Continuing Edumacation

Man — am I in a big learning curve or what?

I have learned, over the past 13 months, that the truly lucky ones in this city are those who had their jobs to go back to. I mean, their regular jobs. Even if their house was destroyed, even if they have umpteen relatives still living with them and, yes, even if they lost someone near and dear — at least they have that consistent paycheck to keep things moving week to week. Those of us who lost businesses or (as in my case) are having to unload them because they don’t have the reserves they once had are having to adjust to an entirely new reality. I mean, it’s great in a lot of ways — but damn. This shift from one world to another ain’t easy.

After coughing up literally ALL of my paycheck to pay the Entergy bill this week, we’re in major Thrift City mode around here these days. was talking to one of my (many) creditors on the phone the other day, and he’s asking me, “why are so many people going broke down there? I hear there’s all kinds of jobs and the pay is really good and…” Hold it, dude.

It’s now taking the three of us in this house (and then some) to bring in what one of us used to make. We’ve all got good, honest jobs that we like and the pay is indeed pretty good for what they are. But we’re living in a world set up for incomes we had in July of 2005 — not for the hourly wages we’re bringing in now. The creditors who cut us some slack and felt sorry for us last fall and into early 2006 are now tired of waiting — and everyone wants all of it right now. Can’t say I blame them, since they’ve got businesses to run too. But thousands of us are playing a game of economic Whack-A-Mole — using what money we have to pay what bills we can, but knowing another one is just going to pop up. If we can hit yours, we will. But don’t expect me, at least in the short term, to come up with some kind of payment “plan.” Every dollar I bring in is already spoken for about five times over — and each bill paid means another one has to wait

Like I say — there are thousands of us — and at least I’ve got a real home to go to each night (even though it was without electricity for a couple of days). This house, this neighborhood and the hope of getting back to How Things Were (economically speaking) are what keeps us going. We’ll get there — but it’s going to take a while longer.

Anyone wanna buy some good commercial kitchen equipment? Cheap?

8 Comments so far

  1. Laurie (unregistered) on October 1st, 2006 @ 12:06 am

    Write a book about what’s really going down.


  2. Skeeter88 (unregistered) on October 1st, 2006 @ 3:50 pm

    Me, too, except for the hourly wage job. Still struggling but the hopeful signs are few and far between.

  3. Dan F (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2006 @ 12:29 pm

    It (meaning the financial situation) even effects those who have the same gig they did before the storm. Everything cost more here now plus I’m still trying to replace crap that I lost 13 months ago…it’s a tough spot to be in when your still trying to rebuild a city while figuring out how to make that burger helper stretch for 3 more days

  4. Skeeter88 (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2006 @ 1:01 pm

    I understand that the federal government provided the City of New York one half billion dollars to assist small businesses after 9/11. For New Orleans, nada.

  5. Laurie (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 3:03 pm

    Why can’t they fill in a hole in the ground?

    Sounds like emotional explotation to purposely leave it there.


  6. June (unregistered) on October 4th, 2006 @ 3:09 pm

    Excuse me, but that “hole in the ground” still contains the remnants of human beings murdered in a most horrific manner; remnants mixed with dust, dirt, air, etc. This “hole in the ground” is sacred ground in NYC. It may be that it’s too emotional to build something else on top of it!!!!

  7. Ann (unregistered) on October 4th, 2006 @ 7:36 pm

    I don’t completley buy that emotion line – they’ve been awfully busy arguing about insurance payouts and leases.

    For the loved ones who were lost, absolutely, but the entities doing the actual rebuilding – naaah.

  8. termite (unregistered) on October 5th, 2006 @ 9:36 am

    i’m with you on this one, annie-girl.

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