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Homelessness Is Evil!

December 26, 2012

Each December 21, The Longest Night of the Year Celebration is held at Judson Memorial Church in collaboration with Picture the Homeless, to commemorate the lives of homeless people that have died in the previous year.  Also, Melinda Hunt discussed Hart Island, the potter’s field just east of City Island, which is reaching capacity, and which ludicrously requires a corrections officer to visit, which she has catalogued with the help of volunteers when the city claimed that they could not afford to do it.

Perhaps the most important thing I took from the presentation was a statement from Bobby Watts, Executive Director of Care for the Homeless and Board President of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.  He made the statement, “Homelessness is evil,” which he said he felt he could make to this audience, most of which consisted of people well aware of the political and economic gestation of homelessness.  It is an evil perpetrated upon us by banks, legislators who vote to defund affordable housing, avaricious businessmen who warehouse more vacant apartments than there are homeless people in the city, as proven by Picture the Homeless, again in a task that the city alleged was impossible, and published in the pamphlet, Banking on Vacancy:  Homelessness and Real Estate Speculation, which is also the source of my insistent $3,500 per month figure that the city pays private shelters to house and feed homeless people. (http://www.picturethehomeless.org/Documents/Reports/PH01_report_final_web.pdf).  This report proves that the city has absolutely no excuse for “general population” (as those lacking in substance abuse problems, mental illness, or HIV are called) homelessness, and is allowing property rights to trump human rights, something no ethical person would do.  It is also the result of greedy employers who want pre-trained employees, unpaid labor, and paying wages not commensurate with education, experience, or a living wage.  They who create the problem should be those who are punished as a result of the problem.

On December 19, the front page of The New York Times carried an article that I linked in a previous blog dealing with educated, homeless young people.  (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/19/us/since-recession-more-young-americans-are-homeless.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0) There are many reader responses on there that attacked the majors of those profiled in the article:  journalism, humanities, and fund raising.  Many people insisted very strongly that these people’s homelessness is the result of a choice not to major in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (collectively known as STEM majors) or other so-called “practical” majors.  This was easily enough refuted—one woman wrote of her chemistry major son who was unable to find a job.  Another post came from a Josephine Ensign, a University of Washington professor of nursing, stating that her students were unable to find jobs.  The person in the bed across from me when I first arrived at Third Street Shelter told me that he has an accounting degree, but like me with my English, communication, and cinema and media degrees, can find only short-term and part-time work.  (He has been transferred to a facility around the corner, but still takes his meals in the same shelter.)  Others suggested joining the military, even though, the high probability of being killed on the job not even withstanding, it was brought up that veterans are becoming one of the fastest growing sectors of the homeless population, the military is not doing nearly as much hiring, and that those with college degrees have the least opportunity, because they are always started as lower-level officers, for which there are fewer openings.  This is similar to New York City Teaching Fellows, to which I was encouraged to apply the first time I was on welfare back in 2005-06.  I received a post card declining to take me to the interview stage.  In 2011, I learned from several people who had utilized the program to become teachers that the reason is that I already have a master’s degree, mandating by law a higher starting salary for me if hired.  On April 28, Frank Bruni did some hypocritical grandstanding in the supposedly-liberal Times also associating unemployment with lack of a STEM degree.  (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/bruni-the-imperiled-promise-of-college.html?_r=0) Bruni has a degree in English from University of North Carolina and is a very successful columnist, yet here he is telling others to forego what they want and what he has  for something that is supposedly in demand.  I think Mr. Bruni needs to retire and let some new blood in, since he is so clearly out of touch with reality.  Recent Yahoo! News articles have presented everything from social work to architecture as the least successful majors—one even stating that communications and journalism have one of the lowest unemployment rates (http://education.yahoo.net/articles/best_and_worst_degrees.htm), yet it would be utterly absurd to tell someone who wants to be an architect not to on the grounds that the world doesn’t need any more architects.  It would be almost as absurd to claim that the world needs no more writers and filmmakers, but needs an unlimited supply of engineers.  My SAT verbal was 620 and SAT math was 490.  No one in 1993-1994, when I took the exam, would have told me to pursue a STEM degree (except my parents, who wanted me to major in biology [although my guidance counselor thought it was ridiculous] because I had done well in it in high school—I botched a minor in biology when it became too mathematical for me at the 300-level, and I would certainly have used it to narrow in on zoology, which Yahoo! articles have posited both as a great job for introverts, but also a major with one of the highest unemployment rates), nor would anyone have suggested to do vocational training and become an auto mechanic, as respondents to the November 19 article suggested.  I was never one of those guys who loved to work on cars, and there would be millions of men happy in that sort of career, whereas I would be miserable.  I’ve known that I have wanted to write for a living since I could read, and looking back, even though it was many years before I knew what a director did in film or theatre, it was as early as first grade that I knew that I wanted to do what it was that they did.  In my head, I was casting scenarios with my classmates, not knowing what this was.  In the Unity church, we are told that that is no coincidence, and that god put those dreams and desires in us for a reason.

