John Balderson's HAC Diary

John Balderson's HAC Diary

February 14-February 20

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Below is a daily diary of my activities from the time I moved into the HAC until the time that I will be leaving.

Sunday February 14, 1999

Had another sumptuous brunch, this one with omelets, French toast, cheese grits, potatoes, and salad bar. I'm almost waiting for next Sunday because this is getting to be one of the best meals of the week!!!

Went to Swap Shop to see Lee Greenwood in concert, and also to talk to Brian Remick in person, who operates the Dollar Barn at the north end of the property,on Thursdays,Saturdays and Sundays

Based on his trust in me,and me in him, and because we've worked together before, as well as the fact that he also read about me in the Sun Sentinel articles A new "outlook" on homelessness Tent City residents move to HAC, he offered to pay me to work for him on those three days to arrange his display area and help out with selling. In addition, since he has a laptop computer I was interested in when I knew him at the Food Depot, I offered to defray some of my pay and buy the computer from him by "working off" a certain amount of hours equal to the value he wants for the computer.

Monday February 15, 1999

Spent most of day at Main Library restructuring and adding new content to the HAC web site.

Tuesday February 16, 1999

Breakfast was almost an hour late this morning and only consisted of two hard boiled eggs, a couple pieces of bread, grapefruit juice, cooked bologna, and milk. With the intake of the last group from Tent City, some of the people behaved in the food line like they thought they were still at the tent.

Changed diary structure so that each week would be on a separate web page due to editing size restrictions as the diary gets bigger.

Wednesday February 17, 1999

Resident manager informed both office receptionists that clients names with respect to receiving phone messages is on a confidential need-to-know basis, and that they "don't-need-to-know".

I certainly hope that he does not jeopardize my opportunity to receive follow-up calls on job interviews or medical appointments, because the receptionist has to be vague as to whether I'm at the HAC or not.

I can just see it now: Hello, this is Citrix calling for John Balderson, he presented an application to us at the Diversity Job Fair last week. To which the receptionist would say: I'm sorry I can't pass the message along even though he provided this phone number because I am not at liberty to inform you whether he can be reached at this phone number or not.

This is just one more example as to why I believe some Tent City residents chose not to come to the HAC, as it IS becoming more like a prison or jail everyday, with insipid instructions like that.

After all, Broward General Hospital, for example,has a doctor-patient confidentiality, yet the switchboard operators at least know who the patients are, so why is the HAC situation any different?

I do not normally intend to use the diary entries for venting, but sometimes the rules laid out especially by certain senior staff members border on the ridiculous!

Thursday February 18, 1999

Opened Swap Shop Dollar Barn at 7 AM per Brian Remick's instructions, worked until 4 PM, turned in cash dropoff to International Food Depot next to former Tent City location. Unfortuantely, my sales were very low so I bought a pair of new sneakers and some lunch with the balance of the money, which I had permission to do, from Brian.

Went to library and met person I had previous contact with in regards to developing Aloe Vera web site, went to her house and worked on web site after informing case manager and security that I would be later than originally planned.

Friday February 19, 1999

Opened Swap Shop Dollar Barn even though Brian said he doesn't sell on Fridays to see what kind of traffic shows and because I felt guilty about the low sales. Spent majority of day trying to organize books, tapes and videos. Sales were non-existent.

Saturday February 20, 1999

Opened Swap Shop Dollar Barn, again at 7AM. Brian Remick came back from business trip around 3PM, was disappointed that I didn't do $400 in sales like he claims he has on Saturday, frisks me, checks my wallet, and practically accuses me of stealing, and tells me not to come back.

How he can expect me to be able to do in two days what has taken him at least 3 months to do in sales is beyond me, but if he wishes to disrespect me in this manner, there's nothing more that I can do.

Talked with my case manager for the first time in several days, as I had been busy with the store and web site stuff, and didn't have a chance to talk to her previously.

Informed her of yet another rule that incensed her that was posted on the metal detector at the entrance that even she didn't know about!!

It says: "Under no circumstances are UPS packages not to be accepted at any time", or something to that effect. Does that mean you should always accept UPS packages or does that mean that all deliveries from any carrier (UPS,Airborne,Federal Express,DHL,etc.) are to be rejected for both staff and residents alike?

I can understand somewhat why packages should conceivably be rejected for residents, but don't you think it would have been a good idea to tell the residents? After all, I do a lot of business with Microsoft and recently changed my address records so that I could get software and promotional material delivered to the HAC without having to run out to the airport all the time.

Feb 7-Feb 13    Feb 21-Feb 27

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