Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Good Deeds and Old Jobs

We're not going to say what nice thing we did. But we did a good deed this afternoon after work.

This may confuse people (who follow us on Twitter). It shouldn't; perhaps you just don't know all of us.

Look. We're not ALL angry and hateful. We're not. It would be easier if we were, there would probably be less fighting. (less anxiety too)

Did you know we used to work at a soup kitchen that not only served free soup but also whole meals for very little money to the homeless and low income people of our neighborhood? They also had a food program where low income locals could buy food at low wholesale prices, but not in wholesale sizes; fresh foods like meat, fruits and vegetable and dairy. We were in charge of the food there, making menus, helping with ordering and inventory, as well as being manager/director of the social media. We all think food for everyone is very important (though some of the others don't like to eat very much).

We always had to be very careful what we said about our job; but since we don't work there anymore...and we never signed a confidentiality agreement, we can say what we want. It's been over a month now too, since we worked there.

Yes, those who used to follow us know that some of us used to say some pretty mean things about some of the people we encountered on a daily basis, from volunteers to the people we were serving (and sometimes about co-workers who deserved it *coughs* Fuck Face *coughs*)

There is a reason for that, for our anger. It's probably not a good reason though, so maybe it's an excuse.

Some of the people we encountered on a daily basis were on government assistance and not because they were mentally ill; some of them were lazy, or decided to be a baby making factory (you could tell the difference between the woman who hadn't planned on having a child, and those that were perpetually pregnant by different "baby-daddies").

They also acted like they were entitled to everything (mostly the "welfare" mothers). We knew the ones who were too mentally ill to work a regular job, and even some of them would help out by volunteering...they were beautiful tortured souls.

We interacted with people who were schizophrenic on a daily basis, people who would give tours to imaginary people outside our office, tell us at least once a week that there was "feces on the mirror in the washroom", when in fact, there was nothing. These people we're not on street drugs.

We also interacted with people who's minds were so addled by drugs and alcohol that they could barely walk and/or speak...and it was hard to tell if they were on the drugs to "scare off" their mental illness, or the mental illness came from the drugs and alcohol. Sometimes it really is a "what came first" situation.

Some of them were on prescription drugs that were supposed to help them get off of street drugs, drugs that they got addicted to instead. Clearly the governments of the world think it better we be addicted to something approved of by society, not to mention taxable...then some "dirty" drug.

People there would steal, even though they were getting an amazing and inexpensive service; and when we would confront them, they would get pissed off at us. One time we were told "why don't you get a real job?" by a snarling woman who looked like she was going to spit on us, when we confronted her about an apple her kid didn't hide fast enough, that he was trying to steal. She got very angry and defensive, and acted like WE were in the wrong. Poor behavior begats poor behavior (yeah, we like that word lately, begat), and she taught her child a very bad lesson that day...and it probably wasn't the first time.

Another example; we overheard a young man, no more than 23 years old, who was a frequent visitor, talking to another "guest". He said the reason he doesn't have a job is because he is lazy and has poor work ethic. We've see him as a volunteer there, and he was right about himself; but hearing him say that that day made us beyond angry, mostly because the day he was tasked to help us as a volunteer we were in so much pain we could barely move and he was a pissy little baby about having to stand while he waited on customers.

Some of the people there made us sicker.

So, sometimes we would say mean things at that job in tweets because the people made us angry. Angry that sheer laziness got them off the hook at being responsible, that THEY were okay with their laziness...and having other people pay for their laziness. We were angry because we were struggling every day to make it to work, to function and be coherent, when much of our day was brutally difficult for us to manage, and we were the sickest, mentally AND physically, than we'd even been in our life. In addition, they money being lazy, living off the government, than we did working...and then we got fired from that job.

Back to why we do nice things. Back to why I do nice things (or rather, Catherine and I).

At any point in our life we could have been/could be that person who is hungry on the street corner...we could be that person dining in a soup kitchen...sleeping on a cot in a shelter. We've been lucky to not ever have to do that. The same can be said for anybody who is barely scrapping by on a day to day basis. All it takes is one wrong thing to happen and you are the guy sitting on the corner with a sign that simply says "Hungry".

So tonight, we did a nice thing and we were told we were awesome. And while we thanked him we know we're not awesome, we didn't do it just for him. We did it for us, to remind us to be thankful...even if some of us are a bitch most of the time. Our life isn't great, most of the time, by any stretch of the imagination...but it could be worse.

Now having said that, we don't give change to bums. The local downtown security group advises against it, citing that over 70% of the time it's for drugs and alcohol - and we agree and have seen it in action; but we will offer food if we have it on us, bus tickets if we have them and they are asking for change for the bus. We offered a lady an apple one day, after she said she wanted money for food. She declined it, of course, she didn't want money for food after all. Probably if some guy walked up to us and said "I want money for a fifth of whiskey", we'd walk him to the liquor store (if we had the money ourselves) and buy him some whiskey, because with us honesty works. The people we don't like are the people who try to scam for anything. We'd sooner spit on a person in need who is being dishonest.

Over the years we've gotten smart about it. They (the beggars, bums, what have you) are not asking for money to pay their bills (likely), they are not asking for money to pay rent (you have to have a job in order to have a place to rent)...if they are asking for money to get to a different city (like a young couple who hangs around in our neighborhood) you have to wonder why they don't just get a job for a couple of weeks, rather than beg for a month. They are probably asking for money for food, drugs or alcohol. Surely you can provide them one of those things, just a little of it...maybe just once; because wouldn't you want someone to show you a little kindness if you were legitimately in need?

~Cassandra and Catherine (and we're the reason that kid didn't take our "death stare" seriously on the bus...we almost started giggling at him, and our eyes give everything away, always. *blush*)

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