Archive for the 'Lowlife' Category

Paratransit Follies — Part 2

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Read Part 1
While staying at the warehouse, I phoned a paratransit company licensed by the city and scheduled a ride to my bank. As the female driver strapped my wheelchair to the floor of the van I noticed a small portable black and white television stationed on the driver’s side of the dashboard. I assumed that during her breaks she parked in a lot somewhere and stared at mindless shows. She glanced at the schedule attached to a clipboard while she absently grabbed my fare. No sooner had she merged into traffic than she switched on the TV; it was tuned to a soap opera.

Three minutes into the journey she complained that she hadn’t eaten breakfast. While the TV blared, the van jerked to a halt in front of a McDonald’s or as she familiarly called the popular fast food chain, Mickey D’s. more »

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Paratransit Follies — Part 1

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Back when I almost languished in the warehouse, paratransit companies expected their drivers to follow stringent rules when serving the infirm and disabled—at least that’s what they wanted everybody to believe. (This may have changed, but I doubt it.) The reality of high employee turnover for an underpaid and largely unskilled position (though many unsophisticated drivers insisted otherwise) forced urban paratransit companies to shitcan reasonable standards when hiring workers.*

Cripplevan companies trained their drivers to assist elderly customers as they shuffled up or down the van’s ramp, and to always back wheelchairs in or out of the vehicle—never to push except on level ground. A driver who followed proper procedure used heavy nylon straps to secure the wheelchair to the van’s floor, then fastened a seat belt around the passenger. (I remember once when I reached for the safety strap; the driver ordered me not to move, to let him do it because “I be a trained p’ofessional.”) more »

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Misguided Decorum

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

Cripples and retards are not worthy of respect solely by virtue of their deficit(s). They can be just as amazingly stupid, petty, and annoying as able-bodied and sound-minded members of society. For example, gimps acknowledge a silly hierarchy among themselves: A person born disabled enjoys a higher position on the gimp totem pole than a person fucked up by illness or injury. Christopher Reeve’s antics left the self-righteous in-crips reeling with indignity. more »

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My Existence Pisses Mr. Foley Off

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Mr. Foley had arrived at the warehouse dependent on an oversized wheelchair. After many weeks of therapy he found himself able to slowly lumber while leaning on a cane. The simple-minded therapists and staff didn’t pay the gargantuan Mr. Foley much attention when he used the chair, but eagerly allowed themselves to be charmed by his dumbed-down sardonic-with-a-heart-of-gold personality when they noticed him walking. I often speculated that Mr. Foley’s brains were in his ass, though that would’ve certified him a genius.

When the administration discharged one of my roommates and I learned that they had dumped Mr. Foley into the bed next to mine, I briefly relaxed—relaxation at the warehouse always wound up marginal and short-lived. more »

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Safety First

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

The security people who worked at the warehouse established themselves as two-bit blundering oafs whose previous employers never entrusted them with any genuine responsibility—imagine a small handful of lobotomized Mr. T’s who formerly blew leaves. They wallowed in impotent authority by bullying and browbeating clearly innocuous residents, visitors, and medivan drivers.

I don’t mean the residents Mr. Gold had stationed behind a table in the lobby. The handpicked batshit fossil on duty would motion to a guestbook while politely but sternly ordering residents and visitors to sign in or out. Mr. Gold and an array of visiting psychiatrists had stressed the importance of this “job” to appointed residents and reminded them that people at their age needed to keep busy. more »

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I Disrespect Kelvin

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

The warehouse seemed to hire more female than male certified nursing assistants, but world-class incompetence knows no gender. For a couple months I endured the misfortune of Kelvin’s assignment to first floor.

Kelvin often barged into my room at 7:25 am and inadvertently woke my weak ass. He’d trot to the dresser and toss his sunglasses and various unseen personal items into my top drawer. Then he’d wheel the squeaky overbed table parked at my feet to the narrow space between my bed and the privacy curtain hanging next to it. Next he’d flourish a clothes iron and plug it into the chest-level outlet on the wall. Finally the overbed table became an ironing board on which he aggressively pressed his white lab coat*, making it presentable for his 7:30 shift. He never asked permission to make my side of the room his base of operations and in fact seemed to take for granted that he could do as he pleased. more »

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Low-Rent Reality

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

The warehouse administration strove to methodically whittle away a resident’s peripheral reality and impose a manageable illusion of reality for the purpose of nurturing dependence and therefore obedience. Though the administration cultivated a high profile, for all practical purposes the flying monkey CNA’s ran the show.

The majority of certified nursing assistants employed by the warehouse were mouth-breathing soap-free scuzzbuckets who didn’t know shit from apple butter (though they had memorized the protocols of visiting incarcerated boyfriends and relatives). Occasionally some chirpy twat determined to save the world managed to slip through. more »

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I’m Uncoop’rative

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

Over-educated liberals who trip over themselves to exhibit political correctness while disregarding reality routinely challenge victim blaming. Ironically, alleged victims are often anxious to find fault with those weaker than themselves, particularly the elderly or infirm—kind of like a linebacker beating up a six-year-old.

Many shitworkers at major urban medical facilities take disproportionate pride in their menial positions. These nano-wits delude themselves that a job requiring a white uniform and the use of bona fide medical gadgets must also demand extraordinary skill, and magically transform them into a “medical professional” worthy of awe and respect. Legions of these simple oafs infested the rehab hospital. more »

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Miss Witt Tattles On Me

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

The warehouse should have retired Miss Witt like state governments should revoke driver’s licenses issued to dazed coots who imagine they’re driving a bumper car when they get behind the wheel of their Olds. Though the aging CNA maintained good intentions and a friendly demeanor, her job performance had slowly but steadily degraded. Mr. Gold, the kewpie doll-sized administrator interpreted any questioning of Miss Witt’s abilities as a threat to his authority.

New patients regularly arrived at the warehouse from a hospital. The hyper-stupidity of the administration undermined efficient communication between the warehouse and the hospital involved, and a considerable number of ambulance attendants and cripplevan drivers were thieves. more »

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All Crippled-Up

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

Freddie expected the CNA’s to unconditionally wait on him even after he’d shown the capability of performing a given task. For example, he easily navigated his wheelchair to the liquor store but took for granted that a CNA would happily drag his drunken ass to the shower room when the stench of his soap-deprived body became unbearable. If anyone questioned the annoying lack of effort he put into taking care of himself, he bellyached like a petulant child: “But I be all crippled up.” Sometimes he’d also remind them: “. . . And I’m a black man.” I never figured out any reasonable correlation between his race and his accidental injury. more »

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