What Gulf Coast Congressman Gene Taylor wanted the Easter Bunny to bring him.
South Mississippi Living 4/07

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Madness of Little Things Inside Katrina Land

by Ana Maria

Isn’t it maddening when you’ve worked hard on a document pushing up against a deadline and you go to print the thing and the printer is on the blink? Or you get to the last few pages and run out of paper—as in there is no more to be had and you have to run out to the store? Or you are trying to upload it into a email to send to your boss from your home office and the Internet goes on the blink? The madness of the little things that go haywire—however temporary it may be—is enough to have any of us go batty.

Thankfully, it often is very temporary, and we resolve the matter in short order. Yeah, I remember those days which for me were but seven months ago. Yep, those were the days before I stepped foot inside Katrina Land where the madness of the little things are neither temporary nor do they remain little after but a short while.

Almost a month ago, I got new Internet service installed. Most of the time it has been down. That aggravates me to no end. The company’s customer service isn’t a high priority here. Over the last decade alone, when I lived in Nashville, Tenn., or Northern Virginia outside of DC, or San Jose, Calif., being without service was as rare as snow—which never occurred.

Add to this trying to learn a new software program that has all kinds of fantastic video tutorials . . . if only I could get online to view them. So, I decided to print out the 407 page manual and read through it to figure out a few things. Hmmm. I don’t have 3-hold punched paper, and I’m not really feeling like printing out 407 pages and punching the holes myself. The holes don’t come out the same, and the paper doesn’t sit evenly in the binder if I were to do that many pieces. It drives me crazy and aggravates me so I decided I’d just run out to the store and pick up a pack of paper with the holes already pre-punched.

Oh, Geeze, Louise! I hate shopping at Wal-Mart, and I’ll be you-know-what if I’m going to waste my time and gas going there to look for something that it doesn’t have. So, I called and was put on hold. I got put on hold and would probably still be holding the phone at this minute if I hadn’t finally just hung up, because it seemed apparent that customer service wasn’t exactly their strong suit last night. I knew that I would be going to Gulfport this afternoon for a fundraiser for our Democratic nominee for Insurance Commissioner Gary Anderson. Before going to this fabulous event that I'm excited about attending, I could pop into Office Depot to get the paper I need.

By the time all is said and done, I will have waited over 24 hours and traveled a good 25 to 30 minutes extra (one way) to get the paper I could have gotten in a heart beat were I still living in San Jose, California. Granted, that city is the 10th largest in the country with a population of a million and my hometown has not even one percent of that. I’ve lived in communities with far less population: Nashville, Tenn., and Annandale, Virginia. Access to office supplies in each of those places is as common as bell pepper in a grocery store.

And throughout the 24 hours, access to my Internet service will be sporadic, at best. The madness of little things like copy paper and Internet service inside Katrina Land is, well, maddening!

Since I’m not able to do anything much with my new software for a bit, I turn to read a few newspaper articles I had downloaded in the mad rush to take advantage of the moments that my Internet service is up and running.

I see that Alabama’s U.S. Senator Shelby isn’t jumping on board to praise the ever visionary multiple peril insurance legislation that Congressman Gene Taylor (D-MS) championed in the House of Representatives. Today’s editorial in the Sun Herald asks the right question.

If a New Yorker gets it, why can't an Alabamian?
The editorial is referring to the fact that New York Senator Charles Schumer is definitely on board with passing in the Senate the Taylor multiple peril insurance reform legisation. Way to go, Charlie!

I’m sure that my neighbors in Alabama who’ve been dealing with all of the big and little aggravations since Katrina are too overwhelmed to lobby their senator. With all the destruction and devastation geeze, Louise, they should not have to have the political wherewithal to do so. After all, they didn’t lobby Senator Schumer of New York, and he definitely gets it. Perhaps we can do it for them and put in a few calls and emails to ask Senator Shelby this poignantly stated question. If a New Yorker gets it, why can't an Alabamian?

Being without the conveniences of everyday American life—you know, a home to live in, clothes for the kids, jobs for mom and dad, running water in the elementary schools, are more than a little maddening. All the more because it is so apparent that turning our lives upside down and inside out has been for the sheer greed and gluttony of corporate goons. This is madness, and it is wrong. With the changes that the multiple peril legislation provides, this madness need not ever again happen in the USA.

But it did happen throughout South Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. U.S. Senators Trent Lott and Thad Cochran, Republicans representing Mississippi, get it. New York Senator Charles Schumer gets it. After over two years of his people suffering in South Alabama, Senator Shelby doesn’t. How maddening! And that’s no little thing.

I think the Sun Herald has the question down pat. If a New Yorker gets it, why can't an Alabamian?

© 2007 Ana Maria Rosato. All rights reserved.
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Brett said...

I clicked on that link about the wonderful insurance company profits. Ruined my morning.

Ana Maria said...

well, I can't let that happen. Look, I promise you that if you call Senator Sehlby's office and ask the all important question "If a New Yorker gets it, why can't an Alabamian" . . . you'll begin to feel great about taking aim at the insurance industry through helping to bring about real change for the better.

Let me know how your morning goes after a good A.M. in the Morning! engineered political hell-raising endeavor. It's good for the soul. Promise!