At one point in the service was a candlelight vigil, in which individuals got up and added a candle for a deceased homeless person known to them.  Although he has been gone more than ten years, I decided to light a candle for Vijay Patel.  Vijay was an engineer who sold a formula for a cleaning solution to Eli Lilly and Company.  He attended Unity of Indianapolis, which is how I knew him.  He said that he would constantly apply to work at Lilly, but they always said that they had nothing for him, nor was he able to find work anywhere else.  He was not allowed to take his money out of his native India, nor was he allowed to use the funds to return there.  One day, it was announced from the platform at church that he had died of a throat obstruction in an Indianapolis homeless shelter.  So much for STEM being the most practical and in-demand of all degrees!

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of the Unity Church, which I have attended in various locations pretty much every week since 1980, wrote in Chapter 4 of Prosperity, “We cannot be very happy if we are poor, and nobody needs to be poor. It is a sin to be poor. You may ask whether Jesus cited any example of poverty’s being a sin? Yes. You will find it in the story of the prodigal son. That is often used as a text to preach to moral sinners, but a close study of it shows that Jesus was teaching the sin of lack and how to gain plenty. It is a wonderful prosperity lesson.”  I can’t imagine what he would say in response to the current job market environment, but it may well be summed up in the fact that I got kicked out of the choir at Unity of New York for requesting financial and/or employment help during my 2011 eviction from everyone in my address book, which incorporated many e-mail addresses from the choir contact sheet.  (To be fair, I was given a warning, and then did another blast months later when a document I received through postal mail sent me into panic mode.)

Counting back only to the point that I became homeless in May, I have 1,417 job application confirmations in my e-mail.  This is not an exact count of all the jobs to which I have applied—many received no confirmation and some receive more than one, and many are scammers that the hosting site follows up with an alert to break off any communication.  None of the jobs for which I carefully crafted a cover letter have yet resulted in an interview, even positions that appeared to be perfect matches.  I obtained two freelance jobs from having my resume alone on Craigslist, and Craigslist is giving me a hard time about posting lately, insisting that the only phone number I have is invalid.  Although I try to avoid getting my resume to them at all, I was called again about a face-to-face marketing position last Friday.  I have yet to return the call.  I have discussed elsewhere on my blog why I consider it a waste of time to deal with such businesses.  Most of the other interviews I got were for this sort of work, and I never got past the first of three with any of them.  The Back to Work program sent me to two job interviews.  One was a telemarketing job with Aegis, after I had already told them I had been dismissed from three telemarketing jobs for low sales.  The other was at the Council of Airport Opportunity.  They require a 100% complete ten-year work history, which, with my background in temporary work, would be very arduous to provide (even with my LinkedIn profile, I don’t include everywhere that I worked, and I include a lot of places on my LinkedIn for the purposes of networking with former co-workers), and since I was informed that the only time administrative, office, or other desk positions open are when someone vacates a position.  I felt that would be a wasted effort.  And then there was when they tried to make me be a parks janitor for $9.50 an hour.  The Human Resources Administration (aka welfare) has had information about my medical condition on file since 2005, so it was further waste of time and money to send me again to one of their doctors, who came to the same conclusion, with the help of medical documentation ¼of an inch thick that I now constantly keep in my backpack in case I have need of it.  They have yet to attempt to place me in suitable employment.  The New York State Department of Labor, which is eliminating my unemployment insurance on December 30, barring an act of Congress, has even told me to apply for internships that they do not believe are paid, even though, based on the job description, if it is unpaid, the law is being broken. (http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/attach/TEGL/TEGL12-09acc.pdf)

