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Draco’s Day 1 at Project Renewal

September 12, 2013

When I met my caseworker last night, he was barely aware of the new policy, but he agreed to change my meeting time to Thursday morning next week rather than Wednesday night as he had planned, freeing me up to attend David Friedman’s class once again. Since my unemployment has started posting on Thursdays, it will look better for me. I just transferred $100 from my checking to savings that wasn’t there yesterday.

Wednesday night is linen exchange at the shelter. Yesterday, with some revision today, I wrote a review of Project Renewal at GreatNonprofits.org, and one of my points is the infantile way they run the linen exchange. Last night, it was even worse. They told me to give them my towel and they would have it washed for me, writing my bed number on a list. This is the second time this has happened, and I was able to get a towel the nest morning that time, so I ignored my new Malian roommate about not giving them my towel. Project Renewal owns the towel, and even though I have the towels I brought from Jacksonville in my suitcase, I prefer not to hang them clamped in the door of my locker. When I went down at 6:20 in the morning, they didn’t have a clean towel for me this time. The security staff in the entry thought I had been played a fool by irresponsible staff members.

When I went to the bathroom this morning, there were three people crowded in front of the four sinks. My “excuse me” was too quiet to get at the one soap dispenser, and a guy was ready to start a fight with me. That resulted in yelling on my part, because I was riled up, whereas I am normally very quiet and don’t want to get on people’s bad side there, especially since many residents there are parolees.

The two guards in the entry said that the 6th floor, which is where I stay, is so hot that you don’t even need a towel. Since I couldn’t get at the towels I own without taking all my comic books out of my locker, since the goal was to get downstairs in time to get back up before 7:30, I went without a towel, had to go to the 5th floor to get water of an appropriate temperature, and then just put my bathrobe back on after it was done. My bathrobe has a tendency to start stinking when it gets wet, so we’ll see what happens.

I made it down about five minutes after seven, and made it back up before 7:30. Instead of the usual 8:10 harangue about being off the floor, the guard who was telling us to break it up earlier that morning was telling me that I needed to vacate the floor around 7:50. My mom told me I was wrong last time I called one of the unarmed security guards an “irrational moron” for attempting to stop me from using the 5th floor shower room. So today, I still ate and got out, and it was before 8 AM. It was so hot last night that it was a struggle to sleep, so I was away before they turned the lights back on. Based on the vividness of my dreams, which involved trying to save my library from a home from which I was being evicted, my body crammed in some intense REM sleep last night.

As a footnote to this story, last week they started posting the meal plans on every floor. Today’s menu called for waffles, but we got French toast or pancakes depending on when we arrived. All three of these are rubbery and have to be eaten by hand because the plastic utensils we receive do not include knives, and attempting to cut them with a plastic fork is useless. Waffles are probably the worst in this respect, though. I bring this up not so much to complain about the food but to emphasize Project Renewal’s falsification of records. The French toast is obviously pre-prepared, a generic version of the Aunt Jemima frozen French toast. This is actually a good thing, considering how often it tastes like the bread has been stored in mothballs.

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