People Who Were In Jail On 9/11 Reveal What The Experience Was Like
Most of the world was glued to their televisions on September 11, 2001, trying to figure out what was happening. But what if your access to information was limited?
Reddit user dancingbanana123 asked "People who were in prison during 9/11, what was that like?"
Here are the responses from the people who learned of the terrorist attacks from behind bars.
It was weird. I was in minimum security at the time and it was night (because hemispheres). I got out of the shower and my flatmate (it was more like a 2br unit than a cellblock as we were in min near the ends of long sentences) had the news on. That was weird cos she usually wasn't interested in the news. She should have been watching reruns of "Whose line is it anyway?"
I watched the newsreader talking as the first tower collapsed in the live feed square in the corner of the screen. The newsreader kind of gasped and I sat down in my towel and stayed up watching for the next few hours. After that I had the radio going all night in bed. I'd never used the radio for anything other than an alarm before.
The next day, nobody was really hassled about going to work. Almost everyone was sitting watching the news all day and freaking out about what it meant. Ladies went from unit to unit with biscuits (cookies) and snacks to talk about it. Was our country going to be pulled in another war because of our alliance with the US?
Turned out yes, yes and more yes to that question. I wrote an article about it for the prison magazine. The live feed was very disturbing - a lot of what was shown there was never shown on commercial tv again. Didn't take long for things to return to normal, though.
Sounds of Silence
I was doing an early shift in a big maximum security center. I was in the intake area where all the inmates go before they get taken to court.
At the time about 200 inmates a day were going to court. It was normally a really noisy area with tv's showing crappy morning shows which you couldn't hear anyway.
That morning was quiet, almost silent, you could hear a pin drop. I never saw it like that before or since. Everyone just knew what they were witnessing was a big deal.
I was in maximum security (Foothills Correctional Institution) Morganton, NC. That morning I was in my C++ College course when another inmate came in late saying the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists.
I was about to graduate in a few months and had the ability to leave the college area and head back to my Unit to watch TV. After realizing it was serious I went to my single cell and started strapping up in case martial law was declared.
I was in a level 4, maximum security in Connecticut at the time.
It was very odd, some people fired cells some guys flooded, cops were in shock, some things got out of hand immediately afterwards.
A day or two later it was business as usual.
No Concept of Severity
I was serving 9 and a half months and was 8 days away from getting out. I was in a dorm setting and we were allowed to use the phones early in the morning.
One of my fellow inmates had talked to a family member and woke up the guy next to me and said "planes just flew into the World Trade Center".
That was pretty much all we knew. There was no sense of chaos or anything like that. I don't think we realized how bad it was until later that night. I just remember thinking "if sh!# really goes down I hope it's after my release date". For the most part it felt like it was just another day.
9/11 is significant to me for not only being locked up at the time but my mother was flying out of Boston that morning from Logan Airport. The airport where 2 of the planes were hijacked.
That morning I was walking across the top tier about to take a shower and below the TV's were on. The 1st plane had crashed already and the networks were still unsure of what was going on. It was just coverage of the tower burning. Then a girl points to the screen and yells and I watch the 2nd plane hit. Some were going to phones calling family who lived in New York. I proceeded to take a shower.
As I was showering I said out loud that bin laden came back to take out towers and finish the job. Little did I know I was actually right. It also was time I realized my Mom was in Boston and the news said that's where planes came from. I was Like F#$% My Mom might be on those planes! Panic flowed through me instantly. She was leaving Boston that morning to return home that day for I had court the next morning and she was going to court with me. Anyway, I jumped out the shower, got dressed and booked it to the phone to call my Dad. He answered. I said immediately was that her plane? He paused and slowly said he didn't think so for her flight was like at 9AM or something. He said he had been trying to call her but the cell lines were jammed. It gave me huge sigh relief but I was still freaked out cuz of all the misinformation going around that terrible day. Later I found out the FBI swarmed the airport and she stayed with my Aunt until she could get home via train and car 3 days later cuz all flights were grounded for days.
It was awful feeling that I'm not only locked up watching the world go to sh!#, and I can't even do anything but sit and watch helplessly all the while wondering if my Mom was on one of the planes. Terrible feeling. The not knowing. It was such a scary day that I hope we will never see again.
Howard Stern Bit
Michigan level 2, medium security. I was laying in my bunk listening to Howard Stern on my am/fm cassette player during count time. It was very weird. I thought he was doing some bit for a few minutes and was like 'wtf?'. If I recall correctly he kept his show going longer than it was supposed to and I just stayed in my cell and listened.