I did not spend my Christmas alone.  I got to spend a bit of Christmas Eve with my massage therapist and her husband, who had me at Thanksgiving, and there received my mail, which included the previous edition of The Sandman: Dream Country trade that I had ordered from BookDepository.co.uk.  It was in mint condition for less than cover price, with free shipping.  Unfortunately, they did not have in stock the previous editions of Fables & Reflections or Brief Lives, the only ones I need to complete my set, nor the volumes of Sandman Mystery Theatre or The Books of Magic for which I have been looking.  The copies that I have seen locally in the past few weeks were not in a condition that I would consider buying, and at least one of those copies has sold.  I spent a good portion of Christmas Eve at my storage unit trading off reading material and getting the available portion of my comic book collection organized.  Most of it is in the back corner, where it was packed in preparation for a move, not for easy access.

Christmas Day, my friend Jonathan invited me to his family’s Christmas dinner.  I texted my friend, Marnie, who knows Jonathan, this, and she wrote back that her whole family was going down to see her in Orlando (although it doesn’t hurt that some others in her family are already).  I’ve never had my family come visit me.  Jonathan’s sister is a psychoanalyst.  She said it was very clear to her that I have no mental illness, and any attempt to get a diagnosis from her would be defrauding the system and that I could get all of us in a lot of trouble if I were to try it.  However, she does think I may be able to get some helpful counseling.   Several teenage members of Jonathan’s family were in attendance.  His sister said that she didn’t believe one of the young men, who is looking to enter one of several collegiate mechanical engineering programs, that one particular school was having difficulty placing engineers.  While the younger of the two girls, an 8th grader, wanted to get into theatre.  The 17 year-old senior is the only girl who uses an optical engineering lab at her parochial high school and is looking to further her study specifically in optical engineering.  Yet again, there was more call to bring up the Vijay Patel story, which I had not brought up in a long time, not to get anyone down, but to bring in a reality check that no major guarantees anything anymore.  I poured her some Chardonnay at her request, not realizing she was a minor until later in the discussion, but there was a long discussion about how her family has allowed her to drink wine with dinner since she was 12 so that she could learn her limits without ever getting drunk.  I don’t know the wisdom of this plan.  I grew up seeing my parents drink milk with dinner, and I don’t drink, even though I still ended up in a homeless shelter with a substance abuse focus, at a big waste of taxpayer money.  The only times I saw them drink were at a communion service at Unity of Indianapolis (which is not a common occurrence, and in which grape juice was offered) and champagne at my brother’s first wedding (I was unable to attend his second).  My brother ended up a wine with dinner guy, and I remained a teetotaler.  Two out of three isn’t bad.  In the olden days of Unity, “Truth Students” were expected to be alcohol-free vegetarians who did not engage in non-marital sex.  I was nearly a vegetarian until entering the shelter system, so with me, it’s more than two out of three.  Of course, the Fillmores also had a lot to say as well about caffeine, in particular in coffee and tea.  While I’m definitely not a caffeine addict, I do have these beverages (as well as colas) from time to time.  Not that the minister and staff of Unity of New York (most of them) don’t drink wine…

My family is insistent that my homelessness is the result of my own choices, and that is the reasoning that they use to deny me help.  This is more of their lies that I don’t get along with other people, even though I get invited to spend time with others even as I live in a homeless shelter.  Jonathan’s brother even drove me to the train so that I could get back to the shelter in time, such that I made it in at the last minute without having to wait for the bed roster to be brought back down.  The guard with the bed roster was the same one I had cursed out in my early days at this location when he confiscated the can of beans and rice given to me by my massage therapist on the grounds that it was outside food.  He said that he understood how easy it is for one to be pushed to the extreme of yelling into an enforcer’s face.  He also told me that I could arrange with my case worker to have a bag lunch in order to facilitate my job search.  I am back in the sparsely populated Brooklyn College library as I write this.  Only the first floor is open, and there are plenty of computers available.  I don’t know that I’ll get any job searching done, because I have to fill out documents of my job search over the past few weeks to turn in to her on January 2, my 37th birthday.

