Red Cross Staging Area

I’ve been at the other location for a while now. Essentially Red Cross has taken over the parking lot of a mini-mall and is using it for a staging area. It’s amazing the number of people in cars who have come into the parking and been pissed off to find all this disruption in their daily routines. I actually heard one woman tell a Red Cross worker that she only wanted to go to CVS, she didn’t want to have to deal with all these trucks and these people running around on forklifts. The Red Cross worker, bless her soul, kindly told the woman that she was sorry for the inconvenience. One of the truck drivers, though, true to form, said to another driver in a loud voice, “yeah, you’d think a hurricane had come through her or something the way these people are loitering about and getting in the way.” Sometimes you just have to love truck drivers.
I’ve been sitting here in the truck watching the straight trucks pull out. Essentially what Red Cross is doing is pulling freight off of our big trucks and loading them onto straight trucks for distribution. From the looks of things, they’re wasting no time in doing it, either. There’s been a steady stream of straight trucks leaving from this parking lot since I got here this morning. From all I’ve experience at the hands of the Red Cross, I just find it stunning that Conservatives said so many nasty things about the Red Cross when they critized the treatment of prisoners in Gitmo. Yeah. Those communists pinkos. Right now all I keep thinking is that if the people I’ve met are Commie Pinkos, then thank God for the Commie Pinkos.
I wish there was some way to express my admiration for these people. They’re out in the bright sun, pulling skids to the end of trucks with chains because they have no dock. There are young men inside the trailers maneuvering skids, drenched to the bone in sweat because of the heat. There are people running around desperately trying to find somewhere to put all this freight until they can get it loaded onto straight trucks and sent out to where it’s needed. And all through it, I’ve heard not one complaint. I’ve seen a lot of smiling faces. I’ve seen a lot of hand-shaking. A lot of people asked me if I needed anything; a bottle of water, or a meal.
It breaks my heart to see so many Americans sitting on their fat asses in their air-conditioned houses, pontificating about the decay of morality in this country and New Orleans getting a just punishment for its wicked ways. I’m about 40 miles from New Orleans, where bodies still float in the water. And luckily, for every opinion spouting nutjob with a political agenda who does so much damage to my faith in humanity, there has been a Red Cross worker offering a cold bottle of water and a smile. Personally, I would prefer to think that we as a species are more like the latter than the former.
I’m desperate to believe that.

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