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status: other people's poverty

Mon Oct 20 18:17:54 EDT 2008

 Last time, I promised to write about unit tests and
 code coverage, but I'm a maverick and that means
 I can do what is expedient.
 A few people have filled out the feedback forms, summarizing and
 approximating, comments were:
     1)  "More about CSL accomplishments"
     2) "wasted on the RAMs and ROMs of outrageous fortune."
     3) "interesting to see what you could do if not
         limited by fund raising and CSL"
     4) "I love you, honey"
 Comment #1 came from a person who will (probably) support us even if we
 ignore her wishes and came with a meager $22 donation.
 Comments (2,3) accompanied (lifetime) $400 in donations. Comment
 #4 didn't accompany a specific request. (I'll try to do more of my share
 of the dishes anyway)
 I'm going to mention CSL fund raising as little as possible.
 It’s easier to help poor people who just need a little lift
 to get them through the rough spot. We feel good when they
 thank us for the help. It’s even easier when they look
 and act like us. It’s not so easy when they are dirty,
 smelly, grouchy and alcoholic. And it irks us when they
 don’t show ample appreciation for our largesse.
 As a thought experiment...
 If you think crazy homeless people brought it all on
 themselves and could live better if they really wanted,
 try giving up caffeine, sweets or cigarettes.
 Addiction and insanity have pretty strong biological roots.
 We don't grudge fat slobs a few hundred thousand dollars
 for a triple bypass surgery, even though the slob probably
 brought it on himself by eating too much and exercising
 too little.
 Most of the homeless have less control over their
 situation that the aforementioned slob. Why do we
 grudge them a few thousand dollars for a bed out
 of the weather?
 Laura (comment #4) has a job that requires her to visit a few shelters
 regularly, For example:
 One of the guys worked for 17 years as a carpenter (and heroin
 addict). He's too screwed up and too old to earn much money these days.
 A SRO (single room occupancy) on the North Shore costs $140 a week.
 “Unofficial” policy at a local hospital is that patients
 aren't allowed to abuse the staff. Drop the f-bomb and
 you are gone.
 I can't say for sure, but I suspect that it no fun to be an elderly,
 alcoholic ex-heroin addict living on the street. Add to the list cancer,
 bad balance and frequent hard falls (ditto).
 But wait, it gets worse. A hard fall resulting in a
 face ripped open deep enough for deep scrapes across
 the entire nose, forehead, and one side of the face
 and neck to cause profuse bleeding. Also a sprained
 knee making it hard to walk.
 Waiting for hours in the ER is worse. Losing patience and dropping the
 f-bomb is understandable but the wrong move.
 The hospital staff don't like to treat the homeless. Keeping their oath
 and earning their good pay aren't important. The crazy homeless
 are icky. Make them wait for hours and then bounce them when
 they get pissy.
 This week the ER doctor put a homeless guy in a cab and sent him to the
 shelter. The guy was covered in his own blood and is Hep C positive:
 The shelter worker makes little more than minimum wage. She has no
 training, equipment or supplies to deal with a contagious,
 incurable blood born disease. She cleaned the guy up as best
 she could and called her boss for help.
 The boss got out of bed, put the guy in her car went
 back to the hospital and shamed the ER doctor into
 treating him. The homeless guy is doing ok now.
 ____ boring
 ____ sanctimonious
 ____ more lab stuff
 _____ LESS lab stuff
 ____ you PROMISED unit tests and code coverage
 ____ I'm a narrow, lazy person. Unit
        tests and code coverage are too
        technical for me.
 ____ Other
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