How much longer do I need to wait to have my turn?

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35 Comments
  1. Employed permalink

    So, you had time to write a lengthy blog post, but no time to search for a job. That sounds like a choice to me, and a poor choice at that.

    • Not really. With 1,417 applications getting me 12 interviews, anything I could have done would have been a drop in the bucket. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, and that is how my job search has gone.

      Writing a blog like this is important, and I should be getting paid as a journalist for my insider work at the shelter.

      You, on the other hand, had time to write a post with no useful content or counter-argument.

    • Here is the dictionary definition of “whine:”

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/whine?s=t

      In order for my critiques to be considered whiny, they must be feeble or peevish. Everything I’ve said has been an evidence-based argument. My journalistic approach to the conditions also rules out “peevish,” which the dictionary defines as cross, querulous, fretful, annoyed, perverse, or obstinate. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/peevish?s=ts)

      In no way have my posts on this blog been, by definition, whiny, so please stop libeling me.

      • Employed permalink

        Beggars can’t be choosers. When you complain that the food isn’t to your personal liking, that’s whining. Even if we accept that the food is often prepared badly and may even be occasionally unsafe, you complained about what they fed you because you prefer other things. That’s whining. Also whining: not enough toilet paper, poor style of wake-up calls, not enough free laundry, etc., etc., etc. Whiner.

        Ooooohhh. Libeling you? By calling you a whiner? Good luck with that, whiney whiner.

      • The only thing here that is whining is your own comment. I never mentioned that the food wasn’t to my liking until it GAVE ME GOUT. That fails the definition of whining.

        Stating that the shelter is in on-compliance with regard to toilet paper also fails to meet the definition of whining.

        Stating that I was denied food because I could not be showered and dress in time while being DENIED the use of an alarm clock or any other plug-in device also FAILS to meet the definition of whining. It is a statement of bad policy that invokes an invalid excuse of a fire hazard that could easily be rectified with the amount of funds they are given by the city. This is concrete evidence that denies the feebleness inherent in the definition of whining.

        The Department of Homeless Services policy states that residents are entitled to do laundry free of charge at the shelter so that they can save their money to move out once they have a reasonable income. At the first two shelters where I stayed, residents were allowed to use the laundry equipment. At the first we were even provided with detergent. Full-service laundry that restricts us to not even a week’s worth of undergarments is a blatant skirting of this policy. This criticism also lacks the feebleness and peevishness required by the dictionary definition of whining.

        Thus, you are either functionally illiterate or committing libel. Which is it?

  2. Employed permalink

    So, by that reasoning, you should do nothing to look for a job any longer. No search of any kind. Just wait for the world to hand you housing and food that is to your liking (and just maybe a job that meets your requirements).

    The way the free market economy works is that people get paid for things that other people value. The amount they get paid is in proportion to the number of people willing and able to do that work competently. The fact that you are being paid nothing for your writing suggests that it may, in fact, be worthless.

    I am employed. I wrote my comments in the free time that said employment affords me. You, on the other hand, are suckling at the teat of society and complaining that the milk isn’t to your liking. You should be spending nearly every waking moment working towards the goal of self sufficiency, not whining endlessly about how you haven’t been given enough.

    • Wal-Mart and Big Oil suck on the teat of society, and yet you don’t complain about them.

      My Fourth Amendment rights are violated on a daily basis, and soon my Thirteenth Amendment rights will be violated as they were in 2006.

      The free market is an economic disaster in which businesses have been plundering the world and exploiting its workings, leaving them with nothing when it has no more use value from them. You are defending and perpetuating this immorality.