I don't recall if they put us on lock down. Honestly from what I remember it was still fairly normal afterwards.
During 9/11, I was incarcerated at the Correctional Industrial Facility in Pendleton, Indiana, serving a 30-year sentence for murder. I was working in the Chapel as a clerk, just outside of the Chaplain's office. In his office was a TV, and when the first plane struck the WTC and the news flash interrupted the current program, I was in shock that such a horrific accident could happen. When the second plane struck, I knew in that instant that it was not an accident, but a deliberate act of war against the United States. At that moment, the guards and administration also recognized that a serious national event was occurring. All work details were immediately canceled, and all of us inmates were escorted back to our cells. The entire prison was eerily quiet because everyone was either in shock or realized that the United States had just suffered an act of war. The prison was placed on lockdown, not only to prevent rioting, but also because no one knew what was going to happen in the coming hours or days. My cellmate had a TV, and we watched in horror as the events of the day unfolded. There were some inmates who found pleasure in the government being attacked, but these were very much in the minority. The vast majority of inmates, especially the veterans, were horrified.
There were many times when I was in prison that I felt helpless and incapacitated. But never more so than on September 11th, 2001. If I could have, I would have rushed to New York to dig through the rubble with my bare hands. But I couldn't. Never had I felt so acutely the crushing weight of those walls and those bars. I am a naturalized citizen, by choice, because I love this country. I committed a crime, and I paid my debt, but I harbor no ill will against the government for my incarceration. I broke the law, I got what I deserved. The United States is the greatest nation on earth (my incarceration notwithstanding), and on that day I would have done whatever was necessary to protect it. If only I could have. To this day, that is one of my greatest regrets.
72 Hour Delay
We didn't know what happened, we all thought somebody escaped. That's what the older prisoners told us anyway. No TV, no newspapers, no radio, no work (we were kitchen staff and served 2 meals per day) and we didn't have trays, instead it was bagged lunch for everybody (PB&J and a carton of milk) for three days.
After the first 12-15 hours the older inmates were telling us "It could be a riot in another block." because it was too quiet. Any stirs by the inmates, the loudspeaker would come on and tell us we are on lockdown.
When we found out, 72 hours later, it was total shock. We were in California and we didn't know if our families were OK or what. I had to wait 2 hours to make a phone call to my family.
I had to have my family in CA contact family in NJ and tell them to accept the collect call from me. I wouldn't take anybodies word that everyone was alive.
For us, they shut down the yard.
When we went inside the tv was on which wasn't normal for that time of day so we all knew that something was up.
Then we watched as the towers fell. They let those of us with family in NY call them to check on them.
I was two years into a 12 year sentence for attempted murder in a maximum security prison in Connecticut, maybe 100 miles from where the towers fell. I was outside my cellblock on my job assignment in a prison industry program when it happened, we were all signing out tools and getting ready for work when they called for the lock down over the intercom. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary, prison wide lockdowns happened occasionally for a variety of reasons and in fact we were due for the annual prison wide shake down so we all assumed that's what it was. As I was heading back to my workstation to gather up my tools (and dispose of my contraband lol) I overheard one of COs say that New York just got attacked and we were at war, I just assumed bullsh!# and went about my business but it quickly became clear that something was up. The COs seemed panicked and they were rushing us out, I didn't even get a pat down on the way out. Normally if you're getting locked down because of a disturbance in the prison the COs feel the need to be a-holes to the guys that were just minding their business on the other side of the complex but they weren't like that, they kept telling us to just get back to our cells and we'd find out what's up.
I should mention here that most inmates had TVs in their cells. My cell mate and I arrived back at our cell at roughly the same instant, immediately hopped on our bunks and stayed there glued to our TVs for the next four hours. I got back about ten minutes before the second plane hit and when it hit I remember being so shocked that something like that was happening so close to me that I looked out the window to make sure the world wasn't ending.
So back story on my relationship with the cell mate. This guy just moved in about a month ago, he was a African-American Muslim from New York City, I was a white boy from the country with a chip on my shoulder. Needless to say there was your classic culture clash and we butted heads a lot in the beginning but gradually settled into a mutual respect relationship and coexisted. Up until that day we hadn't spoken in about two weeks. I know people wonder how you can spend all day in a cell with a person and never speak but honestly those are the best cellies, try getting locked in a cell with a guy that's constantly bitching about his problems and you'll know what I mean.
