New hurdle: I’m undocumented.
I was lined up for a position as part-time produce clerk at a major supermarket. Wednesday 07/27/16, I went in to take care of the final paperwork. The manager asked for my original birth certificate and/or original social security card. I thought I had them in my backpack. I didn’t.
What I did have was a color photocopy of both that one can hardly tell from the originals. It looks so much like the originals as to fool me later in the day when I came across it on my desk.
He wanted the originals.
He told me the times he’d be available the next two days, and invited me to come back if I’d find them. Actually, I have until Friday to produce them. If not, this particular opportunity will close.
It would be expedient if he’d accept the photocopy. However, he has to sign under oath that he’s seen the originals. I can’t second guess his conscience.
Losing one’s IDs is a common problem for homeless people. Usually it happens if one sleeps outside one night, and someone comes along and steals one’s backpack. Yes, that happens; it happens a lot. But I never anticipated its happening to me; especially given the steps I took.
I had them in a Ziploc bag in a specific manila folder. I had put that folder in a special place. Only, I cannot recall that special place now. I had thought they were in a green plastic portfolio that I keep in my backpack all the time.
I came back to the church and, in due course, went through all my things. It’s not as if I live in a house, with all kinds of places to have to look; and it’s not as if I have all kinds of stuff to have to look through. I went to the closet where I’ve been permitted to keep most of my stuff, and looked through everything. Also looked through my backpack thoroughly.
I came across compartments in my bags that I’d forgotten existed. I came across items of exceptional sentimental value that I’d forgotten I still have. There is the “Treasures” folder that includes a letter from a psychiatrist I worked with for a decade or more; on the occasion of her leaving that practice, she wrote to me about what an exemplary patient I’d been. That document, fortunately, is still in good shape. In the same folder was this object I take for my high school diploma, mildewed beyond recognition. The big zipper bag I kept these in was not waterproof, and anytime I’d walk through a significant rainstorm things were likely to get mildewed.
I never found what I was looking for.
I suppose that sometime, somewhere, perhaps at a photocopier, I put that folder down and forgot to pick it back up.
(1) I am back into a position of needing to ask people for money. Indefinitely. This is the biggest blow.
(2) These things are going to cost money, and I’ll have to jump through hoops to manage that. For example, my state photo ID, which I do have, expires 08/30/16; a new one will cost $30, and must be purchased online. I can’t do that using my own bank account, as the same is disabled; once I got below the minimum balance, I began to incur a $5 fee every month, and it is now significantly overdrawn. I will probably have to arrange to make that purchase using someone else’s bank account.
(3) I estimate it may take 4-6 weeks for the new originals to arrive.
(1) A different employer may accept the photocopy.
(2) I will probably have the new originals before I face another interview.
(3) All the work I’ve done IS NOT lost. I still have dozens of applications out there, and another interview may come along.
(4) I have the opportunity to “pick myself up and get back in the race.”
Related: Life in the outer darkness