      • Employed permalink

        You can leave the shelter at any time and then they won’t be able to search you nor seize anything from you. If you want to stay somewhere FOR FREE, you have to consent to their rules. That’s much like you’ll find that if you want to shop at certain stores, you can’t carry a firearm while there, even if you have a carry permit (which is NOT a violation if the 2nd ammendment).

        Similarly you can leave the shelter system at any time and avoid any “forced” work that you seem to see as a violation of the 13th amendment. Nobody kidnapped you from your native land, shackled you in a disease-ridden boat, and forced you to work a plantation. Don’t pretend your lazy, educated, white butt has been enslaved.

      • Your first statement is patently absurd. It implies that living on the street is a reasonable choice.

        Being forced to work for no paymernt other than terrible room and board is a thirteenth Amendment violation, as well as a violation of federal minimum wage laws.

        Your claim that I am “lazy” is patently false and supported by absolutely ZERO evidence.

    • “You should be spending nearly every waking moment working towards the goal of self sufficiency,” is evidence of your own failure to understand healthy human psychology. I suspect that you’re my brother. He’s used that line before. Like him, you use platitudes, you believe in the mythical/fictitious “free market” (http://www.squidoo.com/the_free_market_myth), and you dismiss a cogent, evidence-based argument about misuse of tax dollars as worthless whining. It would not shock me in the slightest if you had spent money on the inane rants of Glenn Beck. My writing can’t be worthless, since I have people willing to pay me to write for them. They just want to pay me less than minimum wage, which can’t be fair market value, just as Wal-Mart steals from the government by employing its workers at too low a wage, something the Walton family should be forced to pay back. The difference is that Glenn Beck’s rants further the cause of the moneyed classes, whereas I further the cause of the student debt class, which does not have money or power.

      Clearly, you believe that simply because it’s not costing me anything immediately (although I paid taxes last year and will pay taxes this year) that $117 a day for a cot, locker rental, and food that makes me sick is a reasonable use of tax payer dollars to pay for a private, for-profit shelter. That you think someone should be allowed to profit from my misery and from making me sick (which again costs the taxpayer via Medicaid money) is pure depravity on your part. That I suggest an alternative that costs much less but is actually better for me, you find offensive. If you were my brother, you would probably say, “rediculous”–with that spelling. You seem to think I should take the mentality that “something is better than nothing,” and that is absurd.

      My homelessness is 100% the result of other people’s greed. In the last Great Depression, Robert Maynard Hutchins (no known relation) wrote of how even those with degrees struggled, but they did better than those without. He also noted that most companies preferred college graduates, but did NOT want them trained to the task of the position, so that they could be taught to do it in the company’s way. Now there has be a complete reversal. The companies have become too greedy to train their employees or resort to unlawfully paid internships, which, if caught, should result in prison time for the employer. The crisis has become so bad that that is a legitimate statement. It would, of course, be good for the for-profit, private prison system that likes to keep people inside for drug possession and minor juvenile offenses to increase their profits.

      The fact that none of your three paragraphs involve dissecting my argument is a tacit acknowledgement that you have no counterargument, just a status quo ideology that you want to promote.

      • Employed permalink

        If not every waking moment, you certainly shouldn’t be wasting the scarce computer time that you so regularly complain about with writing whiny blog posts.

        One phrase makes me your brother, huh? Wow. I pity your brother and the rest of your family. Being related to you must suck.

        So, by your account, your writing isn’t worthless, just NEARLY worthless because you can’t find anyone willing to pay you even minimum wage to write. Perhaps you should take that as a sign.

        I find it offensive that you’re getting handouts at all regardless of the location and even more offensive that you have an endless list of people you blame for every aspect of your discomfort.

      • I find it offensive that someone of your obvious stupidity is employed. Albert Einstein said that the worst way to deal with a problem is to focus on solving it, because the solution is most likely to come from doing something else. If I were to get a job based on the strength of the writing in my blog, it would further prove your stupidity.

        I’ve been told by people in writing and editing far longer than I have that the market fell out around 2001. I got my degree in 1999. How would I have known? The problem is, again, the greed of others. There are too many companies that value writing enough to hire people to do it, but so many offers on elacnce, realwritingjobs.com, etc., that offer a mere $8 an article, and only if accepted. Some people are so desperate to write for a career that they will accept it, but I consider that sort of writing to be a waste of my time and abilities–wheel-spinning.

