Being an elected official is an honor, but sometimes it goes to people’s heads. And then, luckily, there are things that bring us back down to earth.

I first started as a constable in 1997. While my constable office has been in four different locations in our building, at the time of this story, it was in my favorite spot, right across from the court’s front counter. I have a tendency to work at night, as I like to know what I have for the day ahead.

The janitor at the time was a very quiet gentleman, perhaps in his thirties or forties. We were friendly but didn’t talk much. About a year went by, and one night we ended up having our first extended conversation. Out of the blue, he says: “I voted for you; you stopped by my apartment, on your bike.” I was just stunned, that after having known this gentleman for one year he was just telling me that.

Now, I had always been very congenial with him, saying “hi” and “bye”, but just hadn’t remembered talking with him at his door!

The point I’d like to make here is that the janitor’s vote counted just as much as yours or mine. It’s the great thing about our democracy; we are all equal. I’m just grateful that my nature is to treat everyone respectfully, but what a sobering lesson that was!

— Ed Malles