Sunday, November 4, 2012

Wishful Thinking

I've been and will remain very busy this weekend, working at medical shelter/field triage facility. There I am surrounded by EMT's, nurses, and doctors who came from very far to help with hurricane relief. They are a pretty gun ho bunch, full of good will, and it has been reassuring to be around them  in that our society isn't doomed.

The locals like me share stories about the damage their homes sustained and the most common topic of concern for everyone is the gasoline shortage. Most people have exhausted their car reserve and are trying to get rides from others. I can get a ride from my hospital to this shelter in our official shuttle. So I asked the driver where he got his gasoline. I thought that there might be special pumps for emergency vehicles, and there might be, but in this case he was just as unfortunate as the rest of us. He has 2 vehicles at his disposal. One is out of gas and the one we were riding in, his co-worker spent 6 hours waiting on line to gas up.  One of our affiliated hospitals does have a pump for their own vehicles but they have refused to help with our vehicles, and in this shortage, I can see why.

When I got home yesterday, I heard all sorts of rumors from people. One rumor was of a special location where NY transit employees would be rationed 5 gallons of gasoline per day; someone wasted several gallons driving there only to find out that this story was untrue. Other people talk of out of the way locations where there is gas easily available but these locations are pretty far out of reach and don't seem real to me. Who has enough fuel to drive somewhere for several hours anymore?  Furthermore, each time a rumor starts I hear of someone who actually went to this facility only to find that they are out of gas.

Yesterday morning, I saw a 5 block long line of cars standing still. I recognized some of the people on this line as my neighbors. When I finally drove past the station, I saw a sign out front that said "NO GAS", but the cars weren't moving anywhere. They were parked along bus stops and everyone just sat there awaiting the next delivery.  I worked a 36 hour shift, and went to sleep as soon as I came home. In the evening I walked down the many flights of my building as the elevators were out of service, and will likely remain this way for the next week, and walked over to this gas station. The scene didn't change. Same cars were still standing there.

Soon I will be leaving for another 36 hour shift, and I have just enough gas for one more round trip to work.  Then, it will be election day and I really hope that afterwards things will change for the better.


Anonymous said...

Pooh, someone shared this site tracking gas supplies on stations in real time:
See if it helps.

Ex-Dissident said...

Thanks. I am very tired. When I got back to Brooklyn, I drove up to a station with several police distributing gas. I identified myself as a first-responder, told them I just finished a 36 hour shift and asked if I could fuel up. One of the guys checked my id and told me to park the car near a pump. I started to move the car around so that my gas tank was on the same side as the pump and his partner started screaming like a lunatic at me: "Since you cannot listen, then get the hell out of here or I will arrest you for disorderly conduct." Then, I drove home nearly on empty. I called work and explained that I can no longer commit to future shifts at the special medical needs shelter because I have no way to get there. I can use a vacation too. Fuck Bloomberg and his infantile thugs with attitude. He will have to clean up this mess without my help.

Ex-Dissident said...

Slept all night and I feel better. I guess we're all frustrated and young cops who can't handle stress take it out on those they run into. Will vote, and look for gas again today.

Will also make a mental note to avoid police presence.

NY streets are pretty mean these days and likely will only get worse in the near future.