You all probably thought this was over, right? WRONG. It’s been awhile since I posted anything here about our friend The Necromancer. A post by @Kim who wrote this post reminded me of something I hadn’t gotten to yet, and I told her I would. I won’t retell the events of what happened to get us to this point in the journey, as those are documented here for anyone that needs to catch up or wants to re-read them. Fast forward to March 2006, and I will tell you where we begin this, the last entry into post-Katrina hell.
We had finally managed to get out of the hotel where we lived for about 5 months. We were the only ones left. Anyone else that evac’d with us were able to go back their houses or somewhere else. Not us. We got to enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas AND a Happy Fucking New Year in our little hotel rooms. We had spent most of the winter driving back and forth to NOLA daily to clear out the contents and throw everything on the street. Once done, it was time to finally look for a new job. I was dreading the prospect of having to return to retail management. It had almost killed me once (heart attack at 39 woohoo!!!), and I thought I had moved into a new career. Well I had, but you will recall that They were just a bunch of fucktards. (I was able to find an ad for an industry I had never been involved in before, and decided to take a leap. I am still in that industry today, and wished I had found it 10 years earlier.) We were finally able to get out of the hotel and into a house to rent. BTW, you know how many people say NO when you tell them you want to rent with your cats. We finally got VERY lucky and found an older farmhouse IN the city that would rent to us. It was heaven. Ok it WASN’T a hotel. People we knew really wanted to help us if they could.
“What do you need?” a friend asked.
“What do you have?” I asked him.
“Uhm, no seriously,” he replied. “What do you need?”
“Do you have a phone? Cause we don’t have one yet. Oh,” I continued, “How about a spoon? We don’t have one of those either.”
I laughed, and he did too. “Point taken,” he said.
Finally we had enough of what we needed to start feeling normal again. Whatever normal would now be. And then it was time to get with FEMA to get the disaster assistance rolling. They had a program for rental assistance which would greatly help us so that we could start rebuilding since all I had was our savings which was going…and going…and going. As you can imagine, there was A LOT of paperwork to deal with, and it was very confusing. I finally got everything together, but still couldn’t get things moving. It took calls to one of our Senator’s office to finally break the stalemate and we started to receive the checks for rental assistance. For three months. Then they stopped. So I called…and called…and left messages. I had changed NOTHING in this time to make them stop. I sent all the monthly required documents ahead of time every time. Did that matter? Nnnnnoooooooo!!!
So, of course, I called FEMA to see what was going on. I spent about 30 minutes IN CONVERSATION with one of their highly trained and incredibly sympathetic representatives. Ok, wait. Let me see if I can say that again with less sarcasm and without vomiting a little in the back of my throat. Nope…can’t do it. We went round and round with her telling me what I needed to send, referring to all the original documentation proving we qualified in the first place. Then me telling her they had all that as her records clearly indicated we had been receiving these benefits.
Her final sentence. The last thing I heard her say before almost put a phone through a wall was the following. I do not paraphrase. I quote.
“Well, sir. I guess you just don’t need the money that bad.”
I am going to let that sink in for a moment. And the next time you feel screwed by the government feel free to tell people…
“Yep. They royally fema’d me. I can’t recall the last time I’ve been fema’d that bad.”