Wednesday, June 4, 2008

If I had the power to fix what sucks

I wrote this hoping to send it into the Las Cruces newspaper as an editorial. Then I learned that a letter to the editor can only have maximum 300 words, and I have never been a lady to keep her mouth shut . Let alone to say so little. So here I am, posting it on here. I mostly just want the words out there, rather than stewing in my mind.
Enjoy and feel the rage and annoyance

I'm turning in my resignation to living in Las Cruces. From now on I am only stating that I am just on a long visit and no one needs to be the wiser to the fact that I actually live here. Unfortunately it's on my drivers liscence so it's true. The people who live here don't give two hoots (I'd use a worse word here, but this is a public space.) about you, about the city, let alone about their own well being. I've never been to a city where it truly is the land of manana. There is no urgency here, no compassion and no empathy for others. People go about their daily lives treating others like they don't matter. It's rude, hurtfull and nothing near what we learned in kindergarten. Treat others they way you would want to be treated.

Take the food service industry here. One goes to a nice sit down restaurant for a decent meal expecting to get treated with respect and get their food in a timely manner. And in return they will leave a nice, respectable tip for the server. Well, bad service equals bad tip which then translates into more bad service. It's a cycle that never ends and neither party is willing to change their ways so that the other will change theirs. If the server took pride in what they did and treated their tables they way they would like to be treated when eating out themselves, the server then would get a tip and the table would leave content and full rather than disgruntled and unsatisfied. I have had the bill thrown on the table at the end of the meal, I have had it take twenty minutes to get a beer (not a mixed drink that one has to make, a beer where all you have to do is take off the bottle cap or fill a glass), I've walked out because I haven't been greeted in the first five minutes. I also want you readers to know, that I can say all these things because I've been a server. I know how hectic the dinner rush can be, and how unorganized a restaurant kitchen can get, but you still keep you shit together, plates and beverages coming out on time and your tables happy, by keeping them informed. It's not rocket science, it's good service. And godo service doesn't exist in this town. Mediocre service exists, and I don't think this article will make it any better.

What is with the driving? I've never seen so many bad drivers in a hurry to get no where. When buying a car in Las Cruces, do turn signals cost extra? People don't obey the speed limit, all though I think that is a nation wide concern. But they do tail gate more often than not. Here are the rules,
1. If someone is going slower than you would prefer in the right hand lane, pass them on the left. Do not ride on their bumper hoping they will speed up. A, it's rude but B and more importantly it's dangerous. Imagine the result if the first driver suddenly stopped. You would have no where to go but right into their trunk. Which is bad but even worse for all the uninsured drivers this town reportedly has.
2. If you are in the left hand lane and the person in front of you is going to slow, you should slow down, because you are probably going to fast. What's your hurry? If you are running late, speeding isn't going to get you their on time. And keep it in the front of your mind that while driving especailly at high speeds, you aren't just driving a car, you are driving something that can kill you. And the person that you hit.

In the past few days my apartment has gotten a leak in the ceiling. The plaster has started to fall, the water damage has increased, and the dripping has turned into a constant trickle. I've called the management and have gotten nothing more than a knock on the door, saying “You have a leak?” he came in looked at it, said, “I'll call a manager.” and left. That's great. I called the manager which is how the guy wound up knocking on my door in the first place. This water damage was noted when I moved in nine months ago, was never taken care of, and now we have a bigger problem on our hands. And this is a prime example as to how this city has no empathy for others. I went into the office today, and in asking questions about when this would be taken care of the reponse I got was “I don't know. I only work weekends.” Are you kidding me?! If you don't know, you shouldn't be working there! There was no “I'm sorry.” No “I'll get to it right away.” No “That's awful. Let me see what I can do.” Not even a “I can't do anything right now, but I'll let you know first thing on Monday.” I love my apartment and I'm going to be forced to move because they don't care enough about the building itself, or it's occupants to help. I live at Park Place Apartments, by the way.