        We live in a country where the founding documents declare rights to life, liberty, and the pursuiot of happiness. This has been destroyed by the wealthy class. It would also mean that, were I not provided with SNAP benefits, that I and all those denied jobs would have the right to steal food.

        Finally, your post is a whine, rather than a solid critique; therefore you are a complete hypocrite with too much time on his or her hands.

      • Why don’t you find it offensive that an organization that receives $535,000 to supply unsafely handled food that transmits disease?

        Why don’t you find it offensive that Wal-Mart pays its employees so little that they qualify for government benefits? Wal-Mart is stealing from the government by not providing its employees minimum wage.

        Why don’t you find it offensive that corn farmers, cattle ranchers, and big oil get free money from the government?

    • “So, by that reasoning, you should do nothing to look for a job any longer. No search of any kind. Just wait for the world to hand you housing and food that is to your liking (and just maybe a job that meets your requirements).” This, as with the quote that began my last response, is further evidence that you are en extremist with an either/or mentality. You are obviously not very bright, but are obviously able to fulfill your employer’s need without any sort of disruption. Congratulations. I am sure you would be quite lost if you were to lose your position.

  3. Employed permalink

    Your own words were “anything I could have done would have been a drop in the bucket. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, and that is how my job search has gone”. You explicitly said that furthering your job search would be insanity. If you’re not searching, then you’re waiting for the world to hand you something. You made the statement. I just pointed out the logical interpretation.

    Interesting that you can’t hold a job, but you assume me to be dim.

    I can tell you this… If I lost my job, I wouldn’t be spending my time sitting in a storage unit playing with comics.

    • I did not say that furthering my job search would be insanity. My point was that there are a variety of methods used to obtain jobs, and that devoting all my time to a traditional job search is not the best use of my time. I did not say that no time should be spent doing it. I simply said that it would be insane to spend so much time on a method that does not seem to work.

      It’s interesting that you draw the conclusion that I “can’t hold a job.” I lost my last job because the media company for which I was working lost its only client, and therefore there was no work. The promotional videos I was editing had not even gone public when the decision was made. How this is a reflection on my incompetence is beyond all rational discourse.

      The job I lost before that was because of my employer’s inability to communicate. I needed instructions to know how he wanted me to edit his seminar papers. When he bothered to show up to the meetings he scheduled, he explained each paragraph to me as though I were a simpleton, but gave me no instructions other than the general idea of what he wanted me to do, and attacked my approach as incorrect at every turn. Please also see my post, “If you can’t find a toll-free number on this card, you deserve to be homeless.” The last job I lost was because my boss was unwilling to train me in what she needed done. The job I lost before that was a mass seasonal layoff. The job I had before that, as an adjunct professor, also met with a seasonal layoff. Prior to that, I had a short-term freelance writing job, and I have a long history of temping. Losing a short-term temp job is not indicative of lack of intelligence, but taking one out of necessity when one becomes available reflects poorly on one’s resume in the minds of slow-wittied human resources employees.

      Again, you clearly have a functionary role that requires minimal thought, or else you would not be able to retain it.

      I was at my storage unit with my comics on Christmas Eve day. All sites I know of for computer access were closed. You would rather I sit around the dining room at the homeless shelter hanging out with ex-junkies? By putting me in a substance abuse shelter, there is no one here to whom I can relate. Eddie Harris housed primarily working poor and physically limited people.

  4. Employed permalink

    Have you considered the possibility that your employer was on to something when he explained things to you as though you were a simpleton?

    Your counter to my comment that you can’t hold a job is to list the many jobs you’ve lost? Good work. Thanks for reinforcing my point. Perhaps. I. Need. To. Write. That. Slowly. So. You. Will. Understand.

    • I understood his paper just find. What I didn’t understand, and still don’t, is how he wanted me to edit it.

      You have demonstrated with this post that you are functionally illiterate. No intelligent person would think that budgetary layoffs are the fault of the employee.

