Poverty Is Not an Accident

Poverty Is Not an Accident
Nelson Mandela

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Lord, have MERCY!

You are reading http://livinginthehood.blogspot.com


Well, I heard back from FSRN. Gotta make a 3rd revision, that involves re recording 1 1/2 word: "has stated" must be changed to "is stating." I'll have to be very careful to try to match sound levels for that. groan.

But I did hear back. And they sound like they really want to broadcast it.

I FINALLY got people at the station to understand I'm working with some severe deficits: I DON'T understand Windows, office procedures, etc. I DON'T handle distractions well, and really, totally lose my place and have to start all over.

They're finding some partition walls, to create a "cubby" for me. I will be assigned regular hours. During that time, I'll have the computer & cubby ALL TO MYSELF! I'll have an accoustic curtain, so their conversations and my mumbling won't drive us all crazy.

Renee and Rachel are investigating transitional services: to help me catch on to office procedures and even, if I'm lucky, a course in Windows.

Mean time, the grrls on da 1st floor are GIVING me a spare computer, so I can word process at home and mark sound bites on raw audio from home. That way, it'll be easier for me to edit audio faster at the station.

Susan, executive director of Native America Calling, smokes with me on the patio. She has been kind and supportive and encouraging about my struggles to interface with the alien life forms on the third floor.

And she really understands about discrimitation, too.

Well, she dragged me up to the 2nd floor, where she and National Native News have offices. She introduced me to Tina James Tafoya, producer of NNN.

Tina will hire me as a stringer, fifty bucks for each 1-1 1/2 minute piece.

I'll produce about 3-4 minutes for KUNM, in exchange for use of their equipment and long distance phones. I'll cut to Tina's size, and give it to her.

I could earn about two hundred a month, this way. Whew! AND she's RIGHT downstairs, and she's friendly, and people say she pays fast! LOL

It was a SCARY day! I felt naked, talking about how HARD it is for me to succeed up there.

But Renee took time out to have a private conversation with me and was SO supportive. When I told her I was afraid I'd fail, she put her hand on my shoulder, stooped to eye level...I was seated....and said that, not only would I not fail, but I would succeed above and beyond.

She went to Rachel about getting the partitions and gawd knows where else, getting me set up to have my own, lil Rogi Ghetto. Walls! A DRAWER! A computer screen that'll look like it did if I get up to pee or have a cigarette!

Bet I could hang me some pictures. I'd like to hang the photo of Dad, holding his Oscar for sound editing, the year Mom was preggers with me!

Danny's already hunting partitions, and Rachel's contacting Surplus to retrieve some from ther.

I don't know WHY it took so long for me to make it clear, but they finally got it. And they rallied around me.

ANY time I've EVER "caused a problem" for an employer, voluntary or for pay, before, I've been told to leave or just marginalized until I gave up.

This is the first place that really helped.

It's like they get it: I'm sick and I need help to heal.

Suddenly, they realize most of their criticisms about me were simply based on assumption. Things they take for granted are totally alien to me.

They hate it when I say, "I'm going to pee" or "have a cigarette." But today, they understood I say that because I want them to know I'm coming right back, and would really like to find the computer the way I left it.

Also, factory, janitorial, etc. work go faster when coworkers chat. Homelessness and waiting for social services, etc., go faster, too. The kinds of work I've always done, coworkers know about each others' lives, from sex life, to sick kids' funny-looking poop!


When Renee finally understood how scared, nervous, confused, disoriented and lost I am in that place, she COMPLETELY lost the symptoms of being judgmental, and started solving the problem.

I'm lucky: I'm articulate. Most people of my income status don't get to voice their experience, or couldn't even if they tried.

It's a trip, I'll tell you that.

Renee's impressed that I bring food, ask after people's health, compliment people, etc. And we know she really likes my reporting.

But I was driving them all crazy, and they were driving me crazy, and everybody was getting stressed out and resentful.

Maybe this'll make things a bit smoother.

I'm certainly not graceful, but I am sincere.

I think they're starting to learn they can trust me.

Now, I need to learn to trust them.

That's going to be the hard part.

I don't remember how to trust.

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