12/12/12: The Pine Street Inn

by thiswinteralso


December 12, 2012

I took this picture the night before last night. There were some people and some children who had volunteered to serve dinner at the Pine Street Inn.

The man’s hat said “CUA: Catholic University of America” in red.

The woman’s hat had a picture of a fish on it.

There was also a boy with a hat that said “7” on it and a shirt that said “C C C.” He seemed to be the son of the man with the “CUA” hat. He and the other children were probably in junior high school; not younger than 11, not older than 13.

There was another boy there wearing an old Larry Bird shirt, that had the number “32” on the back.

Another boy had a red hat that said “The E Team” on it.

Also that night; it was the second of two nights that I’d slept in the lobby because I hadn’t gotten a bed from the lottery. When you sleep in the lobby, you sleep on a cot, a mat on the floor, 2 chairs pushed together or on the floor. You don’t sleep until past 10:30 a.m., because that’s when they have everything set up, and they get up at 4:15 a.m.. The people who sleep in the beds upstairs get up at 6:00 a.m..

That night, there was coughing from someone that was so loud that it could be heard through both of the big rooms that are the first floor. The way that the bullying often happens is that one person starts and then other people join them; when the second person started to cough, I said “Why don’t you shut the f— up? I don’t care what you think of me, and other people want to sleep. If you have something to say to me, why don’t you say it verbally and tell me in the morning?”

The door to the first floor office was open, so I know that the staffperson had been hearing all of the coughing. It was when I said something about the coughing that she walked out of the office, and she didn’t talk to the coughers, she talked to me. She said “People are going to cough.” It was the same thing that usually happens; I object to being abused, and I get threatened for objecting to it.

She went back into the office. I went to talk to her. I said “If you don’t want to deal with it directly, you could say something to the person who’s coughing such as saying that she could get some water or a cough drop, to show some awareness that it’s disruptive.”

She refused, raised her voice, and I knew that all I could do was leave the office.

I looked at the time then; it was 2:00 a.m.. Of course the coughing continued, because the bullies knew that anyone who objected to it would be the person who was risking being made to leave. It was so loud that other people gave up on trying to sleep, got food from the vending machine, had conversations without trying to whisper.

I might have gotten a few minutes of sleep right before they got us up at 4:15 a.m.

Last night, there were 4 middle-aged male volunteers serving dinner. They said they were from the “99” restaurants.

Copyright L. Kochman, December 12, 2012 @ 11:06 a.m.