Rumors

During my initial Red Cross orientation sessions, they stressed how important it was to avoid spreading rumors. Especially in a Mass Care/Sheltering environment, where the situation is fluid and people’s lives are discombobulated, it is vital that only valid information be passed on. So the first thing I noticed when I got to SeaBee base is that we volunteers exchange a lot of “information.” The only thing is the caliber of that info seems questionable. Here’s just a small sample:

Someone stole an ERV to sell for drugs • Someone got arrested stealing a box truck loaded with supplies • Each Red Cross meal costs us $8 • Someone insisted on being an ERV driver even though none were needed, and refused to do other work. They were turned right around and sent back to the airport an hour after they arrived. • Someone got sent home for having sex in a Port-a-Potty • Because of flooding in the Northeast, they’re sending volunteers from the Gulf Coast to New Jersey and New York • Someone spent all their three-week $900 cash allotment before he left home. He used part of it to get a $300 tattoo • Someone was told to withdraw all their $900 in cash, and then their wallet was stolen at the airport • Someone got a pedicure and a manicure with their Red Cross card • Someone went AWOL from SeaBee for three days and ran up $20,000 in fraudulent credit card charges • One guy at the base doesn’t have any duties at all and just sleeps in his cot all day • They’re shooting at Red Cross workers in New Orleans • Kitchen 7 is closing and they’ll be sending their remaining people to Kitchen 35. (That last one was true.)

About joshcomix
Brooklyn-based cartoonist specializing in nonfiction comics about topics like Hurricane Katrina, the media, travel, and finance.

8 Responses to Rumors

  1. man_size says:

    Sex in a Port-a-Potty would be my FEAR FACTOR stunt!

    • 4_eyez says:

      today Tony (the ex-Marines medic and long-time Red Cross volunteer from West Virginia) told me he’d heard 13 people had been sent home for the sex-in-a-port-a-potty stunt.
      that means either there was a threesome going on or someone got caught playing with themselves

      [ Tony (and Kay)]

      • man_size says:

        First of all: those two people pictured look like they’re 5-minutes away from having sex in a Port-a-Potty!
        Second of all: WHY A PORT-A-POTTY? Aren’t people more clever than that? What is WRONG with people?

      • 4_eyez says:

        first of all: HAW!!!
        second: i am with you 100%. the only thing i can think of is that the potties are the ONLY places here at base with any privacy WHATSOEVER. if you tried to sneak off our designated barracks/warehouse area, you’d be in danger of being arrested and/or shot.
        so what’s a little smell and sludge when it comes down to that?

  2. alibi_shop says:

    Meant to say earlier, I think it’s stupendously good and interesting that you’re doing this – I mean, both going to do the work, and writing these updates. And not just for the gossip, but thanks for that too.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Rumors
    we had all kinds of crazy rumors floating around the shelters everyday. The biggest one I remember was in the week following the hurricane Pres. Bush flew over the disaster areas and spent a few minutes glad handing Biloxi residents. Well all of the sudden the clients in my shelter were bugging out. Someone had started the rumor that Bush had flown over our shelter, knew all of the names of the clients in the shelter, and would be sending all of them $500 each.
    I mean, they REALLY believed it and they were really let down when we tracked down the source and squashed it.
    So have you been to any shelters recently? Are they still full?
    Im enjoying your journal. We felt really sad to leave Mississippi and we still miss it a bit.

    • 4_eyez says:

      Re: Rumors
      Man, that is a crazy one? Who would believe it? Desperate people, man… Whew
      I’m ashamed to say I have not been to a single shelter. From what I here they are very depressing and there isn’t much to do (for volunteers or residents). Seems that some have closed down but the ones that are open still have a lot of people. Some folks have been waiting for FEMA trailers for many weeks now, with no sense when they’ll actually get them.
      I’m really enjoying the Mississippeans I’ve met here too. I’m really going to miss them and their gentle accents and polite ways.

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