn’t too much to expect. I too work for the federal government in a menial position that could probably be done by a monkey, but while I’m on their dime my phone is locked up and I’m focussed on the task at hand.

    These lazy workers enforce the stereotype of our generation as entitled and spoiled brats and they make the rest of us who try to work hard just to get our foot in the door look horrible.

  51. Yaddah says:

    I have worked three federal, two municipal and one provincial election.
    The training has always been inadequate and you are better off
    reading the book over and over until you understand all the steps
    and potential scenarios that can play out over the course of the day.
    The one provincial election, the lady doing the training admitted
    she never worked an election before and was filling in for somone.
    The lady who trained this time would confuse anyone who never worked
    an election before. The guy beside me thought he would have an hour away
    for lunch on election day before he asked me about that and other questions she didn’t address. They have forgotten to supply forms, envelopes etc. and you have to make a special trip to get them. It seems like there is a network of people who get the better jobs i.e central poll supervisors and office staff, whether they are qualified or not as is the case in so many other workplaces. The poll clerk I worked with last time did love to text all day long. She did do it during the slow times and overall she did do the work required of her. Its one of those things that some people can handle in a tactful manner while others would abuse the privilege. Unless the result is close at the end of the day and there is a recount required, no one will ever scrutinize all the problems with the system that has been set up. If you work there, you are sacrificing one long day and you better be prepared for it. Given that people can vote in the advance poll and only 59.1% turned out for the last federal election in 2008, you are not dealing with all the people who are eligible to vote and you will have quiet times. Other than washroom breaks during times when you have no voters waiting to be processed, both the poll clerk and deputy returning officer should make an effort to process the waiting voters in a polite, quick and efficient manner. Otherwise they might join the 40% plus who don’t show up. In my experience if you want to avoid line-ups when voting, there are times between lunch and dinner that are slow 1-4 pm and the last hour to half hour at the polls often seem very quiet. Bring your drivers licence or the other specified id or you should
    be refused and told to come back with the i.d. unless you have someone to vouch for you. Unless you are not registered, require corrections to your voter card or have another special situation you should be in and out of there quickly. A favourable experience for the voter will encourage them to show up during future Federal, Provincial or Municipal elections.

  52. Seniora says:

    why is everyone so surprised…come on now…none of you people check ur facebook while ur at work?? none of you check this website while at work? what’s the big deal, you can’t prevent people from checking their facebook or any other website while at work anymore, unless you take away their cellphones while at their job.

    get over it people…i’m not saying i love it…
    I hate it just as much…but there is nothing i can do about it..
    I can’t just keep fighting the tide!

  53. lingfing says:

    I’m working on Election Day and we were specifically told we couldn’t use our cellphones or other electronic devices for personal reasons (we could phone in our votes and/or request a substitute workers if one didn’t show up, but nothing at all personal). The trainer even told us no smoke breaks. You have to close your poll to go to the bathroom so make it quick! And you eat at the table when there’s a break between voters. It’s funny that the gov’t doesn’t have to give breaks legally (that makes me kind of laugh). Also, when I’ve worked the election in the past, I got a T-slip so I claimed it on my taxes. The pay really isn’t great once you factor in training, preparation at home (studying the manuals), checking your supplies, the long day at the polls, returning the ballots to the office (a 1/2 hour drive for me), etc. Personally (since I’m a DRO and my poll doesn’t have a supervisor), it’s looking like it will break down to about $10/hour. For the amount of responsibility, wear and tear and gas for my car, etc., I don’t think I’ll do this again.

  54. sacha says:

    texting while working appears to be a trend on the rise. My mother was at save on foods and the cashier had her one hand under the podium and was texting while my mom was doing the debit transaction! It is rude, when you are working with the public like that you should not be texting! if you want to text while you work at the very least get a job where you don’t deal with the public face to face.

  55. jo says:

    I don’t enjoy the blog posts that get everybody all stirred up and angry w/o solving anything. they seem rather pointless. however, that is just my opinion.

