Monday, September 8, 2008

5 Things From The Orange Zone

  1. Outlets - My week has been spent in search of outlets and car chargers with adapter plugs and cords and more cords, to charge phones, the computer, PSP, anything to plug into, connection with some system or subsystem that is operational. I believe I can now operate any electrical device, from a defibrillator to a corn dog broiler from the cigarette lighter in my car. It's like I've been in perpetual 2-hour layover mode, in fact, let me plug in my phone right now while I'm thinking about it. OK. Last night I went to get hot wings with a friend of mine and saw that our booth had an outlet next to it and I instinctively pulled the AC adapter out of my cargo shorts and plugged it in. My office is open now and has AC and a computer with a keyboard and I still have a lingering twinge that someone is going to come in and take it all away.
  2. Furtive eying of lights - We still don't have power. Our neighborhood is in what is being commonly referred to as an "orange zone" meaning it can take up to 4 weeks to get the power back according to a very vague map Entergy published. I have worked in the customer service sector as an IT person, I know a bloated CYA estimate when I hear one, and know it's an infrastructure -out repair job. I saw lights a block over last night and I'd be lying if I didn't think of at least creeping up to their window and bellowing "I'M COMIN' TO LOOT YOU!" just to hear them scramble inside. But dig this: some white friends-of-friends bought a house behind the bus station in poor, black neighborhood (Baton Rouge's sole gentrificators, I imagine) that is probably a week or two away from getting power, race being only one factor in the delay. By some fluke of wiring, perhaps they are jacked into the bus station grid, they, the one white family in a six-block radius, have lights and rest does not.
  3. The radio - We have been pretty glued to the local talk station which has consisted of DJ's at the bare thread operational status - I picture them running around naked with warpaint snorting the carpets in cluttered offices with hopes of cocaine residue, toppling the vending machine and engaging in bloodsport over the last bag of Andy Capp's Hot Fries - and it's pretty much an endless line of calls to see when the power is going to come back on in their neighborhood, and "I haven't seen any Entergy trucks on my street and I'm in a white zone" and so on.
  4. The Republican Party - I'm not sure anyone in Louisiana right now cares remotely about Sarah Palin (I mean, I guess they do, Republicans are team players first) but Gov. Bobby Jindal is poised to be the Rudy Guliani of 2012. He's doing a great job casting the appearance of being on top of things, but one should be reminded that that is what the person in charge is supposed to do. If it is extraordinary that they are doing so, then you have what they call low expectations. Yesterday, though, I saw pasted on stop signs in an affluent neighborhood a bunch of orange stickers that said "NO POWER.... Jindal, this is unacceptable." Evidently someone stockpiling reams of fluorescent sticker paper and running their printer off a generator is no longer a team player when the shit goes down.
  5. Getting back to normal - I've been pretty level headed with occasional bouts of panic all week, but emotionally I am a beat dog today. I think its stepping away from it - I had so much leaning up against the wall of Let's-just-get-through - is letting everything tumble off the end of the shelves. Plus I got three separate emails this morning of "so.....where are we on X?" and I'm tempted to say that that a tree fell on X during the storm and your particular need is in the "orange zone" for the time being.

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