December 17, 1991
(Typed from a handwritten version)
Dear Ms. Beckett:
I wish to complain about the payment of my Training Related Expenses and also the abusive and irrational treatment I received at the BEGIN office at 109 E. 16th St, 3rd floor.
I received my first payment for $137 on Nov 27. Then, on my next pick-up date on Dec 11 no TRE money was included in my benefits.
I went to the BEGIN office that day. As I entered the building, a shabby-looking person proceeded to walk closely beside me and say in a hostile voice to give him his money. I asked him if he was talking to me and he said no. Upstairs, I told the receptionist my problem with the TRE and she checked a computer print-out dated Dec 4 that stated that I should have received $323 on Nov 27.
Next I spoke to Roger Hamilton. I showed him my EPFT receipts and asked him why I didn't receive any TRE on Dec 11 and why the discrepancy between the $137 I received on Nov 27 and the $323 that their computer print-out showed. He left for awhile and came back and said in general terms that letters are sent out stating that benefits are discontinued because of an inability to verify attendance at training programs. (my program is the building maint prog (sic) at the Federation (sic) Employment and Guidance Service, 3302 Skillman Av in Long Island City.) I asked him more specifically if a letter had been sent to me. Mr. Hamilton did not answer but left the room again. When he returned he said that he found out that I had already been paid my money and would I come with him to another room. I did and after he took care of another client who had come with us, Mr. H's tone got decidedly sarcastic and taunting. (although he was exactly calm and helpful before) (?) He mentioned nothing about what he had said before about my already having been paid, but instead asked me again about where I got the $323 figure. I told him that as I had said before that the receptionist out front had read it to me from the computer print-out and that I had seen the figure myself. He did not seem pleased and said I probably didn't know how to read the print-out. He left again and came back with the print-out. He pointed to a lower figure that was not next to my name and asked me if this was it. I said no and pointed to the correct figure. He then asked to see my EPFT receipts again. I showed them to him. He pointed to a figure for $22.50 and asked what this was for. I said it was just a general type of welfare money that people usually get. I couldn't think of the official name. But he kept badgering me for what it was called. i told him that i felt he was harrassing (sic) me. He said that I could turn around and walk out if I wanted to. I, needing to straighten this thing out, declined. I asked him why it was so important to have the exact name if it was just a general fund and that whatever the case, the $137 and the $22.50 were still far below the $323 that I should have received. He left again and came back with a computer print-out which stated my past welfare and TRE benefits which he gave to me. He made no further mention of the type of benefit the $22.50 was, but pointed to the other Dec 4 print-out date of the print-out with the $323 figure. He said that this date meant that the money was sent out on Dec 4 and that I would get it on my next pick-up date. Now this doesn't make sense because if this was the case then what was the $137 I received on Nov 27? But I didn't think of this at the time being relieved to hear that I would (hopefully) be receiving my money. He then left and as I was preparing to leave I heard him say from another room, "You just can't please some people." I'm not sure what this was supposed to mean. Why would I be pleased to be shortchanged on my first TRE, have my 2nd TRE (illegible) and to be harrassed (sic) and lied to repeatedly?
And that is why I am writing to you, Ms.
Beckett. I feel quite overwhelmed by all these recent events and
need your help, not just in being assured of receiving my TRE, but
in discovering what exactly happened that my TRE would get cut off
like that and why Mr. Hamilton would feel it necessary to harrass
(sic) and lie to me so unremitedely
(sic) when if it were just the case of
some simple mix-up, he could have made up some innocuous excuse (or
even told me the truth) that would have caused no hardships on my
part and would have sufficed to turn me away disappointed in the
delay, but satisfied with the answer I had received? Could the
cryptic remarks by that street person demanding his money have had
anything to do with it? Am I being shaken down and is the BEGIN
center a party to all this? I realize that this is a big question
that I am leaving you with, but I hope you with your mandate to get
at the truth and clear up any and all improprieties, both great and
small, will be able to solve th(illegible)