but the cook at the place earned morenthan what I had earned. Mr. G. andnhis family liked to eat well, to eat verynwell; and for that reason the fare givennto the boys was extremely plain. I hadnto eat with the boys. As the solensupervisor, responsible for 34 juvenilendelinquents aged from eight to 16, Inwas on duty around the clock, exceptnon Wednesday (which I had off fromnnoon till midnight), Saturday, andnevery second Sunday.nMr. G. ate all the sweets that werendonated to the institution. But baseballnequipment had also been donated, andnwhen the weather permitted it, thenboys had to play baseball every eveningnand all day Saturday and Sundaynafternoon—a bit much even for boys.nThe boys not selected to a team hadnto study or go to bed. Mr. G. had alsongiven me all sorts of other ludicrousninstructions, among them that thenboys could go to the bathroom onlynbefore meals and at bedtime. I wasnsupposed to make sure that the boys innbed did not talk, that the boys in thenbasement room did, in fact, study, andnthat the boys in the yard kept onnplaying. When Mr. G. discovered anboy sneaking to the bathroom, henwould smile benignly at the child andnthen come out and chastise me.nBut I am stubborn. I stayed for sixnmonths, until Mr. G., who happenednto be a Catholic, got into an argumentnwith the priest of a nearby churchnabout which one of them was more ofna saint. The priest had the religiousnorder cancel the lease on our building.nNot long after I started my job withnMr. G., I got a very pleasant telephonencall from a psychologist employed bynthe agency under whose aegis the boys’nhome was operated. He invited me tonlunch. We went to an Italian restaurant,nwhere the waiters snickered atnhim behind his back. He was 30ishnand balding. He told me that wenyoung professionals must assert ourselvesnagainst the old fogies in thenagency. He wanted me to spy on Mr.nG. and report to him anything that wasnto his detriment, no matter how small.nI was not ready to do that. I askednMr. G. about the psychologist and wasntold that that man had had a key to theninstitution and had been in the habitnof letting himself in long after bedtimenand sitting on the beds of boys till afternmidnight because children “relate bet­nter” at night. Mr. G. had the locksnchanged and refused to give the psychologistna key.nI worked for 12 years in jobs obtainednon the basis of my alleged universityneducation, and my competencenwas never questioned. I had one particularlyngood job with the municipalndepartment of welfare and housing,nbut I left there after three years. PerhapsnI wanted to be found out becausenI wanted to believe that a universityneducation means more than the learningncontained in 20 paperbacks. I feltncompelled to expose myself to new jobnsituations which might be too demandingnfor me.nIn the Special Psychiatric Annex ofnthe city’s world-renowned children’snhospital, I presumed that I would benreally tested. At the same time, I wasnexcited because I was told that thenSpecial Psychiatric Annex was a sort ofnpinnacle in our profession, “one of thenbest of its kind in the world.”nThe place was four or five citynblocks from the hospital proper. It wasnan elderly three-story brownstonenhouse, ill kept, surrounded by weedsnand bare ground (alternately, dust ornmud), by nettles and unattractivenshrubs and, on three sides, a highnpicket fence.nThirteen boys and girls, between sixnand 15, were taken care of there by anstaff of 44. We had a Psychiatrist-in-nGharge, a Psychiatrist-Director, two tonfive other psychiatrists, two psychologists,na social worker, an InservicenInstructor, three nurses, two teachers,nand 12 child-care workers, of which Inwas among the best paid.nAfter a while I realized that thenchildren in the institution were reallynincidental, that their main functionnwas to justify the salaries of the “highlynqualified personnel.” The psychiatristsnand psychologists worked only duringnregular weekday working hours, whennthe children were at school. The twonwomen teachers managed not only toncope with the children but also toninstruct them. On the other hand, Insaw three psychiatrists literally runnfrom a child that was rolling on thenfloor in a temper tantrum.nGareers were not made with thenchildren but at the daily meetingsnbetween 10:00 to II;30 and 2:00 ton3:30. There, it was decidedly advisablenA«r«t«i«F.a«c«t«snSunsei Reflected In me Mirror OfnJosepK Steffendlis Taxicab May 3.1967nNew York CiiunnnMAY 1987/39n