It has been a tough week for residents of Detroit and suburbs including Warren, Royal Oak, Huntington Woods, Berkley, and Pleasant Ridge, among others.
For those of us who run small businesses and own homes and have kids and partners, we have learned lots of lessons, some painful. Here are just a few:
- Social media is really helpful. We could post on Facebook or Twitter when our contractors were great and getting ready to be done on a job and get them instant referrals. We could ask questions of our neighbors about how to proceed or seek advice.
- Sometimes social media isn’t helpful at all. The contractors (plumbers, restoration people, furnace and a/c repairmen) aren’t necessarily 24-7 operators. They are not using text messages and email, but instead utilize one lady in an office somewhere to facilitate all of the calls and all of the questions and she doesn’t know everything (who does?) So, we were back to being stuck to our phone and stuck at home.
- We can’t find all of the answers online. We delude ourselves into believing that if we search in just the right way, we can find “the answer”. But the questions we were asking like “How much is this going to cost me?”, “Will insurance cover anything?”, “Who is the best person to repair this problem?”, “What tasks are the highest priority?” were really complicated and were on a dreaded case by case basis. We still have questions, are forming partial answers and none of it is a result of search engine optimization.
- We needed our land line. The cell phone would die or we would be waiting for a call on it, and the land line came in handy. Truthfully, we were thinking of ditching the land line. Need to rethink that one.
- Our home office was neither. We tried to gather around in the kitchen with our computers and get work done, but the basement was destroyed, so all the kids were up here too, and the contractors kept calling and nothing was easy. So, the office wasn’t an office and the home wasn’t a home.
- We all cried about different things. We cried about wedding dresses ruined, while the boys cried about losing their xbox man caves and the kid whose clothes were on the floor cried about that, and the parents fought about the money while the sons and daughters did internal calculations as to which of their belongings were not going to be considered essential anymore.
- It is just stuff. We know that it’s not life and death. And we are trying to keep some perspective. But it is disruptive, and it was smelly, and it makes our homes more chaotic, and decreases our personal space, and the multiple decisions that we already make as parents and homeowners and workers and citizens are now dizzying in number and scope. And our family and friends are awesome and we’re all in this together!