Dream of: 17 August 1996 "Waiting In Line"

I had arrived at the chapter 13 bankruptcy preliminary hearings, which were in a different place from what I was used to. There was one large room where tables had been set up, and some smaller rooms off to the side. I only had one paper which needed to be signed by a trustee's representative and when I noticed people going through a door to one of the side rooms,  I thought they must be going there to have their papers signed, so I followed. Once I was in the room I saw that people had also been entering from another door and had formed a line of ten or more people. As I walked to the end of the line, I thought I saw Louise standing in line, but then I realized I was mistaken, that Louise wasn't here. I stood in line a few moments until I realized this was going to take an awfully long time. It occurred to me that I had heard that the trustee now had new procedures for having orders signed, and that it might not be necessary for me to wait in line this way. I decided to go back out into the main room to see if I could find someone else who could sign my order.

Many people were milling about in the main room. Cafeteri-style tables had been set up where representatives of the trustee were sitting. Other similar tables were also set up perpendicular to the trustees tables and people waiting to see the trustee's representatives were sitting at the other tables. I knew the procedure used to be that on mornings such as this a docket would be called and each case would be called out and handled one at a time; but I had received a letter stating that the docket procedure had been changed. Now the cases were to be handled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Since I had never taken part in this new procedure, I wasn't entirely sure how it worked. It appeared that people lined up not by standing in line in front of the representatives, but by sitting at the tables which were perpendicular to the tables where the reps were sitting. Then as the reps handled each matter everyone sitting in line would get up and move to the next chair.

I looked for a rep who didn't have many people waiting, and finally I saw one: Estorga. In her line, only one person was waiting ahead of me. I sat down, not in the seat immediately behind that person, but one seat back leaving one seat empty between us. To my chagrin, after I had waited a few moments, another woman walked up and sat down in front of me. Just about then the person who was being helped by the rep got up, and the woman who had just sat down in front of me, rose and sat down in the seat by the rep.

I was quite indignant. I walked up to the woman (about 40 years old), who was dressed in white and I tapped her on the shoulder. She ignored me. I then began complaining to both her and Estorga that the woman had jumped in line ahead of me. To my utter surprise, Estorga took the woman's side and bluntly and impolitely told me to sit back down and wait my turn. Obviously Estorga felt some animus towards me. I didn't know why because I had always gotten along with her in the past. I sat back down, this time leaving two empty seats between me and the woman sitting beside Estorga.

I was dazed. I thought to myself that this must be how black people feel when they are discriminated against. I didn't think it would help to start a big row, so I decided to just sit here and wait. When I finally started to come back to myself, I saw that two more people had crowded in front of me into the two seats I had left open. This was too much. I thought Estorga would obviously also take their side. I wasn't going to wait for that. I stood up and began looking for another rep.

Just about then Kennon walked by me. I heard him say something about signing some orders and I began following him. He didn't look as if he were in a good mood either, but I thought I would stick with him. I just wanted to get this one simple order signed and get out of here.

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