Generally on my lunch break I walk to the park by Waterloo Station and have a nap in the grass for about 45 minutes. Because I just started my job I was on the 9 to 5:30 shift for the first two months, so my lunch break coincided with those of other city workers. Therefore, there were lots of city workers having a chill out, picnic or nap in this little park during lunch and I blended right in.
I haven’t been fired or made redundant yet so I have officially started working shifts this week. My first shift was 6 a.m. to 2:30 so my lunch is around 11. I was tired! I had to get up at 4:50! Our company sends a cab to pick us up when we work early shifts, so that’s pretty much the only cool thing about this shift.
At my lunch yesterday I went to the park like normal and used my purse (bag) as a pillow. Like normal, there were a few people asleep in the park.
About 15 minutes later I woke up to the sound of “WAKE UP! WAKE UP.” I cracked my eyes open and saw two police officers standing about 20 feet away, but they weren’t talking to me. They were talking to a group of about 6 grown men passed out in the grass. I squinted my eyes and noticed something I hadn’t noticed before because I was really tired and my prescription in my glasses isn’t strong enough anymore to see details. These guys were definitely homeless. Scruffy, dirty, drunk.
The cops couldn’t get a couple of them to wake up because they were so drunk, but the ones who did wake up were really mad. They kept pointing at me and saying, “Why don’t she ‘ave to git up? That aint fair!”
The cops said something about how I wasn’t a problem, but they were still mad.
One of them got up and walked over to me, laid down and pretended to go to sleep again. I was really freaked out so I got up and walked to the other side of the park, which isn’t that big, but it’s big enough.
The cop yelled at him to get back over there and said “Now look what you’ve done! You’ve made that poor lady have to move!”
I don’t know why, but I just felt really trashy after this incident. I guess because I was engaging in the same activities as the long-term homeless?
Two things I’ve learned from this incident: Get my glasses changed asap, and take note of my surroundings before I go to sleep in a public place.