In October 2004, the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities helped organize a mentoring day for the disabled which I took part of. Since my choice of employment field was politics/government, I was placed in an office that supposedly would be my career choice.
That office was a Social Security Administration branch located in downtown
I'm not completely anti-SSA since they've helped me out and I would most likely be near homelessness without their financial assistance. However, the humanity of the SSA and its workers makes the DMV look like New Year’s Eve at Times Square. As a child I often attended meetings at SSA over things like cutting off our aid entirely or revaluating our status as “disabled.” (As if the wheelchair and leg braces weren’t enough a giveaway). Sometimes, my mom would engage in shouting matches with these imbeciles whose penny-pinching knew no bounds.
Still, I attended an all-day meeting a SSA and inasmuch as the people there were accommodating I knew very well that I would never pursue a career option with them.
However, I patiently put up with the presentations and platitudes until early evening when there was a gala for mentoring day attendees near City Hall. I went due to two, and only two, reasons:
1- Free booze
2- The chance to meet the mayor
(Trite but true).
After imbibing several glasses of Pinto Noir and Zinfandel we were given the chance to meet the mayor. Luckily I was tipsy enough to avoid saying anything negative at Bloomy (not that I really wanted to since I wasn’t against him as much as Giuliani). Also I wasn’t too tipsy so that I would make a fool of myself when meeting the Grand Poobah.
The wait in line seemed interminable and I even dozed off briefly. But before I knew it up came my chance to meet Mayor Mike. As I approached him, I had a hunch that even though he was accustomed to these types of events he wasn’t in the mood for much
“Hi there” he said diplomatically.
“Good evening, Sir” I replied as I extended my hand for an awkward shake.
“Look at the camera” he whispered.
“Huh” I thought as I turned around and got blinded by the camera flash.
“Thanks for hosting this mentoring day” I muttered as the next wheelchair wheeled its way towards Bloomy.
Since it was nearly time for my Access-A-Ride pickup I went rapidly to the men’s room then outside where I was (miraculously) picked up early.
Don’t remember much after that except for the driver’s kind but futile attempt at small talk as I napped for a half-hour.
Approximately a month later I received the photo of the mayor and me from that evening. It wasn’t too bad; he looked well and I appeared lucid and jovial.
Except that my tie was crooked by a very noticeable inch.
So yes, that’s my tale. I don’t know if I’ll ever meet him again but one thing is for sure in case that occurs.
I’ll wear a bowtie instead.