Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's not the Heat, It's the Stupidity

Yesterday, I, great lover of all things cold and snowy, was enthusiastically investigating moving to the desert. I received an email about a job with one of my favorite environmental groups which happens to have its main office in Arizona. My experience was a great match for the job, and looking through the bios and photos of the staff made me feel excited about working with them for an organization which I believe does great work.

My mind started racing through things I wanted to check out before emailing my resume: their local newspapers, cost of apartments, vegetarian restaurants and grocers,
the temperature (I'd let that wait til last), neighborhoods, transportation.

First I had to see where the office was on a city map ... hmm, on the outskirts of town. That doesn't look promising. A city tourism site gave me the name of the local public transportation system but not a link (lots of links to airlines though) so I had to find it on my own. When their system map loaded I didn't see the area I was looking for ... back to check the office location again, map comparison 101, yes, public transportation stops several miles short of where I want to go in 101 degree heat. End of fantasy.

I'm not going to name the group because I'm not trying to bash them and because unfortunately, it's very typical. We all know politicians, ex-politicians, rock stars, movie stars, gurus, environmentalists, who fly around the world telling people to conserve and live simply. They not only don't walk the walk, they take private jets. But wait, you say, if they were not traveling and making everyone aware of these issues, if they were ecohermit saints denouncing civilization like you, no one would have heard of them or even know about the issues and how could anyone solve the problems? To which I can only say, how can anyone solve the problem by being the problem?

Of course, cities in the desert are a stupid idea anyway. No offense to my friends who live there; where I live is also a stupid place to live year round. But if you're going to be an environmental group in a city in the desert, don't you have some responsibilities? Now, it could be that their office is a new super-green building which was built out of dead cacti and old tires and recycles all its waste. To which, if it was built on a scrap of "undeveloped" land, I holler bullshit! And no matter how it was built, there's simply no excuse for such an office to not be on public transportation.

Despite my renewed disappointment in the society out there, yesterday's events did have a positive side for me. Between my increasing age and decreasing finances, things have been getting wearisome lately, but the enthusiasm I felt yesterday let me know that there might still be one fresh start left in me. No idea how I'll get there (though I do guarandamntee it won't be by private jet), but accepting that we never know what's coming next is what keeps it interesting.


Stephanie said...

Uggghhh. How frustrating! And absurdly ironic.

I'm sorry this one didn't work out; I hope the next one will.

Lisa J. said...

Of course, cities in the desert are a stupid idea anyway. No offense to my friends who live there; None taken! I didn't build Vegas!

speaking as someone who made a "fresh start" out in the desert, I was surprised by the transition from New England to the southwest. The attitudes out here are fresher in many ways. The abundant sunshine keeps spirits high...

But, for us it wasn't the "place" we chose, but that we did it. We could have thrown a dart at the map, but picked a place where we already knew someone.

Well, if you were this excited about just a prospect, then that's a great sign! Do it while your guts are still up.