It’s Sunday morning in McDonald’s and most of the regulars are in for their morning cup of Joe.
The Vietnam vets are at their usual table discussing the downside to the technology that now prevents them from being backyard mechanics.
Celeste (not her real name) is in her corner ,but something is a little different about her this morning. Although she has been plagued by health issues the gray haired black woman is not smiling. Always cordial, Celeste is hovered over by a slim white man who appears to be trying to console her.
Celeste’s laptop was not visible, and her bicycle was also absent.
Could it be that someone mugged Celeste and took everything she owned?
You see Celeste is homeless. That’s got to be a hard road for a black woman who appears to be on the downside of fifty years of age. Celeste is no Jackie Brown, and she lives a different type of street life that Randy Crawford sings of in her 70′s hit with the Crusaders. The song was featured in the film Jackie Brown starring Pam Grier.
How does she and other similarly situated women make it in a homeless world? Life for the homeless has proven to be difficult in a post 9/11 world. The laws which once leaned towards freedom and equal protection now acts as enemy combatants against the homeless. No identification for lack of a fixed address has relegated these American born citizens to a non citizen status. Most people treat their pets better than the homeless are treated.
The Boston bombing suspect has it better than these individuals who have lost their ability to vote because of their homeless status.
The Boston bombing suspect has three hots and a cart. Until convicted he can still be considered a registered voter. If he can’t afford a lawyer the government will provide him with one at no charge. Further his rights are being scrutinized to make sure they are not violated. It’s understood and under the U.S. Constitution that he should be afforded these rights in protecting his liberty.
Ironically, the homeless whose liberty is not questioned because they are not incarcerated are considered as trespassers by most people. Most merchants refuse their request to use the bathroom where they try to clean themselves up to maintain some kind of dignity. They may not be behind bars, but their liberty is definitely restricted in many ways by their status.
In one instance, a homeless woman’s suspended drivers license was confiscated by police after she presented it upon request for some identification. The woman who has no car, now finds that she can’t vote or get a decent hotel room when she collects enough money to do so.
Who protect their rights? Who fights for Celeste? How is she protected on the streets when night falls? Celeste like others find refuge in local churches that feed and cloth the homeless.
Another unlikely champion of the homeless is McDonald’s 24 hours service. McDonald’s does not deny the homeless the right to come onto their public accommodation. Nor do they deny them the privilege of using the bathroom. Just like any other customer as long as they are orderly they are treated with respect. This is why they are regular customers. Yes they do patronize the fast food restaurant by purchasing from the dollar menu and like Celeste, they utilize McDonald’s free WiFi. As they surf the net to keep abreast of local news weather ans sports, they charge up their cell phones if they are fortunate enough to have one.
This particular McDonald’s is near Uncle Bob’s storage where most of the homeless who patronize McDonald’s rent a small storage locker for their belongings. They organize these possession with compartmental plastic containers purchased at the Dollar Tree.
It’s a hard hard road, but Celeste has managed to endure with a little help from local Churches, the Dollar Tree and McDonald’s 24 hour service and their dollar menu.
Recently I read an article pertaining to McDonald’s Broken Service.
During a webcast last month the McDonald’s executives indicated that 20 percent of complaints were related to workers’ attitudes. According to the Wall Street Journal, gripes about “rude or unprofessional employees” topped the list, and complaints that it took too long to get food increased “significantly,” over the last six months.
If McDonald’s is looking for a solution they should travel to Tampa, Florida to store number 856 located at 4333 Hillsborough Avenue. Upon arrival they will find a friendly crew lead by Tiffany Arrington.
As the store’s general manager, Tiffany runs a well organized restaurant. Service is always with a smile. As you enter the door you’re greeted with warmth.
The floors and tables are always clean, and the bathrooms are exceptionally clean. Windows are washed everyday, and the grounds are liter free.
The employees take their job of providing great service serious.
As you sit at your table, an employee approaches to see how they can better serve you.
That is not service broken. Instead that is service that makes you come back again and again, and again.
What is Tiffany’s secret? I will leave that up to the executives to explore. The Casper Company who owns that franchise already knows what a gem they have in Tiffany. They just promoted her to another store to spread the sunshine she describes as dedicated service.
So if you’re traveling to Tampa stop by to get some of that sunshine along with some delightful meals such as the McWRAP from their menu.
At the age of 75, Rhetna Scott is finding out that getting old is not for the meek. As you age, you become prey to debilitating illnesses and people. Yes people, and it’s just not people with criminal intent or unethical money scams, but in Scott’s case it’s her landlord.
Ms. Scott is being ordered to leave her Atlanta apartment. She pays her rent on time, and there is no illegal activity occurring in the unit she occupies by herself. Ms. Scott who appears to be a model tenant has obeyed all the terms of her lease agreement.
Why then is she being evicted? Retha Scott fell asleep as she was cooking a meal at home, causing the food to burn. Next thing she knew, she received an eviction notice from the management of her SENIOR living complex, Hairston Lake Apartments, saying that the incident proves that she’s a danger to other tenants. There were no injuries as a result of the incident, no other units were damaged and it was unclear what, if any, damage Scott’s own unit suffered.
Attorney Joshua Davis, who agreed to represent Scott after hearing of her case, said Hairston Lake is violating her rights. Davis who is a Morehouse College and Howard University School Of Law Graduate finds the whole ordeal absurd.
In most states, a landlord must give a tenant written notice of a potential lease violation, and the tenant must be given ample time to correct it before the landlord can initiate eviction proceedings.
It’s unclear whether Scott’s complex alerted her of potential violations before issuing her an eviction notice — but it’s clear that Scott has taken steps to correct the problem.
There exist only a few circumstances under which landlords can evict tenants without giving them time to correct lease violations: if tenants have repeatedly violated a significant clause in the lease, continuously failed to pay rent on time, seriously damaged a rental unit, or engaged in illegal activity on the premises.
Under in circumstance, a landlord cannot have a tenant physically removed from an apartment without a court order to do so.
Take a look at the video above and see if you agree that Scott who is a senior citizen should be evicted from her senior citizen complex.
Essie Mae Washington-Williams the biracial daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond has died.
The segregationist at 22 fathered Washington-Williams with Carrie Butler, a 16-year-old black girl who worked as a maid for his family.
Although rumors were abound for decades in both political circles and the black community that Thurmond had fathered a daughter by Ms. Butler, he managed to keep her a secret for more than 70 years to avoid damaging his political career. Washington-Williams who knew of her parentage did not come forward and identify the former South Carolina governor and one the nation’s longest-serving U.S. senator as her father until after his death at age 100 in 2003.
Thurman paid for her college and took an interest in her and her family throughout his life.
In 2004 she joined the United Daughters of the Confederacy through Thurmond’s ancestral lines. She encouraged other African Americans to do the same, to enlarge the lineage societies’ sense of history.
Essie Mae Washington- Williams published her autobiography in 2005. Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond was nominated for the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize.
In addition to her earning a college diploma from South Carolina State University, the 87 year Washington-Williams also received a master degree, married, had children and spent decades as a school teacher in Los Angeles.