Thursday, January 30, 2014

Atlanta, you failed and Charleston did everything right.

Oh, Atlanta ... I was so ready to roast your citizens for complaining about the cold. My Instagram feed was filled with screen shots of 20 to 30 degree weather. Meanwhile, in Indianapolis, place a negative sign in front of that number. Y'all were complaining about 25 degree weather when it was -25 in Indianapolis. That is a 50 degree drop in the temperature for you mathematicians. Marinate on that for a moment. I'll wait ...

I do understand that temperature is relative, so I will give you ATLiens a pass (as well as anyone else living in the South who wears shorts on Christmas day). The body can handle a 10 degree increase in temperature much better than it can handle a 5 degree drop in temperature, so I get it. You're cold. Every body is cold. I even posted this fun article on the 20 Cities That Can Complain About the Cold. It acknowledges the polar vortex and the fact that Al Gore had it all wrong about global warming (I may have added that last part). Warm deez.

This post is not directed at the citizens of the Atlanta metropolitan area or Southerners who don't have a warm coat. This post is dedicated to the Georgia state government, the Atlanta metro area government and how they did everything wrong. 

First, lets lose the excuse that "we don't get weather like this." That is all the more reason for you to proceed with an abundance of caution. You don't know how to handle it and neither do your citizens. From what I saw on national news and social media, the roads were in horrible condition. I know that I have complained about the inadequate road conditions here in Indianapolis, but at least they were passable. The roads in Atlanta were iced over and impassable. The Atlanta metro government left their citizens to fend for themselves on icy roads. They saw the forecast and that the temperature 30 or so hours later would be back above 45 degrees; therefore deciding to let Mother Nature clear the roads. But here's the gotcha, Atlanta: you are a commuter city and you have to deal with the people on the roads right now. The majority of your citizens travel more than 30 - 40 miles to/from work. You put 6 million people at risk because "we don't get weather like this." Girl, what?! (clearly I've been listening to The Read too much). I heard it took people 6 - 18 hours to get home. You can almost drive through Texas in 18 hours. I can't even imagine. 

From Jemele Hill's Facebook page "How does this happen in 2014?"

What the Atlanta and Georgia state government should have done was  (because you don't get weather like this) issue a travel warning for essential travel only and when the storm hit, upgrade it to emergency vehicles only. This way your people are sufficiently warned not to travel and doing so will put themselves in danger. They are also alerted of the serious nature of this storm. No one seemed to know the  danger they were about to face. It's like the entire city, all at once, looked at their respective time pieces (S/O to Chi Chi Omega) at 12:45 pm and said "Oh yeah, that storm was supposed to hit at 1 pm today. Let me go on home." Well here's another gotcha: none of you accounted for traffic. And how could you? Your city officials did not sufficiently warn you about the danger of the storm, nor did they let you in on the little secret that they were not going to treat the roads. The city of Atlanta (and metro area) failed its citizens yesterday, epically. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal should be ashamed of himself. These decisions should not have been placed on Mayor Kasim Reed to deal with alone. The city of Atlanta is small. The Atlanta metropolitan area is huge. The entire metro area should be all BP-Oil-Spill-Obama: "I need to know who's ass to kick."
For shame
The biggest tragedy of the Atlanta snowmaggedan came in their decision not to close schools. Let me get this straight ... Last week you closed the schools for the day because the temperature dropped into the teens, with a 5 - 7 degree wind chill. I get it you didnt want the kiddos waiting at the bus stop in frigid temps and riding to school with no heat on the bus. Faced with 3 inches of snow and icy roads that started during the school day, you don't deem it necessary to make the kids stay home. Who is making these decisions, Atlanta? They are failing you. Children are being left behind. I heard a school of 1,800 kids was stranded and had to sleep on the gym floor. The buses couldn't make it from the depot (or wherever they go during the day) back to the school to pick the kids up. Then you tell the parents to come pick up their children. What makes you think that Stacey's mom can get to her in the mini van if the buses can't? Many heads should roll for this. Governor Deal, I'm looking at you.

