Thursday, September 14, 2006

October 21, 2005

I cranked most of the evening after that. It made me feel bad, acting that way, but it seems nothing gets through to our “supervisors” when someone tries to get their ear. This a.m. I’m on shelter chore duty. I just swept the entire floor and mopped half of it. Finally someone (no, two people) offered to help, and I’m letting them have the rest of it while I rest. I’ve been at it for 2 ½ hours, and I’m bushed.
I spoke to MH person M. this a.m. for over an hour in her car. It was a good hour. I explained all my concerns about the shelter and went over all the kvetches I’ve been making to others. Then explained that my concern is that I hate myself when I start talking like that---that I’d promised myself to remain aloof from all dramas, intrigues, and politics while here.
She validated how I felt, because she sees it, too, which made me feel better. She advised me to try to keep a sense of humor and to take care of my own needs.
Funny though, I’ve kind of lost interest in expressing my concerns to K., M., or J. I’ve lost interest in anything except making it through the next 9 days. The last 3 are non-work days---Friday, my next day off, Saturday, for outprocessing, and Sunday for the flight home. So it’s really only 6 more hard work days.
I can make it.

Life in a shelter is:
  1. Discovering earplugs.
  2. A constant search for privacy.
  3. Overhearing all the little dramas and gossip that go on, and sometimes finding yourself pissed that you discover others conning the system or getting special treatment while you work so hard and play by the rules.
  4. Discovering you’re on your own, even when you’re sick and depending on medical personnel to get you treatment.
  5. Having a kitchen that makes only coffee and provides salty, starchy, sugary snacks as the primary food; getting ecstatic at the sight of tuna or a bag of lettuce.
  6. Eating the food doled out on the trucks to the needy for dinner (and lunch if you’re on the ERV crew) and finding out how little the procurer/”dieticians” in charge of the menus care for the health or tastes of their clientele.
  7. Unexpected kindnesses from people you don’t even know.

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