A storm blowing in


There’s a storm blowing in. Storms have been blowing in all over the place, within and without. I’ve been thinking that Mother Nature’s storms are pointing the finger at our own storms, making us take notice.

Rumor has it that insurance companies are no longer paying out replacement value on claims submitted, specifically the claims filed as a result of the tornadoes in Alabama. Those who lost everything will see only a fraction of the cost to rebuild their homes and their lives. When did this change happen? Unknown. The insurance companies spliced it into the small print and no one noticed. You no longer get what you pay for, and there is no longer the peace of mind that an insurance policy is supposed to provide.

I met a young man yesterday that signed on with one of the many natural gas companies. The understanding is that he would work three weeks straight, then have a week off to come home to his pregnant wife. Two and a half months go by and no week off. He said others on his crew got their week off, twice, but he was denied every time he asked. A few days ago, he said he had a mental breakdown while driving alone in the middle of nowhere. A coworker pulled him out of the truck and hugged him. Finally, he walked off the job and came home to his wife.

I met a woman yesterday, very prim and proper, who said she and her husband could no longer tolerate her boss’s comments and notes about her choice of dress. It seems to be a new thing, something that’s come up in the last three months out of the seven years she worked for this man. Suddenly, the boss is offering to give her money to go out and buy new clothes – as long as she mentions it to no one. She kept her arms crossed in front, her upper arms held tight to her ribs, her shoulders hunched up. Something tells me there may have been more going on than what she told me about.

What other ways have common decency and civil rights disappeared? No more 40-hour work week, no more overtime paid for anything over 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. No more expectation of protection from harassment in the workplace. If you take a day off, you’re fired. If you expect what is coming to you, you’re out of luck.

We take it. There’s no choice. If you want to protect your belongings, you pay the insurance premiums and accept the little given back if you should need to file a claim. There’s no choice if you want money coming in, no matter how little you are paid for your hard work and long hours, no matter how much profit your boss reaps from your toil, to suffer the inhumane treatment. There are no choices. We take it.

Last month, Arkansas and Alabama. Two days ago, Missouri. Yesterday, Kansas and Oklahoma. Whole towns just wiped off the face of the Earth. Today, the storms are moving in here, in Arkansas again. Mother Nature’s fury reigns, a slap up-side our heads. Her children have been bad; they need chastising and punishment, and there is no sparing the rod or spoiling the child.

We don’t play well together and Mother Nature is well aware of it. There’s no way to run, nowhere to hide. The storm is blowing in. We will all pay for the crimes of the few. Shame on you.
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