Meanwhile, 300 miles south east in Charleston, South Carolina (my home town), the Holy City was faced with the same weather forecast. The only difference is that the storm was expected to hit Charleston at 5 pm instead of 1 pm (Jack Bauer 24 voice). Charleston city officials, unlike Atlanta, did everything right. 

Hey, Boo. Hey
  • First, the Governor got involved. Then she declared a state of emergency. This essentially allows for federal funding to support preventative and relief efforts for the entire area. Individual cities and local mayors can now work together to protect their citizens. This also rids you of the excuse "we don't get weather like this." Declaring a state of emergency acknowledges that very statement and puts a plan in place to do something about it.
  • The Governor closed all government offices on the day of the storm (to prevent citizens from getting caught in evening rush hour traffic when the storm was supposed to hit) and the day after the storm (because they knew they couldn't adequately treat the roads this kept people off the roads until Mother Nature could do her thing a day later). Are you reading this Atlanta? Take notes.
  • The Governor closed all schools the day the storm was supposed to hit and the day after. This takes the responsibility off individual school boards to decide whether or not they should close, delay or end early. The Governor took the heat for that. She made the decision so if parents got mad, they can come for Governor Haley's wig. But don't come for her unless she sends for you. She ain't got time.
  • I found out earlier today, that schools will also be closed on Thursday because overnight lows will be in the teens and Mother Nature won't be able to do her job unthawing the city until midday.
  • She closed the bridges. We all know that bridges (and overpasses) ice before the roads. It's colder up there. Not only did she close the bridges, but she let everyone know at what time she was going to close the bridges. This gives the private sector and everyone else time to plan accordingly.
Charleston, had a plan. Atlanta did not. This meme explains it all ...

One bright spot in this whole ordeal was a story a co-worker told me today about her friend who was stuck in traffic in Atlanta. After several hours of not moving, she realized that she may have to sleep in her car. So she calls her husband to give him the update. He confirms her location and hangs up. Oh, but that was not the end. He put on his boots, hat, gloves, scarf, threw a bag over his shoulder and walked 10 miles to find his wife. They were able to move her car to a nearby convenience store parking lot and grab a few more supplies. Together, they walked the 10 miles back to their home. Bae was like, tha hell my wife is gonna spend the night in her car on the side of the road without me. Dude was not playing. Just a few years ago he made them vows in front of God and their family to be there for better or for worse. I heard people roasted them on Facebook calling out their newlywed behaviors. Can you sit your bitter, lonely, unhappy ass down. This man took his vows seriously, and how the heck was he supposed to sleep knowing his wife is stuck in her car by herself? The Georgia Dome has 71, 228 seats for you to choose from:

So what did y'all think of this situation? Anyone from Atlanta want to share their experience? Midwest / Northeast peeps feel free to chime in too. Did I miss something?


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hair Salon Dilemma

So yeah, I am failing on my resolution to blog more. I am doing great on the others, but this blogging once a week thing ... not so much. Anyway, I want to share a story.

I hate black hair salons. Passionately. Why can't I find a hair dresser who does a good job AND doesn't make me spend all day in the salon? Is that too much to ask in 2014? Here's the story ...

I took a day off after a long work trip to run some errands, go to the doctor and get my hair done. When I tell you my kitchen was the struggle ... I schedule my hair appointment at 9:30 am and a doctor's appointment at 2. Should be plenty of time to do both (so I thought). I pull up to the hair salon, walk through a few inches of snow on the ground only to find that the door is locked and the lights are off. I look at my watch and realize that I am actually 20 minutes late. I had to drive much slower due to the deplorable road conditions (that's a story for another day). I go back to my car and notice that another woman is also waiting in her car. So we wait. Do you know this fool did not show up until 10:15? Ten. Fifteen. My appointment was 45 minutes ago. Thank God I was late and didn't arrive 10 minutes early like I usually do because there is no way in hell I would have waited an hour. Mind you it is 5 degrees outside, so I had to wait in my car, wasting my gas for this fool to stroll in late.

