Tossing Cans

The Bathroom Behind the Food Inventory

When I was in high school and still working for the Diocese of Rockville Center, on Long Island, New York. The Diocese (the Catholic Church) had it’s main office in Rockville Center. I started working there when I was in my group home; the group home administration asked me if I would be interested in a special assignment. The special assignment turned out was to that would work as an assistant in a food shelter.

The food shelter was in a poor, crime-ridden town. I was dropped off by a staff member from the group home when school ended;I was picked up a 5:30pm. Most of the time it was very boring our. The guy who ran the front desk, I came to find was the son of one of the secretaries from the Diocese office. His name is Milo. He was a really super super nice guy. He was in his 20’s, was awkward and shy.

The food shelter received boxes of food that Milo and I would stock on our organized shelves. Milo received clients who had a government form which told us how many we were feeding and for how long. I would be in the back room; Milo gave me the form. That was my job.

Sometimes it would be so boring there and that as I was on stacking the boxes of donations from churches etc. onto the shelves into the appropriate area for the items, I would call Milo, and say hey, Milo look around the corner. Then, I’d throw a can or box of cereal at him. We actually had a blast. Milo was grateful for any attention, and I would laugh like the ridiculously silly teenager I was as Milo tried to throw something back.

We had a bad day….bad visitors…a bad situation. Three angry, young men came yelling at Milo, ‘what the hell kind of place is this?, give me food, I ain’t got no form but I need food’. To get food from our shelter, person just had to simply fill out a form. You didn’t have to be Catholic; the form required standard information but you at least had to fill out the form and say that you would be coming get food from the shelter. This was a system that enabled the Diocese to budget for the shelter.

Anyway, these guys come in and they start yelling and banging things on the table and yelling at Milo. They are yelling more things now ‘I do not like this kind of soup’ etc. Holy crap! I tell myself these guys are going to beat the hell out of somebody! Like Milo and me. We are in Hempstead, Long Island which is not really a very good neighborhood. But I am only 16, and I am a white girl. I do not feel like dealing with these guys since Milo likes to remind me ‘he’s the boss’.

I immediately go and lock myself into the bathroom all the way back behind the food shelves. 1/2 hour later Milo tells me it’s ok.

I asked the administration in my group home to find me a new job. I never went back.

Kat

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