  5. Employed permalink

    Oh, and as for my role, I am the Bishop of Battle, master of all I survey.

    • If anyone is lazy, it’s wealthy people…

  6. Also Employed permalink

    Employed I think you will see in good time that you are dealing with a mentally unstable person here. He never accepts responsibility for his actions and nothing is ever his fault. This is why he is where he is,he would rather be a scholar in his own pathetic deranged mind than actually get a real job. He will try to insult you and dismiss you because the fact that you are right in your opinion of him is unacceptable to him. This is an individual that will be homeless and suck from the government teet for the rest of his natural life, cussing and blaming his situation on everyone else until the end of time. Truly revolting and pathetic indeed.

    • I think you’re both sock puppets for Jillian King. You are nothing more than an ideologue who is incapable of following an evidence-based argument. Telling someone who has applied for approximately 1,432 jobs (this is the exact count of application confirmations in my e-mail–not all applications get an automated reply or any reply at all, and some give one from the employer and one from the hosting site) in the past seven months is non sequitur.

      You claim that my situation is my fault, yet you have failed to supply a single shred of evidence why you believe this is the case; therefore, your opinion is invalid, because it stems not from reason. The fact that someone like that is employed is revolting in the eyes of any mentally stable person.

      • Employed permalink

        Also Employed, Scott Andrew Hutchins has assured his readers that he has been assessed and found to be without any psychiatric issues. Kind of like Sheldon, though it would seem that it was someone other than his mother that had Scott Andrew Hutchins tested. Therefore, I see no harm in continuing to challenge his flawed thinking, especially as he suckles at the teat of coffers engorged with the milk of my tax dollars.

        Scott Andrew Hutchins, it was just days ago that you were convinced that I am your brother. Now you believe me to be a sock puppet of Jillian King. I don’t know who that is, but I’m not a puppet, sock or otherwise.

        Here’s some evidence why I believe your situation to be, at least in large part, your fault: Throughout your blog, you blame a myriad of people for your problems. However, you make little or no effort to solve YOUR problems. For example, if you know the wake-ups to be unreliable at the shelters, go spend just a few of the dollars you have in the bank on a portable alarm clock that is either mechanical or runs on batteries. Problem solved. Instead, you write at length about how, time after time, the shelter has caused you to miss out on job opportunities, food, and events by not providing you with satisfactory and/or timely wake-up service. Therefore, I conclude based on your own writings that you fail to take action to remedy problems in your life. Therefore, I extrapolate from that specific example and many others that you have provided that your failure to take responsibility for addressing and rectifying the problems in your life is the proximate cause of your homelessness.

        Now, you don’t have to agree with my conclusion, but it is my we’ll-reasoned belief. If you don’t like it, you can go cry in the inadequate pillow on the unsatisfactory bed in the unacceptable shelter that were all paid for with the taxes of people that actually manage to hold down a job day after day, year after year.

      • grickster permalink

        Spot on.

        Unfortunately, if he does anything at all, he’ll probably buy some cheap clock from the same music store where he bought his shaver, and then it will break, and then he’ll accuse Panasonic of purposely manufacturing cheap clocks and shavers to keep poor people enslaved under the domination of behemoth corporations.

  7. speedygonzalez permalink

    I think you’re wrong about them being sock puppets. I don’t think the two are even the same person. The writing styles are too distinct.

  8. Employed, please explain how it is my fault that I got impetigo from the pillow that the shelter provided to me. I have pillows in my storage, but they reserve the right to confiscate any alternative bedding.

    I have found inexpensive clocks and watches to be of exceedingly poor quality. I stopped buying $20 Casio calculator watches when the case broke, making it unwearable as a wristwatch, on my birthday, approximately 2 weeks after the 1-year warranty expired, which did not cover the case, to begin with. I had already spent $13 to replace this watch’s battery.

    Expecting me to buy shoddy merchandise is hardly an indictment of how my problems are my fault.

    • marcopal permalink

      you seem preoccupied with establishing who is at fault for your problems. i think his point is that you should direct that energy towards solving your problems yourself. just like you started going to soup kitchens because the shelter food was making you sick – that is a good example of taking action to solve your own problem. but you have to take that to the next level, not just getting better handouts from someone else.

