Friday, September 2, 2011

Hot times. . . Summer in the city

So this week has been a true roller coaster ride! Because this week started off at the end of the month, it was crazy busy!  (SSI checks are given out at the first of the month.  By the end, people don't have money left, therefore the park gets crowded.)  On Monday, over 900 lunches were served (the second time in seven years!) but we only had one person gets 86ed (our lingo for kicked out).  On Tuesday we didn't serve that many (about 850), but there were 4 fights and 7 people got 86ed.  Wednesday was better, but still crowded.

Then SSI checks came out.  Thursday seemed dead compared to the other days.  We served about 700 lunches, but it seemed more relaxed, almost happy.  (Odd isn't it that 700 people is "dead?") The park is usually not as busy on Fridays (I think it's because of food stamps, but I'm still not sure), and today was the least busy I've ever seen the park.  We only served about 550 lunches, and it seemed like only 200 or so people stuck around.  Without anything to do (service counter/ticket wise), I just hung out all day. 

Some negative things that happened this week:
- I got hit in the face on Tuesday with a jean jacket.  One particularly crazy lady was using her jacket as a weapon, and swung at me.  (Last Tuesday, a crazy man pushed me.) Tuesdays are not my days.  (Both my bosses know of the incidents and worker harassment is not tolerated.)
- Madonna (a former JV and worker at the park for 5 years) left on Wednesday to start work over at the women's day shelter across the street.
-Tasha (a worker of 8+ years) left today to work as the director of our dining room.
- I haven't seen a guest who is friendly with me for two days.  No one knows what happened to him and I pray that he is okay and see him Tuesday. 

Some positive things that happened this week:
- I don't have to work on Monday!!
- I networked with a guest of ours who worked in the country music field.  He gave me a name of a songwriter guru he worked with, and said that if I need a job after this, give this man a call!
- I had my first one-on-one talk with my casa-mate Alice! (As a casa, we organized a schedule where we could talk to each other, just two of us, once a week.) It was great getting to personally know her more, and on our way home, we ran into a kid asking us where a shelter was.  I directed him to Loaves and Fishes, and saw him there the next day!
- A guest at the park went home! This young man traveled out here for a girl, not realizing that she didn't feel the same way as he did.  After a few weeks of being homeless and unhappy, he decided to go back to his home state! (As much as I love the guests, I love not seeing them for the right reasons!)
- Last but not least, I got called "Miss Lady" today!  Beth and Tom are huge fans of the comedy "Stepbrothers" with Will Farrell and John C. Reiley.  I watched it with them, and one of the quotable lines from it is "Hello Miss Lady!" I was reminded of this comic scene and the joy of my family!

 All in all, this week has been an interesting one to experience.  I look forward to getting to know my casa-mates more, and more of the clients!

P.S.- I cooked dinner for the first time this week! Eggplant Parmigiana and Pasta Primervera with Chicken! Shout to Mom who gave me the "recipes."
P.P.S.- It is getting hotter here, almost a hundred! I think I drank 4 bottles of water today!


  1. Nicole, I hope you are ok from the hit in the face, that sounds scary... I have to say you are such a wonderful writer, I can visualize what you express in your blog. Stay safe and I look forward to reading about next week. Lots of love and prayers to you. :)

  2. I am ok. It wasn't that big of a deal, but it took me off guard. I love you and hope everything is well there!

  3. I love Fridays b/c I know I get to hear about your work! We love you (whether it is forcibly told or not!) and we pray for you every night as a family It is such a blessing when you follow Gods will for your life, and in being blesses you can bless others more fully! Enjoy this awesome experience to the fullest (and the weekend too)! Love You!

  4. I love you too!! (and I know you guys love me!)

  5. Nicole, I love reading about your experiences there! Wow! Sorry I haven't posted a message before this...I continue to be impressed by you! The numbers of people you're serving is sad...there is so much need in this world! I pray that God keeps you safe and blesses your ministry!