  56. Brian says:

    What’s the difference between reading a magazine, or using a cell phone?

  57. iwannadeal says:

    I worked the last fed election, and believe me the job is no picnic. There is no break or lunch, you just eat or use bathroom when you can. I remember getting up to go to the bathroom during a lull, and the supervisor said, “No, no, you can’t leave!” as if I were a school child, which I found very degrading. The person I worked with was a complete idiot, and didn’t do her job of keeping track of the ballot stubs, so that at the end of the night, our poll was a mess. We were there well past midnight, so I actually worked about 13 or 14 hours. Under those conditions, F*** you, I’ll at least text my family and let them know What’s happening, or that they need to bring food. I’ll never do the job again. I found working the provincial election much more pleasant and organized.

  58. PS's aren't Slaves. says:

    life is short, let it be.
    she checked the voter card and wasn’t overtly rude to you-
    you may have Preceived her seeming lack of interest in you as rude, but she was perfectly respectful to you.. and perhaps you took that personally.

    A job is just a job. the functions of the job were performed, and her pay in turn is given for her day’s work.
    Anything extra is nice I suppose, and above and beyond the requirements.

    ooooh she was texting, call the police.
    ooooh she didn’t smile at me, can I speak with your manager?
    Omg, I overheard her talking about a facebook wall post- I’d hate to encounter you as a client.
    This is ridiculous.


  59. julian says:

    for people who recommend basically “telling on her”, really need to take a step back. From the sounds of it she was not rude at all, and she did her job. Just because she was talking about facebook activity doesn’t mean that you should be posting on the internet basically cyber bullying her and ridiculing her. Seriously, I hope you understand that it is just sad and pathetic when adults go out of their way to rag on teenagers. we were all young once. do you really need to be going out of your way to be posting this on smartcanucks.

  60. roseofblack25 says:

    I worked the poll stations last election and the training is sooo vague they barely cover anything so I don’t even know if cells were allowed or not but I brought my ipod, books and my cell. I was working a rural route so maybe that was why we were allowed to get away with more because it was never busy…we didn’t have to close to go to the bathroom and I had enough time to eat without interruptions. I did use my phone, but mostly read just because I can’t keep myself entertained just texting lol

  61. Sally says:

    Its a sad day when people think texting for personal enjoyment is acceptable when on the clock dealing with customers (voters etc) constantly is ok.

  62. enough already says:

    why is that sad? I guess you shouldn’t talk to your co-workers for personal enjoyment either? don’t talk to the customers for personal enjoyment either, business only? are you all 80 year olds with vendettas against technology because you don’t know how to work it or something?

    Please can anyone tell me how texting while working is any different from talking to a coworker while you wait for your next customer? You’re not getting paid to talk to your coworkers either.

  63. Sally says:

    Your kidding me right?

    I am 30 and its not a vendetta against technology. I text myself.

    It’s called respect.

    I went back and read all your comments you’ve made on the blog “enough already” and resepct is definitely a word you should look up. You always come across very rude and disrespectful.

  64. Natalka says:

    Doesn’t matter how tough the job is or not, or what the pay for it is – what happened was plain and simply rude and disrespectful.

    Didn’t run into that when we went to the advance polls, but there was a worker who was a hilarious “Line Nazi” when we were waiting to cast ballots. That provided us with some levity!

  65. BB says:

    I do work for Elections Canada and understand all the complaints posted here. The crux of the matter is that elections staff are NOT to use ANY electronic device while working – if an important call/text comes in they may respond but need to do so out of the elections area (ie. bathroom). The reason for this is that it may appear that they are conveying personal/ important information that they have access to. The only exception to this rule is for the Central Poll Supervisor who will need to call in specfic information to the Returning Office through out the day.

    My suggestion would be to contact the Returning Office in your district (# available at elections.ca) and file an official complaint; the individual’s name is not needed if you provide the location and their position at the poll. If you think “what’s the point, nothing will happen”, that is not true – fines may apply.

