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Monday, October 10, 2005


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Janet Edens

Disrespect is the tool of the authoritarian. It's the aura of the right these days: We are the leaders, you are the followers. It's for your own good because we are just better.

The smaller the mind, the more it relishes authority. The superior man knows that to lead is to serve.

To see such a lack of character and enlightenment in an organization like the Red Cross is sad. Hang in there, sweetie. I'm impressed with your restraint.


Hope this doesn't cause a guilt trip, but your information is useful to all of us who think about donating money after a disaster. Yours is not the only report of the Red Cross doing a poor job.

The most galling part is the lack of respect. Volunteer to help, then get yelled at?

I'm impressed you're still there.

Jean McGreggor

I admire your patience. I'm glad that you are posting here and I sincerly hope your experance gets spread as far as possable. Have you considered documenting this raging ineptitude?

Janet Edens

jean is right. spread the word. i commented on effect measure about your experience. keep up the good work.


As far as documenting the "raging ineptitude"...well, I thought that's what I was doing here. ;) I haven't created a play-by-play list of them. one, I'm not sure I could put up with things if I did, and also because I do understand that some of these things are to be expected, and if I made a specific list I'd have to sort out every single incident as appropriate or inappropriate.

Katrina is the biggest catastrophe that the American Red Cross has ever faced, bar none. The fact that we have multiple shelters open 5 weeks after a disaster is unheard of - normally victims are moved at the very least to hotels and then on to apartments as quickly as possible. The sheer numbers of victims, however, has lengthened processing times (even though the paperwork has actually been shortened for Katrina is the interest of efficiency) We are flying by the seat of our pants at the moment.


This is very interesting for me because I'm one of the flood of volunteers who joined ARCBA (Red Cross-Bay Area) after Katrina, hoping to be deployed. I've got a bag half-packed (the weather's clearly going to be very different than expected if they ever send me), I've got my cheap novels lined up... and I've stopped warning people that I might disappear at any moment, because it looks like I'm not going anywhere.

But at least I know that from the comfort of my own home. I feel for you! Good luck.

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