Friday, March 11, 2005

Two Days in the Life of a Capitol Page

Here (at long last) is my paging article!

Getting Started

Well, we (my family) drove up to Oklahoma City on Sunday evening. We got to the hotel, and proceeded to unload everything. After that we went to a meeting to hear the rules of the week. In that meeting we meet our two counselor's who were to supervise us for the week. After that we all had to hurry up to our rooms and get ready to go out to dinner, so there really wasn't much time to meet anyone. Then after the pages had all congregated, we headed outside and loaded into to state vans. After getting in the vans we got to get to know each other better. There where 15 girls and 4 boys!(not counting two other girls who where driving in every day) Then we got to the restaurant, and proceeded to go in and order. At dinner we got to know more about each other(What got you interested in paging. Etc.) After that we loaded back into the vans and went to a Super Target, to buy any items we might have forgotten. I needed to buy a wrist watch, so I headed over to the jewelry department and picked up a nice one for $9.99. After hanging around a bit, we loaded back up, and drove back to the hotel. Soon after we arrived, it was time for bed. So me and my roommate, went to our room, cleaned up a bit, and went to bed and waited for sweet sleep to plunge us into the land of dreams. And waited...And waited... We were to get up at 6:30 in order to get breakfast, so I knew I had to get to sleep. No luck. Finally I fell asleep.

The First Day of Paging

"..Sunny skies over South OKC, no major wrecks repor*click*" With that our friendly alarm clock reminded us that it was now 6:30. With that and a groan or two, my roommate and I got up and dressed for the day. Then we went down to eat. After eating an excellent breakfast, off we went to the capitol! After driving a bit, oh, maybe 10 minutes, we drove up to the side entrance of the building. We all piled out of the vans, and then trooped inside. Just inside the door, we lined up to go through security. It looked like one of those things you see at air ports. A metal detector to walk through, and a large box that one of the guards told me housed an X ray device. After clearing security, we went down a long corridor, then hopped into our choice of two good sized elevators. Once inside we proceeded up the shaft to the fourth floor. After reaching the top we walked past the senators offices and into the page area where we met a very nice lady who was to be our page manager. The sergeant at arms, was sick the first day so we will have to meet him at the proper time. :-) The room itself was located right behind the senate chamber. It housed 3 desks at which sat our manager and two wonderful ladies who ran the phone banks of the capitol. Then along the wall, folding chairs and sofas were set up for the pages who were waiting for a errand. There was also a small table set up laden with cookies, coffee, and ice water. (The cookies were popular items, and not just among pages. We had at least one senator drop by to sneak a taste.) After just a small stay in this room, we moved out to meet the page coordinator. She was a very nice lady who told us a bit about our duties and the rules of decorum. (example: Pages while on duty, were to use the stairs :-) Then we went back to the page room and begin our first day at the capitol! We(the pages) were seated on the aforementioned sofas and chairs and we rotated towards the desk where calls where coming in. When the phone rang, the first page in line would take a sticky note that had the room number of the caller on it.(example: A sticky note that read 417b means go to the forth floor, room 17b.) We were asked to perform a number of duties, such as, refilling coffee pots, taking bills from one office to another and some pages were asked to "office sit" while the secretary was out. Another thing we did was page for a committee. That is where the senators are looking at bills to see whether they are important enough to put before the entire senate. The pages duties in a committee consist largely of handing out bills to the senators. After a busy morning half of the pages headed down to the cafeteria for lunch! Boy, was I ready for that! After lunch, the calls slowed down as most of the senators were in committee, and pages were all ready assigned to them. So we just sat in the paging room and talked. We were told the the next day would be busier as the senators would be in session. After a few more calls, it was time for us to head back to the hotel. We said goodbye to the page manager, and went back down the elevators, to the ground floor. From there we loaded back in the vans and drove out to eat supper(I think we had pizza, but I am not sure). After that, back we went to the hotel. We were all zonked(an Oklahoma term for really tried :-) and ready to go the bed. Not to long after arriving we all went to our rooms and were checked in. My roommate and I watched the History channel just a bit, then after reading my bible, I fell asleep.
And so ended my first day at the capital!

Note: I thought I might make this a weekly part of my blog for a while, maybe every Friday?

The Blogging Boy Scout,

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