Monday, November 28, 2005

One of these things is not like the others

Thanks to a dose of reality from Sarah B, I bit the bullet and investigated food stamps. Sheesh! The phone recording seemed very complete, but it wasn't, as it turned out.

Since I got a late start today, I decide to arrive for about 1pm since the office is closed from 12-1pm. Upon arriving, the receptionist says, "oh food stamps. there's an orientation at 2:30pm". Stunned, peeved and staggered by the prospect of waiting for over an hour, I find a seat. Looking around I notice there is no one who is obviously caucasian except me. I mean no one. There was a charming toddler who was showing off his white and red sneaker to all who would look. However he also was unattended by his mama quite frequently which resulted in a spilled soda of another visitor in purgurtory.

Finally, almost an hour after I had arrived I saw some others, okay two, who were white after seeing many other races represented. One, was an overweight guy reading Ann Rynd's "Atlas Shrugged", moving his lips from time to time. The other was another guy, singing silently but enthusiastically to no music. Really, I looked for the IP*D or Mp# player. Nada. And then there was me, knitting.
Yep I was smart enough to bring the baby sweater from hell. I have never made a sweater, not one. So I pick a patterned one of course. Jennie scolded me for not choosing something simple. Supposedly this pattern uses 3oz of yarn, of a specific yarn apparently because I used this hellicious arcrylic in navy blue - stiff and nasty stuff. Well I didn't even get started on the sleeve before I had almost run out. So I added this much nicer black today for the sleeve. I messed up the pattern switching to the new yarn while I sat at the Self Sufficiency Center waiting for the "orientation".

Orientation my ass. You are handed basic forms. Then specific forms depending on whether or not you raise your hand for additional services. I figure, I'm here, just order me up one of everything. So I write my name, DOB, SSN, address about 2 dozen times to ask for Food Stamps, General Assistance, and Medi-Cal. Hey, they are ruining my day, I should get something out of all of this, right?
I get a little ticket with a number of it. That's the orientation. Now I wait again until my number is called. The ticket says my wait time is estimated at 1 hour and 39 minutes!!!!!!!!! Well I give them a "A" for estimation skills. Finally I am called to the window only to find that I haven't signed my name in another dozen places. Ye gads and little fishes. Anyway, I am assigned an appointment with a worker tomorrow at 1:15pm, and an appointment at 8:30am Wednesday for fingerprinting. Yep, I love governmental aid.

The good news is that I made progress on the baby sweater that is navy blue and black - not suitable for any baby, even if it turns out wearable.

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