    For those who have worked elections in the past, if you do not register a complaint with the Returning Officer about poor supervision or indidivuals not performing their duties, these people may be hired again and still perform poorly and make the day “crappy” for you again.

  66. Alley says:

    I was a poll clerk on election day. And we were definitely told we were under no circumstances allowed to have phones on our person, unless we were the poll supervisor who needed one incase of an emergency, or we would be asked to leave and a substitute would take our place. It is illegal and violates people’s rights to privacy to be texting while voting is taking place. Voting is supposed to be a secure procedure. I can’t believe they were allowed to be doing that.

  67. Alley says:

    And btw, to the person who said Candidate’s reps CAN”T have cell phones, you didn’t read your manual. They’re allowed to have a two hour conversation on their phone in front of you if they want to. They aren’t employed by the government and they need their cell phones to tell others what’s going on. Their job is to find out how many voter have come in, etc. and report back to headquarters.

  68. Chantal says:

    Given all the seriously bad behaviors in the world, people find ‘this’ bad ?? Seriously?? Omg! Bet ya everyone complaining about this behavior is over 25. Kinda like how adults used to complain about behaviors of youth in decades past. Pls keep up with the times or go back to your rock.

    I text this at work, in a govt building where it is written that we are allowed to type personal messages. The times and workplace expectations are changing. Social media and personal expression are part of the next generation’s expectations. You’ll see way more of this behavior as you age and I’m sure it’ll keep pissing you off just as your behaviors pissed elders off.

    To the guy who steals personal property because he feels he is not treated right by someone making minimum wage who takes crap from demanding jerks like him all day…. If you did that to my staff, I would ban you from the premises. They provide a service for you… You don’t like the service? Don’t go there. go to an old fashioned joint where Betty sue will call you sir and demean herself to appease your ego.

    Ugh! Texting is the same as chatting with her partner while serving you…I’ve seen countless old biddies do this throughout my 20 yrs of voting. Get some tolerance.

  69. Mickey says:

    I did also work on election day, and were told in training that cell phones and hand-held games WERE allowed, but to put them down if a voter should enter the room. And to clarify there is no breaks if you are working at a polling station, if you need the bathroom and have to leave the table, the polling station you are at closes and your partner must remain at the table, no voting is allowed while you are away. You must bring your own food and drink and eat at the table between voters. You are there for a min of 14 hours and with training and pay for the day make $195.00 (polling clerk there are other positions which pay slightly higher rates) now I was there for 15.5 hours on election day + 3.5 hours for training not including travel or gas or studying everything at home on your own time that would be 19 hours with 195.00 pay working out to $10.26 pe3r hour for the time there, you want to get more specific I had to travel 1 hour to training and 1 hour back as well as 15 min each direction on voting day, so add another 2.5 hour and the 2 hours i spend reading my manual at home and wow I made $8.29 per hour. The politicians that we all were voting for make $157775.00 pulse expenses a year working out to $432.26 a day and I am sure the text during their work day too.

  70. Celest says:

    I agree with Mickey, although its completely inappropriate to be using your cellphone mindlessly when interacting with voters/ doing other station work you have to understand that elections personnel need to use sometimes.
    Obviously Stefania you have NEVER worked as a poll clerk= 14 HOURS straight of paperwork and greeting (not counting communiting), NO BREAKS (including lunch/coffee whatever), NO FOOD PROVIDED, at times there is no phone on the premises so YOU HAVE TO USE YOUR OWN, and at least 2 HOURS of ballot counting = you are not even legally allowed to work this many hours in a regular job =16!!!! to make only $165 a day.
    So please forgive us if we use them one once or twice to check on our kids, siblings, urgent matters, or god knows what.
    I dare you try this job out, and then speak about it. Its not some boring old desk job. WITHOUT US POLL CLERKS AND DROs you wouldn’t even have a functioning election. And many people recognize it, while some people like you I guess like to complain about everything and anything.
    Oh and I have worked in the fast food industry, at malls> and at times polls are worst.
    This is not a regular job.


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