Almost there...

Thursday, September 13, 2001

Okay, so maybe my brain isn't getting much better after all. Still having a really hard time concentrating today. I browsed over to Fucked Company and found a really well written piece by Pud (a local New Yorker) instead of the usual flippant trash talk. I'm going to post the text here since I haven't any idea how long it will be on FC.

Hi,

I want to offer my sincere condolences to anyone reading this who can't find, or has lost, a family member, relative, or friend.

"You have no idea what just happened, do you," she said.
Things certainly are different now. I don't have to tell you that the loss of a few hundred thousand jobs, people being mistreated by their employers is nothing in comparison to the events of September 11th, 2001.

I've been living in a somewhat secluded hotel room in New York City for the past few weeks, writing. I woke up that fateful morning when one of my friends called me.


The first thing I noticed was the smell of burning. You know, that smell where you walk around the place and look for something, an oven maybe, you might have left on.

"You have no idea what just happened, do you," she said.
Next thing I did was turn on the TV. Soon as I figured it out, I tried calling my parents and my older brother. Couldn't get through.

I walked outside. Being about two miles from the scene, I took the stairs instead of the elevator.

All roads around me were closed except for emergency vehicles. Most of the people I saw walking around looked shocked, but the kind of shocked where they almost looked like zombies, blank and expressionless. A few people were running.

A lot of people were crying. Two types of crying. The "I just saw a really sad movie" type of crying, and the "my son just died" type of crying.

"You have no idea what just happened, do you," she said.
There were long lines at every pay phone as cell phone service stopped working due to transmitters located atop of the World Trade Centers. I overheard one phone call, this young Wall Street-looking guy was crying on the phone, "Jimmy and I made it out, I don't think Mike made it."

I saw an old women sitting on the curb, head in her hands.

I saw those "the end is coming!" Jesus guys all over the place, yelling and screaming, throwing their hands in the air, telling me the end is near.

All the while, deafening sirens everywhere. Clusters of police cars, big green military trucks, fire trucks and ambulances. Soldiers with machine guns.

Emergency vehicles headed downtown toward Wall Street were clean, ones coming back up were covered in ash.

"You have no idea what just happened, do you," she said. I walked by a hospital. It had three main entrances. Outside one entrance there were hundreds of people lined up to give blood. There were big signs saying, "Family, around back." Around back were groups of people with photographs of family and loved ones. The hospital was handing out papers that I think had the names of known survivors.

The third entrance was obscured by a sea of stretchers, ambulances, nurses, doctors, and media.

I'm fortunate.

What about the future? The future of FC? The future of news? The future of entertainment? How could somebody like Jay Leno return to work? How could you watch an episode of "Law & Order" right now?

You can't enjoy it yet. At least, I can't.

"You have no idea what just happened, do you," she said.
The key here is to not let those fuckers, whoever did this, win. Things must go back to normal. While I wouldn't be able to appreciate a new Simpsons episode today, tomorrow, or for a while, it'll happen eventually, and we've got to be able to enjoy it.

Every day I receive countless email and contact from people who were laid off, abused and lied to by their employers. They tell me that FC is therapy. I've read hundreds of personal emails from people who've lost their jobs, just got married, just had kids, just bought a house, are in financial ruin. They tell me they visit FC and see that they're not alone, they see that it's not their fault.

They tell me FC brings them some light that they can't get anywhere else. They send me details about what's going on with their companies, how they got screwed and taken advantage of, and ask me to post it.

I receive over 1,000 emails every day. I've never, not once, received an email from anyone dismayed that their company was listed on FC. Only thanks. The only exception being dirty CEO's whom I've exposed (eFront, etc.).

I'm frustrated now because there's not much I can do to help with what just happened. I'm lucky enough to be at the helm of this relatively huge force, a website, a community visited by over 4 million people monthly. When the Edgewater Tragedy happened, I started a fund and you collectively donated over $18,000. When I opened up free advertising for non-profits*, you uploaded tons of banners.

We can't let them win, we mustn't change.

Until they ask me to go to war, the only thing I can do, the only thing we can do, is go on with business as usual.

Keep rocking on,
Pud

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