Numerical Logic

by Nic Olson

The things I hear while sitting for twelve hours playing Sudoku is truly amazing. Talking about work is really timeworn, but when you hear from the nation’s finest in the old people and angry people for twelve hours in a day, some good things happen.

Nic: ‘…Would you like to participate in this study, ma’am?’
Woman 1: ‘Calling on a Sunday? Ugh. Pathetic.’
(The woman puts down the phone, meaning to hang it up. The volume goes up on the TV)
TV: ‘Tonight on America’s Most Wanted, A killer who rapes with a knife.’

People that make me lose hope in the world: people that hang up, people that groan, people who answer with no thought and say everything is ‘Very Satisfying’, naive teenagers excited to do surveys until they realize it is for people over the age of 18 and they give it to their angry parents, etc.

People that make me make me less embarrassed to be human: people that aren’t brainwashed by the RCMP and banking industry, young people who take a long time to answer questions because they are actually thinking about the answers, people over the age of 70 in general, etc.

One man, old, wealthy, dignified, from Ontario, had no belief or trust in the RCMP, something I’d never seen before. On a question about the RCMP and the G20/G8 summits, his rhetoric was ‘What kind of democracy do we have when the leaders actually need to be protected?’ He later got beaten down and arrested by the RCMP for even thinking such a thought.

And I ask questions about investment portfolios, and investing for the future of retirement, while I scrape the minutes to make hours to make $10. I am retiring on Thursday. For the fourth time this month.

And all the while, while interviewees struggle through the sentence composition without any visual queues, and deeply consider how to best answer the question so that their opinion has a lasting effect in the statistic sheets of completely useless HR divisions of unnecessary institutions, I slowly plod through a Sudoku in pen, so that when I inevitably make a simple mistake, I have to rewrite it in my notebook and try again.