Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Big Wind

In popular entertainment I'd be at an "End of The World Party" where, depending on the level of the effort, I'd engage in stimulating conversation or meet the love of my life, or find myself a bit player in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" In adolescent dreams I'd be holed up with a girl.

My expectation was that I'd spend the weekend helping with the Red Cross. To my shock they declined to use me. See why below.

So I am finding this disaster so far to be incredibly boring.

All organizations become corrupt. All bureaucracies become vehicles for increasing the security and authority of their staff at the expense of actual achievement. For example, for many years I have done Red Cross. Over the last few years though my participation has declined as the Chapter became focused on internal turbulence and adherence to increasingly complicated but in appearance sophisticated rituals. Yesterday evening I stopped by the Chapter to see what could be done to help for the impending hurricane. I was warned that once I reported I should expect to stay for 36 hours as the City was shutting down the subways starting at noon. The senior Area Director recognized me and called me a great guy and urged me to come in. So I told him that I would go home and change after buying some food just in case and return around midnight. When I got back with two days supplies in my bags there was nobody there who knew anything, they thought the senior officers were in the building when they were not, but in accordance with procedure cots were set up in empty rooms to shelter staff during an extended disaster. I was told to wait in the shelter area until the senior staff returned to begin preparation. So I undressed and lay down. Immediately after I passed out junior staff arrived and threw me out of the building. After trying to build a case to protect themselves, saying untrue things about what I had said or they had said or the Director had said (who they only began to call to cover themselves as I left the building) they adopted a psuedo-legal weaselly tone as to my “unauthorized presence” as I put on my shoes. I will not be back.

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