I botched my hunger strike already.
When the staff member walked in and turn on the lights and said in a soft voice, “Good morning, fellas,” in a manner more polite than useful, particularly when compared to the 1:30 AM Sunday shout-out to make sure we were in bed, I neglected to turn on my phone and check the time. I knew I should have done it, because by the time I went to the toilet and showered, It was 7:20, and I still had to get dressed. I can’t prove at what time she did the wake-up, but I can’t believe that it was on time at 6 AM. Since the way my clothes are packed in my suitcase makes dressing take about ten minutes, 6-7 of which are getting my suitcase out of my locker and digging through it, there was no chance of me getting breakfast. As long as the shelter prohibits using electrical sockets (so that one may have an alarm clock) and prohibits wearing the pajamas in the dining room, no matter what they put in their rule sheet about getting up at 6 AM being client’s responsibility, ethically, they have to facilitate our getting food during the hours that they serve it.
Last night, the dinner was originally an open-faced roast beef sandwich. The server saved the last of this for himself and gave out the last bit to the guy before me. Instead, I got a mushroom-heavy pot roast stew, which, for me, was probably the better end of the deal. However, this tray, and the new trays of mashed potatoes and vegetables. The server refused to call seconds. One guy, an ex-con who also felt the need to warn me about being careful about my blog, said that the server is an asshole and you generally get seconds only when the other guy does it. He went up and got seconds, but explained to me that he knows the guy well enough that he can game him. I was hungry that evening, but I didn’t get any food.
With today’s breakfast missed and the shelter not offering bag lunches because it’s geared toward rehab and not job search (which is why I absolutely should not be there), I went to the nearest supermarket, the Whole Foods that is three blocks away to eat from the breakfast bar. I knew this was $8.99 a pound, so I tried not to take to much. I got two pancakes, some scramble eggs, and a trial sample of the hash browns. I figured that would keep it light, but it was still $9.35, plus $1.29 for a pre-priced cup of oatmeal that I packed as fully as I could, and a bottle of Tazo Brambleberry for $1.39, so my order totaled $12.83 that I should not have had to spend. Yes, the food is better, but I’m in a shelter because I don’t have income sufficient to pay rent anywhere in the country. My food stamps don’t replenish until tomorrow (I hope, anyway), and you’re not supposed to be able to use food stamps for hot foods (I’ve gotten away with buying food bar items at Whole Foods with food stamps in the past, but I have a little over $2 left on the card, so I didn’t bother attempting with a partial payment.) I really can’t afford to do something like this, but I can’t see a hunger strike as a viable option if it’s just going to be ignored.
GoodTemps left a message for me yesterday just prior to my meeting with the woman in the recovery center. I have left two voice mails. I hope this is my ticket out of the shelter.