September 11, 2012

I called over the men’s shelter, hoping that I could get a chance to talk to the supervisor to whom the staffperson who was there last night had spoken to about me.  I was told “She’s on vacation until Wednesday.”  I said “Was she on vacation tonight?” I was told “Yes.”  I said “That’s interesting, because the staffperson here said that she spoke to her tonight and that’s how they made the decision that I would have to leave for 2 days before I could start calling again to find out if there was a bed available.”

The person with whom I was speaking then said “They have each other’s emergency numbers.”  What I thought then but didn’t say was “It’s an emergency to make me leave, but it’s not an emergency that I was made to leave, that the person whom I spoke to at the MBTA was initially willing to try to prevent that from happening, and the person who presented what she had to say about me to the supervisor in such a way that I was guaranteed to be made to leave wouldn’t even speak to the person from the MBTA?”

I finally did explain to him what had happened; he said that I could try to talk to the social worker ( not that same supervisor) in the morning.

When I talked to social worker, I explained to her what had happened, and I added that the staffperson had said to me “Everyone else can be here on time; why can’t you?”  I said to the social worker “There are people staying there who have cars; they have more control over their travel time than I do.  I wasn’t that late, and I always called; not only do people with cars have more control over their travel time than I do, if I’m going to take the earlier bus every night because I can’t be five or ten minutes late, that means that someone who is at the same place as I am during the day can stay there until 6 or 6:15 p.m., and I have to leave between 5:00 and 5:00 p.m.; not only is keeping the curfew as strict for people who have to take the bus as for people who have cars not entirely fair, it’s more of a burden for people without cars in the first place.

She even asked me about the fact that the police had been called to the library the other day; where did she hear about that?  From my blog?  From someone else at the shelter?  THAT certainly was NOT my fault, couldn’t have been my fault no matter what.

She did agree to call the MBTA if I could give her a name and number to call this morning.

When I talked to the MBTA, I was told that they only write letters to document delays if the delays are 15 minutes or more.

The bus drivers obviously know that.  There were some who were nice to me, and some who weren’t.  If there were bus drivers who were trying to make me late for my curfew, they knew that they could add 5 or 10 minutes to their route time and not get in trouble for it, while still making me late.  Even if they were 15 minutes late, they probably didn’t worry about getting in trouble for it because probably most people who take public transportation don’t know that they can call the MBTA if the bus is 15 minutes late and get a letter documenting it so that they don’t get in trouble with their employers or in other situations.

Copyright L. Kochman, September 11, 2012 @ 2:34 p.m./addition to the title September 12, 2012 @ 1:37 p.m.