So that fateful day after about 4 hours they brought lunch, my cell mate went out to get it and we broke our vows of silence over egg salad. I just remember him being irate that it happened in his city and heartbroken over the damage this would do to his religion. I didn't realize it at the time but he was spot on with some of the stuff that he was prophesying that day. He was so apologetic for his religion, it was the first time I'd actually seen that miserable bastard vulnerable. We came off lock down 3 days later and things went back to routine quickly because that's how you get through a long prison sentence, just follow the routine. My cell mate got his backside kicked over a card game about a week later and I never saw him again but I credit him with the fact that I'm not one of those people that believe all Muslims are terrorists.
I was in prison from October 2000 to June 15th 2002. On June 3rd 2001 I took my shahada (became a Muslim). As a white inmate this was pretty difficult. I was the only white Muslim in the prison I was in. So there was some extra heat on me for that. But it had subsided...
September 11th 2001 I was awoken by another inmate...turned on the tv and watched the second plane hit live while the first was smoking. We (the Muslim community) were all approached by the staff and were all offered protective custody status once they figured out it was a terrorist attack and Osama bin Laden was one of the masterminds. It was a very trying time. We would make salat (pray) on the yard in the evening together. It was a scary time. We had a few "meetings" with outside ministers and imams where we all tried to come together and understand things.
I was in prison in Missouri at the time, minimum security camp (Tipton).
Even though there wasn't much of a security risk inmate wise, when the planes hit it was about 30 minutes later everyone was told to report back to our buildings. Temporary lock down was in place, and the closest military base had fighter jets on patrol almost immediately. Even though we had to go on lockdown, almost everyone was already in a cubicle watching as the 2nd plane hit.
"Holy f-" was about the most common expletive, as was "was that f'ing real?"
Religious groups were the main concern, as there was a strong Nation of Islam and Muslim population.
Luckily I was part of a multi faith group, being with my Wiccan group mainly, that spoke and shared beliefs, experiences, and sat in on each other's respective faith meetings and ceremonies. It was a very unique and interesting in between sort of group and time for about a month after 9-11 happened. I like to think the openness our eclectic mix of faiths possessed helped bridge the gap between opposite groups and their response to such an extreme point in our history.
Spectre of War
It was shortly after count had cleared and I had just walked outside to the yard before going to my job in the education department. The inmate I worked with asked me if I heard that we were at war and that they had attacked New York. I remember my belly was in a knot thinking Oh sh!# we're at war and I'm stuck in here and my family is out there.
I grew up in the 80s and remembered that cold war fear that the Russians were gonna take over the country so that's what I was thinking when I heard war. I was only a few years into a very long sentence so I didn't know what to think. When we went into the classroom we rigged the TV to catch channels over the antenna, we were all glued to the TV and I'll never forget watching people jump to their deaths. I called my folks and said we loved each other and my dad reassured me that we weren't going to be taken over by another country. We had like 15 channels on TV in our units and I remember every single channel had the news on, even BET.
I had just recently arrived in the system after sitting in county for a while, so was still in Diagnostics where all your processing like medical and affiliations and job placement stuff happens. I remember being still asleep when a guard turned on the lights and rolled the TV into the dorm. (Intake's had been torn down by the last batch, or maybe the batch before them.) I remember my bunk was right by the plug, so I could sit there and be right to the side of the TV. My house was popular for a few days, lol.
Everyone was confused at first, "What the hell boss, why you waking us up?", but his demeanor showed that something serious was up. Big grey-headed dude, usually jovial, was like "Y'all quiet down and look at this." We thought it was just a crash at first, but he answered, "No, we're under attack." I'm not super sure about the timeline--he must have brought it on shortly after the Pentagon got hit? I remember seeing one of the towers fall, at least, but the memory is fuzzy. We were one somber bunch of hoodlums, though.
They left the TV in the dorm all that day, and most of the next. Like others have said, we didn't go out for a few days. We didn't go full lockdown, because they kept running the diagnostic stuff, but I can't speak for the rest of the camp.
Among the inmates, it was gossip as usual, hyped to the walls. There's gonna be a war, they're gonna let us out, gonna write my recruiter and get outta here, blah blah blah.
I was in a max prison in Texas at the time. I was in the infirmary talking to the PA when a nurse came in and told the doctor that a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center. A little bit later she came in again crying telling the PA that another plane had just crashed into the second tower.
