Richard J. Daley called Chicago, "The city that works.", and it did for the most part. City services seemed to work okay, there were plenty of jobs around back then, and if you helped garner votes for machine candidates, you could find yourself in a cushy city job. Apparently things have changed over the last forty years. Partly due to Mayor Richard (Dick) M. Daley, da original Mayor Daley's son, things have gotten much worse. Like the fact that 50% of black men between the ages of 20 and 24 are unemployed, and nobody can figure out why there's so much crime in those neighborhoods. Unfortunately, voting for machine candidates is like a bad habit, Very hard to break.
Yesterday I decided that it was time to start riding the CTA, and since I am now officially a 'senior citizen', I can ride for half price. Just a few little details that needed to be worked out. First of all I would have to apply for a reduced fare permit card, then I would have to get myself a Ventra card. It sounds sort of simple. Not as simple as showing the driver a valid ID with your age on it and dropping some coins in the box at the front of the bus, but it's doable. So I drove over to one of the senior centers where you could get a reduced fare permit card. It was the Levy Senior Center over on Lawrence Avenue. First of all, it is a senior center. Seniors, also known as old people, often have a hard time walking around, so the government initiated the handicapped parking laws. Also known as the Americans with Disabilities Act. This senior center had NO HANDICAPPED PARKING. A place that caters to old people had no parking for old people. Oh, they had a parking lot. It was jammed full, with double parked cars and a security guard. So I rolled down the window and asked the bored looking security guard, "Where's the handicapped parking?"
"Are you here to get the transit, reduced fare card?" He asked.
"Well the lady that does that isn't here today. She'll be here on Monday... Oh, and they only give out thirty per day when she is here, so you'll have to get here by 7:45am if you want one. There will be a line, and you'll have to wait in the line until we open."
Hmmm... So, no handicapped parking for old people, and if you are old and feeble and want a reduced fare card, you have to get up early and stand in a line to wait for the woman who hands out a quota of only thirty cards in a city with 300,000 people over the age of 65. Is the city trying to tell old people something? I was pissed. So I got on the phone to give somebody a piece of my mind. I called the main office of the Department of Senior Services, downtown. All I can tell you is that they have the worst goddamned hold music I have ever heard.
|Still on hold|