I go into the salon and he is taking his sweet ass time getting set up. By this time there are four of us waiting. Two that needed a wash and set and two more that needed a touch up, including myself. Of course he takes care of the wash & set ladies first to get them under the dryer. I don't get into his chair until 11 am. F'ing 90 minutes after my appointment was supposed to start. He starts chatting me up and shooting the breeze, asking me where I've traveled lately. Never once does he mention why he was late or apologize.

He takes care of my perm and gets me under the dryer. Every few minutes I keep looking at my watch, knowing that I am going to have to leave soon. While I am under the dryer he has to leave to go "take care of something real quick."Ugh! Im frustrated, but lady #4 had to be especially frustrated because he still hasn't touched her hair yet. It is now approaching noon and she and I walked in the door together at 10:15 when his late behind finally showed up.

He finally comes back about 20 minutes later and gets started on #4. As he's finishing up the first lady, my dryer has finished and I am steady looking at my watch like we ain't gonna make it. I absolutely have to leave at 1:15 to give myself time to drive back downtown and arrive a little early to my doctor's appointment. IU Health is serious about their disdain for lateness and I wasn't trying to get caught up. If you are 15 or more minutes late they will make you reschedule your appointment and they will charge you a no-show fee of up to $50. Now this fool is really playing with my money. He wasted my money in gas waiting in the car for half an hour and now he's trying to dip into my HSA. Oh hell naw.

As the clock quickly approaches 1 pm, I pull out my check book and write out a check for the amount I think I should pay for this service. Usually, I ask "how much do I owe ya?" And then I add a  fairly generous tip. Not this time. This time he was gonna get what he got and I dared him to question it. Say something I don't like. Sensing my urgency, he asks what time my doctor's appointment was. I tell him the time and politely let him know that I have to go. He asks "you got time for a little curl?" Me: "No. Just cut the back and trim my ends." He does, then again insists that he put a little curl in it. "Sir, I do not have time. Had you shown up on time, then maybe, but now I have to go." So I begrudgingly hand him the check and go get my coat. He gives my a hug like he always does after my appointment and quietly says "Sorry about that sweetie." Sorry about what?! About strolling your ass in here an hour late? About not saying boo about it? About leaving for 20 minutes when you are already way behind? I mean there are so many reasons and I need you to name them all. People are gonna stop thinking they can give this blanket "I'm sorry" BS apologies. Own up to your sh*t. Don't just run around saying I'm sorry just to do the same thing over again because you don't really even know what you are sorry for in the first place. Ugh! Four and a half hours later I am still looking like the struggle (less of a struggle, but a struggle nonetheless) and have to walk out of the salon wearing the same baseball cap I arrived in. Girl, what?!

Now I don't know what to do about going back to this salon. I am very very busy and travel a lot. Sometimes I am only in town for 72 hours and I have to use that time wisely. Tell me where I have time for foolishness (s/o to JB for that gem). I am hesitant to make another appointment, but I know in a few weeks I'm going need to see somebody. My schedule in February is absolutely insane and this BS cannot happen again. I think there is a stretch where I am only in town for 48 hours at a time so there is no room for foolish error. I know that if I decide to go back that I have to tell him how unacceptable this situation was. I would have told him that day, but I  truly did not have time. I had to get out of there to get to my doctor's appointment on time. This is the third hair salon I have been to in this city so I really don't want to go through another change in salons, but I can't tolerate this kind of treatment. This fool also has the nerve to ask me to send my friends/co-workers his way (not during this particular visit, but in others). Tha hell if I'm gonna expose my people to this. They are just as busy as I am and there is no way I can honestly recommend him to someone else. What do I look like subjecting a referral to horrible service.

The bright side of it all is that I was able to get a workout in that afternoon because my hair clearly wasn't done so I wasn't ruining my style by sweating in the gym.

So what do y'all think I should do? I need some help on this one cause these naps are returning by the day.

And for all of you natural-haired sistas who are about to tell me that I can solve this problem by going natural, you may keep your seats and that advice. Not gonna happen.

What say you?

PS, someone please caption that photo. I can only imagine what was going through their minds when this picture was taken.