Friday, July 8, 2011


Jules: We should have shotguns for this kind of deal.
Vincent: How many up there?
Jules: Three or four.
Vincent: That's countin' our guy?
Jules: Not sure.
Vincent: So that means there could be up to five guys up there?
Jules: It's possible.
Vincent: We should have Bleepin' shotguns.

Most of us remember this scene(slightly edited) from the movie Pulp Fiction- it usually pops into my head at least once a day no matter what I'm doing at work. This short scene could sum up the general experience of anyone who works at a non-profit organization, especially one focusing on homeless services. Not that being a hitman is comparable to homeless services in anyway, but often times we're just so ill equipped and poorly informed to back up what we're promising our clients, and in this way fail to effectively help them. At least on a basic service level, and by that I mean food, clothing, toiletries, showers, phone, information and directions to emergency shelters, and so on.

Imagine if you worked in a day care and you were told to cheer up all the children with a rusty can full of live centipedes and old stinky cheese, or maybe more believably promising everyone ice cream and then only a quarter of the group gets some. In either situation you might be able to please a few, but definitely not everyone...unless they're like really into centipedes or maybe cheese enthusiasts, in which case by all means roll with it because making due with what you have at the moment is all you can do sometimes. If you run out of shampoo then your just going to have to hand out soap and towel. If you run out of towels then your just going to have to stop the showers and wait for more, and get as many showers in after you get more as possible. If you run out of razors your just going to have to say you ran out and offer something else. So why bother doing something if we can only help some and not all? Why do something if it's not going to be the absolute best? Should we even still attempt to? Does the world really need a bunch of B+ efforts?

In the movie Jules and Vincent go into the situation despite being ill equipped and with inaccurate information, and make it out ok. This, however, is only possible by what Jules is convinced is divine intervention. One day at work I was trying to convince a client who had walked in a few minutes before close that we had no shoes. He wouldn't have it though, he'd been walking all day and his current shoes(black dress shoes) were ragged and hurting him. First of all we never have men's shoes where I work and if we did what were the odds we'd have his size. Second of all I just didn't have anything left in me to deal with the disappointment that we both would have when I checked for shoes and came up with nothing. Finally we were closed, and I was supposed to be going home, every else was booking it like they usually do and I wanted to be among them, not having one last insult to injury as I wasn't able to help another client among countless others this year. So to appease this guy I walked behind the counter to where the clothing and shoes are kept and what to my surprise was there but three massive bags of slightly used New Balance and Asics athletic shoes. Needless to say I was a little embarrassed (or ashamed, or maybe I felt selfish and lazy that I wouldn't even go to the counter and look) for a while, having been so convinced and trying to shoo off my client, and then happening upon bags of shoes. Not only was this guy getting shoes, but nice shoes that were intended to be walked in- a lot. So like Jules and Vincent, me and unknown client went into a situation not knowing the outcome, and then somehow dodged everything the situation could throw at us.

I know God is everywhere, but I really wasn't really aware of his/her presence at work until then. Until someone else, maybe not knowingly, told me to look and I did(reluctantly), and saw. I consider that day my own "divine intervention".

1 comment:

  1. it's going up. Nice work on this one. Pulp Fiction and God. Only you could write this.