Friday, September 19, 2008

IKE - Seeing the good and the bad in people.

Trying times tend to reveal a persons character. Mostly, the revelations I've seen have been resoundingly positive. Since IKE blew threw people have worked really hard around Clear Lake to support one another. It really has been neighbor helping neighbor and much has been accomplished. After the storm, with no power or water, neighbors began walking the streets and talking to one another. Often time for the first time since they had lived in their respective homes. Everyone seemed ready to pitch in and help at the drop of a hat.

The same went before the storm. Many people called me while I was in California to find out if I needed help securing my boat. Had I not been able to make it back I know it would have been as prepared as I was able to make it myself.

I've also been disappointed on more than a few occasions. The disappointments have come almost entirely from the marina management in which I live. I hate to say any of this considering I live here and life could get more difficult, but I think it needs to be said.

First, on Thursday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., 36 hours before the storm hit, the management turned off the power and water to the docks. When you are working your ass off in 90 degree heat, having water, electricity, and air conditioning allow you to get a difficult job done. I was astonished they would leave their residents high and dry.

Second, many boat owners knew that the slip they were in was not well protected enough to ensure they and their boats would make it through the storm. My marina is well known as the best hurricane hole on the Gulf Coast. If a boater wanted to weather the storm in a vacant slip, they only had to drop a non refundable two month rental deposit, on average around $900. It is not price gouging, as their website clearly states that there is a two month minimum. This still seems pretty heartless considering the storm that was bearing down on us.

Finally, the one that bothers me the most. The same guy owned both Sundance 1 & 2. Since Sundance 1 was wiped out by the storm surge some difficult decision had to be made. Unfortunately, a good friend of mine and the long time bartender at Sundance 2 was let go to make room for the staff from Sundance 1. Craig was a staple, a good friend, and one of the best bartenders I've ever known. Many of us will not be back until Craig returns.

A hurricane brings difficult times. How those difficulties are handled depends on the people who are working through them. I see individuals making incredible choices to help each other. I wish I saw more businesses looking after their people the same way.


Becca said...

Way better to be in Waterford than Watergate. The marina at Waterford had their offices running on generators and up and going 24 hours after the storm passed. Watergate had no one to be found (I posted some pictures on my blog and was contacted by boat owners that couldn't get a hold of the management). We had to move our boat since our slip was destroyed at Watergate and when we called Seabrook (where we already had a slip reserved prior to the storm), their management was still in New Branfeuls! We moved the boat to one of the last slips in Watergate, paid our rent, and probably will be there for a long time...

Steve said...

First of all, thanks for your blogging during the storm. I saw your youtube videos while evacuated, but didn't know about your blog until back after the storm.

I have a couple of thoughts about your post about waterford.

I heard (and it may not be true) that the time the power was shut off wasn't actually determined by the marina. My sources say that the called the power company to request the power be turned off and were given a large window of time when it would happen. The shutoff happened early in the window of time they were given.

As far as the employees, tough decisions have to be made when your businesses have been destroyed. I've been in that situation and know that it isn't possible to make decisions that don't affect people negatively. I'm not suggesting that they made the right decisions, but I can assure you that had they made the opposite decision, others would have been as upset as you. There just aren't any easy decisions when you have to cut staff.

More to the point, I couldn't be any more pleased with how quickly they have fixed things. When I got back, the ramp to my pier (17) was broken. It was fixed within hours. The restrooms are operable and being repaired. I think they did an admirable job.

I am truly sorry about your friend loosing his job, although hopefully it's short term.

We are so much more fortunate than most of the people around us as I know that you know.

Jesselyn said...

Where is Craig? It would be helpful if you would let us know where he is currently bartending.