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May The Force Be With You

“So does someone call you guys and tell you to walk if the Union and the RAB don’t reach agreement?” I asked three staffers clustered outside my building, figuring a mass email called them to action.

“No, I mean a phone call or an email could be phony,” the doorman said, “and that could go viral and there’d be a real mess.”

“Then how do you know?”

“The Force shows up,” I thought he must have been watching too many Star Wars reruns.

“No, really,” the doorman saw the look of disbelief on my face.  “There’s a Strike Force of union delegates, with badges, that personally show up at every single building to deliver the news.”

“It’s true,” the super and the porter nodded

“How do you know the badges aren’t fake?” my natural skepticism kicked in.

“Cause they come with packages that have info on all the guys in the building – name, social security number – stuff like that,” this was beginning to sound like some kind of covert action.

“But there are three thousand buildings.   How could The Force get to all of them even if they worked all night?”

“Sometimes it takes a couple of days.”

“So you mean even if there’s a strike announced on the news, the guys can’t walk till The  Force shows up?”


“What about the guys who aren’t here when The Force shows up?” How do they know what to do?”

“They call us, but they have to come to work anyway because if there’s a strike we have to take turns picketing. We have shifts: 7 a.m.- 11a.m., 11a.m. – 3 p.m., 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. – like that.”

If only things were always so well organized, I thought.

My building is in a state of preparedness – the compactor rooms emptied out and sealed off, the garbage neatly piled in the basement, and boxes of trash bags in the vestibule at the ready for residents.

Here’s hoping the Force doesn’t show up. But just in case better get those lightsabers out of storage before that room is locked up too.

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