      • Since becoming homeless, I have applied to 1,435 jobs, all within an 8-month period. I have over 700 connections on LinkedIn, probably 2/3 or whom I know in real life.

        The obvious solution is to get a well paying job, but clearly, that is no easy task in the current environment, especially when just this past Monday I was told that I was overqualified for an assistant editor job, with a concern that I wouldn’t accept pay that low. I’ve never been offered more than $18,000 for a full-time job, in spite of all my credentials, and I held onto those jobs until my employer would no longer have me, either form dissatisfaction or lack of need.

        At the only full-time permanent job I have ever been offered or held, I was let go because, in the words of my indirect supervisor, I “did what any rational human being would do. The problem is [company president’s name]’s not rational.” I was working directly for the company president doing his dictation for $8.50 an hour. The marketing director, to whom I previously referred to as my “indirect supervisor” (which he called himself when he endorsed me on LinkedIn) had assigned me to interview a company president for an exclusive for the online magazine. He recognized me as a good writer and wanted to promote me, but the company president didn’t like me because I wasn’t an error-free touch typist and needed time to proofread my work for it to come out correctly. He held onto me because his wife, the CFO, thought that my intelligence and education were an asset to the company. After several days of phone tag, my contact called me, and I spent about ten minutes interviewing him and taking careful notes, which I then put aside to finish the company president’s dictation. The president was attending a wedding in India [no, this is not the Indian boss from 2012 that I recently impugned], and called at 2 AM India time. He was outraged that not all the dictation had been completed. There was about ten minutes left on the recording, which would have taken about half an hour to type and proofread, but that was irrelevant to him. He wanted to fire me right away, but instead put me on notice, saying that the next thing I did that he didn’t like would result in my firing.

        Two and a half months later, the company president asked me to come in “early” to work on a project. No specifics are given as to what “early” meant, and since he had no plans to pay me overtime, this was technically illegal. When I arrived a mere ten minutes early, he fired me. This was in February 2008. Aside from one freelance gig, I was not employed again until September 2009, at a massive loss to my savings. I continued to apply for work over that period, but because I had the cushion of savings, I didn’t apply for clerical/admin work, only editorial. It did not work, but I think it is ridiculous for anyone to find fault with me that that strategy did not work, given how often so-called “overqualification” has kept me out of a job to begin with.

        As with my job loss from 69 Productions/Maruti transit, which I detailed in earlier blog entries, I see my loss of the above job as 100% the fault of my employer. I see any attempt to pin blame on me as the words of ideologues who insist upon “take responsibility,” even though there is no evidence that I was in the wrong.

        This is an entirely an issue of money and power, and those who have it taking advantage of those who do, not because their victims are stupid, but because they are offered too few choices must select the best of choices from among only the worst possibilities.

        Because of this, I feel that I would be wrong not to attack the shelter for squandering $3,500 per month that could be better spent on me to have a 1-bedroom apartment. this is about people with power making a profit from my misery, and I will insist that they are wrong until a change is made.

    • I use my cell phone as an alarm clock. My cell phone cost $50 five years ago, and I pay $100 a year to get voice mail and 500 minutes. That is less that $10 a month for an excellent alarm clock and important voice mail service and enough minutes to make important calls. If you cannot use the electrical outlet you would have to charge it somewhere else during the day, like the library, for an hour every couple of days or so.

      • I have an Assurance Wireless phone, but it’s not very reliable as an alarm clock. I tried to use it to make sure I made it to church for the pre-service when Daylight Savings Time went into effect, but I was unable to hear it through my locker, where I kept it for security. The battery was down to two bars, and I was lucky it didn’t run out of power completely before I had a chance to recharge it again. I’ve made a point of not recharging it if I can’t keep it in my sight after I lost my phone on August 31 and had to have a new one sent. I still haven’t recovered all the phone numbers I had in it.

  9. My writing is worth more to most people than Glenn Beck’s is. Glenn Beck gets funded by right-wing groups. I don’t know who would buy either his “commentary” or his fiction.

    Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6_Dq_H1hA4

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