Friday, July 17, 2009

I am now officially registered at the LWRC...

I got there a little before eight o'clock this morning. People sign in once they come through the door with their name and worker number. There ended up being about 30 or so people (99% male) in and around the building. Promptly at eight, the overhead door to the pantry opened and the group lined up for coffee and pastries. The TV was turned to CNN and there were some people on the computers.

After a while, Don Wilson, Executive Director of the Mentoring Center came out and greeted me. He led me to his office where he handed me an "Employer" application. I reminded him that I wanted to work and I wasn't looking to employ anyone. He then directed me to a friendly clerk who asked for the following information: Name, date of birth (that information had to be written down on a small slip of paper), address, city and zip code (that seemed to be important to the clerk). She asked what nationality I was, if I had a drivers license and if I could get to a job location by myself. She also wanted to know my phone number and an emergency contact number. For some reason, the computer didn't take the information the first time, so she had to ask me the questions again. She wondered what kind of work I wanted to do and I said that, judging from their flier, I could do things like be a driver, office work, computers, typing, etc. She seemed to convey that they didn't get much calling for those sorts of skills and encouraged me to sign up for the carpentry classes. These are put on by PBCC free of charge on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

I was not asked to show any identification - period. I was told that I would be getting some sort of card in about a week.

Once I had a number assigned, I was told that I could come in anytime, but always have to sign in with my name and worker number. I was told I could be there and do anything I wanted, watch TV, go on the computers. Breakfast is served at eight, which I witnessed earlier. You have to get a ticket for lunch and those are available around 11:30 a.m., with lunch served at noon. She encouraged me to volunteer to clean up the place as they don't have custodial staff and if I did, I would move up on the priority list when the employers come in.

I asked how I would know when an employer comes in. I got a very vague response - sort of "You'll know when it happens."

I thanked her, shook Mr. Wilson's hand, thanked him for his assistance and left the building.