Related: McDonald’s #2763 | The Homeless Blogger
I don’t recall how I began going to this McDonald’s, which was located at the southeast corner of Baltimore and Light Streets. I know that I had heard about their 53¢ coffee. At any rate, I began going there first thing in the morning — They opened at 5:00. — as soon as the shelter booted us out. The pattern became that I would stay there until about 9:45, when I could leave for the library — It opened at 10. — and go online for four hours. At 14:00 I would come back, spend about an hour there drinking one coffee and one refill; and by that time, it was time to get back to the shelter.
In the mornings, I would do my meditation and my prayer time, write longhand in my diary, and socialize with the people around me. There was always a huge crowd in there, maybe thirty people, from 5:00 to 9:00.
I always had coffee, at all times.
So, this pattern went on for years: several hours there every morning, and then about an hour there every afternoon. I got to know all the staff very well, though I found it hard to tell some of them apart; turned out this was because most of the females were the owner’s children, neices, or cousins.
I saw staff come and go.
They never hired a caucasian man who was born in this country. The only folk they hired were either (1) black, or (2) immigrants from Latin America, or (3) white women with black baby daddies. I knew that last because sometimes these women would come in on off hours, for example to pick up one’s check, and bring the babies along.
This never bothered me personally. However, it would come as a disappointment to those who expect merit and equanimity to be foremost in the hiring process.