Tuesday, January 03, 2006

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Wealthy Business Owners & the Lack of Respect They Earn

After I graduated from Art School, I taught, but I couldn't control a class and I didn't understand basic rules of teaching. Quickly, it became obvious I needed to go in a different career direction so I segued into Therapeutic Recreation, first in a Germantown Boarding Home where I always made sure to arrive before lunch because I could smell the fried fish, greens and corn bread from my home ten miles away. Since I couldn't help the lobotomized residents make saleable crafts, I was soon employed by nursing homes and applying for Therapeutic Recreation registration which meant I had to return to school. School, Temple U. graduate school was okay, but the funny stuff wasn't there.
I worked for three nursing homes for about thirteen years, two in North Philly, and one in West Philly. Those jobs taught me at least half of all I know about human nature, but still, the best stories come from the crazy white folks who ran the home in South Philly. I started working there while it was still being built; the administrator, who was the owner's son, held court in the bar down the street. When his daddy called, I hightailed it to the tavern and brought back Danny. Danny had Pancreatitis, but he used to sit with his feet up on his desk swilling Jack Daniels anyway. When the building was done, a big grand opening was held and the politicians came as well as mom and dad nursing home. I can't remember the South Philly pols who came but they were later jailed. The guy who was police commissioner and later, Mayor--Frank Rizzo--, came with his bodyguard. Those guys were bigger than anyone I'd seen at that time and charismatic too. I flitted around talking to people, and I guess, gawking. Mom Nursing Home shocked me by getting drunk and opening the foulest mouth I'd ever heard. And Dad relieved himself in the potted plants.
When the patients arrived, problems started to happen, like there wasn't enough food and no money for the washing machines. Junior started going golfing with the beautiful statuesque dietitian and she became the assistant administrator. Children of politically connected people started to fill the empty positions. I left when I could see nothing much was being remedied by the state regulators who were hounding the North Philly homes.
I heard Junior went on to run another nursing home into the ground and the model dietitian became the administrator under another owner. She was a good liar and a company man as well as being pretty so she's probably still there.



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