Foolish Screw up #30111


I feel like such an idiot!!!! I had an appointment at Social Services to apply for Food Stamps (actually it isn’t stamps anymore, but an EBT card). I arrived at 1 pm and sat down confidently expecting my name to be called over the intercom. I waited, I waited, I waited. I spent my time reading a worthwhile short story by Priscilla Becker, “Failures of Imagination” from the Summer 2011 issue of The Literary Review. I was so confident that all I needed to do was wait for my name to be called that I didn’t ask anyone about my appt. until two and a half hours had gone by. I just thought, ‘these things take a long time!’. Finally at 3:30pm, too late to get things rectified, I find out I was supposed to go to Window F and sign in, before waiting for my name to be called. I can only blame myself, Foolish Screw up #30111. But I was pretty aggravated by all that wasted time. In case you have never been to the San Francisco Social Services building on Mission, it is not a pleasant experience. It makes the DMV feel like a trip to the SF Ballet. There are lots of loud people milling around, complaining. An edge of violence is in the air. You hope that nobody starts messing with you! While all this goes on, you have to pay attention to see if your name is being called. It wears down your nerves after a bit. And then to discover you screwed up! Oh well…and then I come home to no good messages in my inbox. I had hoped for at least a small ray of sunshine. But none of the businesses I had applied to left an email. That horrible, sickening feeling of hopelessness rears it’s ugly head. But you never know what lies ahead. Tomorrow I go back to the food stamp office, hopefully get things straightened out, and go from there. It isn’t just the air that feels cold.

Writing in here helps me endure this stuff. Even if nobody reads it, I feel less alone, and it gives me strength to keep going. I heard a report on the news about a girl that earned an award for her science projects, and she was homeless! Her entire family was homeless, and she still managed to do good work, and lift herself out of her situation. Things may get pretty rough, but whatever happens I hope, I plan, on making it through. It is not my intention to get your pity, or to frustrate you with my situation. It is only to connect with other people and allow them a window on another person’s life.

4 responses »

  1. wow I am impressed!! I would have not made it past the first hr. and half ! I would been up at the desk and asking how much longer did you forget me or some thing did my number get lost. lol I would have been nice but wow what a patients you have!! Good Luck tomorrow hope it goes better.

    • Well, I was reading a good short story, and I knew that it would likely take a long time. What was funny was that these guys were freaking out all around me, shouting “my appt. is at 2, and it is 3 now!!” and I was sitting there like a dummy, not realizing I had screwed up. Good thing I checked when I did or I could have been there longer! Such is my life. Can I cry about this on my status?? Puhleese!

    • It took about that long today, when I went back to apply for General Assistance. This time I didm’t screw up, it just took a long time. This is where the chronically poor spend much of their time!

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