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February 21, 2002 - Soylent Teen

Another enlightening foray into the chat rooms:  Temp Chat 7!  Huzzah!

February 20, 2002 - Soylent Teen

A 'My Desk' entry:  Caldeshot Awards!

February 19, 2002 - Soylent Teen

I continue to work at a community outreach center, and I continue to enjoy it, and I am lying.  I can't stand it.

Some reasons why I am spectacularly unsuited for this job:

Personal Philosophy

For some time now, I have had a solution to the problems of homelessness and hunger:  Grind up the homeless and feed them to the hungry.  Simple.  Efficient.  Effective.  It's killing two bird with one stone, only the stone is a woodchipper and the birds are shrieking, clawing human beings.

My program can even be expanded to solve other problems.  Unemployment, for one.  Someone has to operate the woodchippers!  Teen illiteracy?  Well, send over some kids who can't read, and they can watch people being fed into the woodchipper.  If they don't learn to read, we'll tell them, they're tomorrow's lunch special.  

Need a lift to the library?  I thought so!

And, once you've run out of homeless people to grind up, you can start using violent criminals, embezzlers, evangelists, vegans, French pop-stars, the cast of Becker, and other assorted scum!

Still, I hesitate to mention this idea to the social workers who are employing my services.  They seem to want to help the hungry and homeless kids, or that's the impression I get in our daily meetings.   Which brings us to the next problem:

Our Daily Meetings

As a temp, I am rarely asked to participate in meetings.  Throughout the dozens of jobs I've had, I've attended maybe... five meetings in all.  There's generally no point since I'm not going to be around long, and thankfully, everyone seems to realize this.  I'd even have to say it's one of the true benefits of temping.

This place is different.  We have a meeting every day from 9:00 to 9:30am, and I'm required to be there, for some reason.  At these meetings, the staff talk about the "clients", which is what they call the kids who come there for help.

So, I get to hear all sorts of intimate details about these kids.  What drugs they're on, what crimes they've committed, how their parents have abused them, if they're on probation or prostituting or pregnant.  Sometimes all three!

And then, and here's the BEST part, when the kids come in, I get to pretend I DON'T know anything about their problems!  They will walk in the front door, and say "Hi" (or the street equivalent of "Hi"), and I say "Hi", but what I'm REALLY thinking is, "OH SHIT this is the chick who is FIFTEEN and pregnant with her SECOND CHILD and she's on CRACK and her boyfriend was KILLED last week by the COPS."  And I know this, because it came up in this morning's meeting.

Of course, the director of the center wouldn't put it quite like that.

Meaningless Babble

Man.  You thought marketing executives were bad.

Well, you were right, but I swear the director of the center is a million times worse.  You wouldn't guess that a social worker would have such a mouthful of meaningless words.  Or, maybe you would.  I'm kind of making a lot of assumptions about what you think today, huh?  Anyway, my sister is a social worker, and she doesn't talk like an industry person.

But the director, sheeeeeee.  He doesn't do things, he facilitates them.  He doesn't talk to people, he dialogues with them.  The other day, he facilitated a dialogue with me in order to negotiate an agreement for the requisition of an manufactured implement of notation.  So, I handed him a pencil.

This sort of thing really pisses me off.  Everything about the place pisses me off.  The thing that pisses me off the most, however:

I Can't Get Pissed Off

I can't.  Who am I going to get pissed at?  The kids?  These poor kids with all their problems?  I can't snap at them, or ignore them, or take things out on them.  It's just not right.  Also, they're probably carrying weapons.

The staff?  Not likely.  They're all very intelligent, caring, nurturing people, who have dedicated their lives to helping kids.  They sure as hell can't have gone into social work for the money.  So, maybe we can forget the "intelligent" part.  Still, they're good people, working for very little money in a terrible part of town in a crummy little run-down building for a non-profit organization.  Which reminds me:


Hey, great.  I can't even swipe a pack of Post-It's without it costing some kid a meal.  What a bad fit this job is.  Couldn't be worse, I don't think.

Might have to facilitate a dialogue with my temp agent about it.


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