As many of you have probably noticed, I’ve taken the week off! It’s been a bit of a struggle the last few weeks because work has been so crazy and in typical Oklahoma fashion, it’s a mountain of effort in order to accomplish even the most mundane of tasks. What could have possibly made my life so complicated the last few weeks? Well I’m glad you asked!
One of the big reasons I’ve felt so behind and out of sorts is due to flipping my schedule around multiple times a week. My normal night time RN shifts are 7p to 7a which can make it difficult to accomplish simple things that other people may take for granted such as going to the bank, shopping for groceries, taking the dog to the vet, etc. Well, now that I think about it, there’s not much of a reason to go to the bank anymore now that I can use my bank app to take a picture of any checks that I’m sent and deposit them that way. But you get the picture!
This particular incident revolved around me attempting to get my garage door fixed. Sounds pretty simple right? WRONG! In order to even call the agency I rent my house from, I have to call them at the earliest by 9 AM. If I’m lucky they pick up, but I can usually get in touch with someone by 9:30 or so. After that they refer me on to a garage door specialist who is supposed to call me “sometime in the day”. Oh awesome that sounds great, I’ll just sit around and wait for a phone call because I don’t want to be sleeping right now and did I mention that my car is currently stuck in the garage? Because it is!
In order to keep some semblance of sanity, I operate on a night time schedule 24-7. Sometimes RN’s are requires to change their shifts around, but that’s becoming less and less common because so many mistakes are attributed to sleep deprivation. Even the RN’s that voluntarily change their schedules usually complain about feeling like a zombie for a day or two after doing it, and even then it’s usually accomplished with the help of lots of caffeine and some type of sleep aid, neither of which I’m anxious to do.
So here’s how it ended up panning out:
Week 1 – I contact rental agency and they refer me to garage door guy who never gets in contact with me. I have 4 days every week to make something happen and if it isn’t done by Thursday it definitely isn’t happening on a work day when I’m pulling 12 hour shifts.
Week 2 – I call garage door guy back and we play phone tag for the next several days. He makes vague promises about call times and falls through on all of them. Who would’ve thought.
Week 3 – I call the rental agency and explain that we’re approaching the better part of the month that my car is stuck in my garage and I cannot for the life of me get a hold of the garage door person. To the rental agency’s credit, they call the garage door guy and somehow managed to get him over that day and within 30m he has fixed my door. Yay for having a car and being able to sleep on a regular schedule again.
I should also mention that in the midst of this my rental agency called me (or rather someone did) and claimed that I had to renew my lease for another year. Due to just recently obtaining a year of experience under my belt I’ve been shopping around for other opportunities and in no way intend on staying here longer than I have to. So why am I frustrated? Because my contract states that when my lease expires it moves to month to month. I verified this with a different individual at the office much to the chagrin of her associate who sits across the hall.
Leases here are very restrictive/inclusive because there’s a lot of shitty people that live in this town. I’m used to signing a lease for a set amount of time, and if you wish to terminate said lease early, you either pay a small fee or forfeit your security deposit (also usually a small fee). That’s not the way it works here. If you sign up for a year you WILL pay for a year, and if you move out you continue paying rent until someone else moves in or until your lease expires, whichever comes first.
As if this wasn’t enough, work has been very taxing lately for all the reasons that I was skeptical of moving to Oklahoma for in the first place. I’d love to go in detail and bitch all day but that’s just not very ethical IMO.
You know, whether it’s work, or getting the garage door out here, buying a new mattress, finding a new muffler for my car, buying furniture, or even going to a restaurant, everything is affected by how people choose to live. By that I mean the quality of life here in OK is so god damn low that their baseline for happiness is nearly non-existent as far as I’m concerned.
It’s par for the course to get jerked around seemingly anywhere you go. It comes across as no one really caring about well…anything. Most people treat life and work as just a job and cannot possibly be bothered to do anything less than the absolute minimum. Fuck, even then that’s often times asking too much.
Once in a while (usually after I’ve been fed up for a bit) I’ll ask people at work if they seem the same things I do and or if this is normal. Every single time I get back the same response: “Yea but that’s just the way it is”. They don’t have a problem with it because that’s just how life is. We both see the same issues, but they’re not upset by them. Furthermore, while I’m hesitant to generalize my local contact as indicative of the rest of the South, I’m told by my other associates that this is fairly normal and is definitely the norm for military towns.
In the Pacific NW, the South is such a joke. Insults can often be heard labeling someone as “so stupid they must be from the South”. Most of us had never been there, but we all knew its reputation (and the Texas state school board’s view on evolution and textbooks). I knew that there was probably some degree of validity to the statements but as to what extent, who could really say?
After having lived here for 1 full year, I can honestly say I would never encourage someone to move here. Ever. For any reason. One caveat is that I have heard good stories about Austin TX and my co-workers who grew up in the South describe it as being a foreign entity and not belonging over here. Sounds promising.
You know, if you take a step back and look at life from the super big picture stance, even life in the South isn’t that bad. It could always be much worse and my brief stint in the Military taught me to be thankful for things we usually take for granted such as being alive, freedom, food, love, relationships, etc.
With that being said, it’s hard to look around and find a reason why anyone would want to live here. It’s not frowned upon to be racist, homophobic, and very close minded concerning science and religion. You’re not the social pariah that you might be if you lived in a more liberal area. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many churches or met so many people who had children when they were teenagers. According to the younger people I’ve spoken with, it’s very normal to have a large amount of HS classmates that have children and watch them marry as teenagers as well.
Poverty here is a much bigger issue than anything I’ve come across before. Worker wages are just abysmally low. To put it in some perspective, the RN wages at my hospital eventually cap out at a certain amount. That amount is based on experience, and after 10 or 12 years experience (I can’t remember which), you will have reached the zenith of your pay scale. That particular plateau is about $5 less than the minimum basic starting pay for just about any RN job in Oregon. In other words, a 21-22 year old nurse who just graduated in Oregon will be making substantially more than a 35-40 year old nurse with 10-15 years experience in Oklahoma. There are of course exceptions to the rule, but they are exceptions and not the norm.
Scenery, attractions, and things to do. There’s not a lot of them over here. You want to surf in Oregon? You can do that. You want to go hiking along the gorge and see some of the most beautiful trails and scenery in the world? Join the rest of the legions who do it on a weekly basis. Maybe Wind Surfing is your ticket because we have one of the best spots in existence. If that doesn’t cut it, you can always head up to the mountain.
If I didn’t play video games I don’t know what I’d be doing here for funsies. It has been brought up more than a few times at work that doing drugs and knocking boots are what a lot of the kids do for fun because it’s basically a desolate wasteland without any form of entertainment. When I grew up I routinely got lost exploring the forests surrounding my house and fantasized about living in the forts I built with my friends. As far as I know that is not an option here.
While I’m not moving out of OK just yet, I’m very excited at the prospect of moving somewhere else but I am thankful for the perspective that living here over the last year has provided. 4 seasons, a plethora of outdoor activities, culturally varied and distinct food, increased wages, and a liberal society are all things I’ve grown to miss. And you know, while I’m not the smartest person in the world, I don’t think of myself as the world’s biggest mongoloid either. I treasured all of these things while I lived in Portland. I knew that they didn’t exist in other places. However, I didn’t know what it was like to live without them and since living in OK the past year, I do now.
I don’t know where I want to go or even what I want to do next. I know geographically speaking it’s more beneficial to live Centrally if you want to play vidya games though! Not that it really matters because there’s no such thing as a competitive FPS anymore but I digress. I’ll let you guys know when I hear something back!