I enjoy walking and occasionally I enjoy walking to work. I've never been oggeled at or whistled, hollered and honked at at 7:30 in the morning like I am here. Where I come from that type of behavior doesn't come out until after Happy Hour. I'm not a piece of meat, I'm not walking for your viewing pleasure, I'm not going to respond when you yell “Yeah Baby!”, and to top it off I'm taken. The men who do this need to be re-taught how to treat a woman. Any respectable woman would not respond to this, except with maybe a flash of the middle finger in utter annoyance. It's demeaning, disrespectful, and really knocks the females view of men down the scale of respectable-ity. Way to go guys, you didn't have me or any other woman before and you sure as hell don't have us after that.

This city has a lot of stuff but it surly doesn't have a lot of stuff that is worth doing. It's filled with insurance companies, car dealerships, doctor's offices, and churches. Yes, there is a museum or three, there is the mall (that if it weren't for that bend in the middle near Dillard's you could see from one end to another), the mountains are pretty, and the walking path on Triviz is nice. But my main concern is where is the rec center for the kids in this town? I work in a place where kids just loiter and hang out, and mess up the sales displays, and have no respect for others, things that are not theirs, or their elders. This town should be taking their tax dollars (where that money is going now, I do not know) and putting it into a place for these kids to go where they will be safe, entertained, and allowed to be themselves. And that place can't be school. If I had all the money in the world, I would build a Recreation center in that empty plot of land on Missouri near the fire station, that would be free and open for all kids to come to. It would have sports, computers, video games, books, board games, food, and even a quiet room for those who are more introverted. There are many kids who are first generation in New Mexico and their parents or parent are working more than one job, don't have the time or the patience to be with their children and so the kids just run amok in this town. There needs to be a place for them to go that isn't a mall, or a home of a friend and where they are encouraged to be teenagers. Being a teenager is hard enough, and it's even tougher when there is nothing to show that the greater public cares.

Where are our tax dollars going? Into fixing the downtown mall, where there hasn't been a lucrative business in years? Into another Pic Quick/Subway/Hotel combo right off the highway? Into building another movie theatre when we already have three? This town needs something else to go to in the evenings that doesn't keep the public sitting on their butts, in silence. Is the money going towards building more overpriced homes for the retired to move into, when the average household income in Las Cruces is $30,000? How are the people who can't afford to move to another city going to be able to afford a house if we keep building big houses for the old and rich to move into? What about the young and financially struggling who may live here all their lives? The tax dollars should be going into the future of Las Cruces, the children who, like we all did at the same age, just want to be heard even if they whisper. Not into the ones who have lived their lives and are ready for some quiet in the desert. It's not going to stay quiet and peaceful if we don't take note of who will be in charge of Las Cruces in twenty years.

The compassion for others is very low, the feeling of a community is hanging on by a thread, and I don't know where else to go to get others to be aware of the many problems Las Cruces faces besides putting it in words in this newspaper. I moved here excited to be living somewhere new and fresh. And unfortnatly, a year later all I see are the problems rather than anyone willing to find a solution.


  1. Send it to the mayor and everyone on city council!

  2. Ah, I remember the days of living in Los Alamos and constantly blogging/emailing/complaining about how much I hated living there. I had my own reasons for hating it there, but I can truly relate to how you feel. (I had an apartment with lousy landlords there too, BTW. That is SO aggravating.) I'm sorry that you're so unhappy in Las Cruces. :( I'm sure you won't be stuck there forever.

    I haven't spent enough time in Las Cruces to really know what it's like to live there, but I'm sorry it sucks for you. Albuquerque has its problems and factors worthy of complaint, but overall I like being back here again. There's plenty to do (I mean, not compared to really big cities, but it's decent, without that overwhelming big city vibe), and you've got a reasonable balance of crappy people and kind people, I suppose. But in general, I really like it here in good ol' 'Burque. You should move here and hang out with me. =P