Friday, February 28, 2014


Today is the ninth day of my new living arrangement. I sleep during the day in my storage unit and stay up all night at various all-night cafes in Portland.

This all started when I was forced to quit my job at the downtown library. The boss told me there would be a meeting with her that day at 2:30. At the meeting was my boss, my union steward, and the head of HR. My boss accused me of slacking, cheating on my sick leave, and cussing out my co-workers. The slacking and cheating were true. The cussing was a lie that my enemies piled on when they heard I was in trouble.

I'm a 55-year-old man, and out of work in the worst recession since the Depression. The shock of what happened has made my depression worse.

The boss said they'd fire me if I didn't quit. I had my tiny pension to think about. It would be $201. I would lose it if I was fired. So, I "retired".

The reason why they came after me and not any number of other slackers and cheaters in the department was because I spouted off at work. I criticized management and my fellow line-workers. And I was a gossip.

The  head of the library wanted to make an example out of someone to keep all the other workers in line.

I have $327.23 in the bank. I have no living relatives. I have one friend. No girlfriend.

The rent on my unit is $45 a month. The things from my apartment are in there. I have a mattress flat on the floor. I sleep in a sleeping bag.

The storage place opens at 7:00 a.m. I come in and sleep till around 1:00 p.m. Then I look for work till around 6:00 p.m. I wander around after that, finally moving from all-night cafe to all-night cafe throughout the night.

I have food stamps, a little spending money, and free medical from the Oregon Health Plan. I eat at soup kitchens fairly often. There's a homeless shelter I go to where they have laundry facilities, free clothes,  showers, and a postal address for the homeless.

How long can I keep going like this? Something has to break my way, some job, any job. The Wall Street people and the bankers who caused this recession should be taken out and shot.

Copyright 2014 David Elsey

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