All three of us came out of the room into the "lobby" where someone had rolled a TV in. We all watched the news broadcast, the people crying, footage of the planes crashing, everything.
In prison, prisoners segregate themselves according to race and then by city. Then there's more segregation between prisoners and guards, nurses, etc.,
But at that brief moment, we were all standing there watching the TV and all those lines of separation where gone. When those towers were attacked, we were all attacked. We were all feeling sadness, worry, anger. I remember walking back to my building and everyone was quiet. Guards weren't giving us a hard time, inmates were more quiet than usual, just a dark cloud over the prison.
I was in Prison (Australia) in my cell, at night, watching Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (the series) on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission). At approx 8:30/8:45pm the series ceased and live feed went up of the Towers etc,
Checked out the other channels, all the same. People were calling out from their cells to tell people about it.
My first thoughts: we were at War and here I am stuck behind 4 walls.
I was in prison during 9/11 in what was called "high risk" but most people would understand "maximum security". It was a two story section of cells where you went when you had been really bad in prison and gotten too many cases. We had been on complete lock down for a while, no TV, no anything. The guards hated us because we were jerks and only came back there when they were required to.
It was football season and we had been decently good hoping to talk the guards into letting us watch a cowboys game. This was maybe two weeks after 9/11. During the game they kept showing video of planes crashing into buildings.
A guard was walking by checking on us and someone asked why they kept showing it. That's when we were told that we had been attacked a couple weeks prior. Don't really remember what I felt about it because even then we didn't know a lot about it.
Being woken up suddenly is not very good for our health.
Especially for the elderly, it's not something to make a habit of. Sleep interruption can increase blood pressure, cause a worsened self image, and cause a day filled with irritation and confusion.
No one wants to be woken up, but there are definitely some reasons for being woken up that are worse than your alarm clock.
We went to Ask Reddit to find out some of the worst reasons people have been woken up.
Redditor Toothpiicxxk asked:
"What's the worst reason you woke up?"
These truly are the worst.
We love our pets, but sometimes not so much.
"My cat was throwing up right next to me."
"She brought you breakfast how cute."
"I was just about to answer that my cat threw up right on me, specifically my hair, which I had just washed..."
Some horrible news hits you.
"Being woken up to be told someone you know died certainly qualifies."
"Or when you already know, but you wake up in that ignorant bliss that lasts for about a second and then it hits you. And this goes on for a long time."
"It's been about 15 years and I still will wake up on occasion thinking I have to tell my older brother something cool that I know he'd love to hear about. Or have a vivid a** dream about how it was all an mistake and he's still here. Happens less often then it used to but oof does it ever still hurt."
"Woke up at about 3am to a cop repeatedly ringing my bell. my mom had accidentally drowned in the tub. she was really weak from chemo."
"Woke up to a phone call telling me my incredible brother-in-law had been hit and killed by a drunk & high driver, his wife was also expected to pass as her neck had been broken, and their kids were both in surgery. My husband and I were in the will to get the kids, so we needed to fly to Chicago right away. As I sat there in shock, I hung up the phone, turned to see my sleeping husband snoring away, and knowing I would now have to wake him up to tell him the worst news he would ever hear."
2018 false missile alert.
"I live in Hawaii, that time we got the missile scare."
"Oof at least it wasn't real but I would have definitely panicked if that was me."
"Damn, I slept straight through it. My mom literally woke me up, told me; and I still went back to sleep."
"What were you supposed to do? Go outside and witness your annihilation?"
"I think it's the right thing to do to inform people even if there isn't necessarily anything that can be done about it."
"Some people would appreciate being able to conduct prayers, get one last hug with their loved ones, etc."
"Cockroach walking on my lips with no shame. I brutally murdered it as soon as I yeeted it halfway across the room."
"I had a weird dream about a cockroach somehow paralyzing a friend then walking towards me in that same room. Then I awoke to find this a**hole cockroach slowly creeping on my lips."
"When I threw it away, what startled me was it did not panic AT ALL. It even slowly headed towards me!"
"I also mouth washed and brushed my teeth and even disinfected my lips with alcohol. It was a surreal experience."
"I seriously loathe roaches and there's no other way to ensure its death than a brutal one."
Screams in the night.
"One time I got woken up by a blood curdling scream in the middle of the night. I live alone and it also woke up my dog who was freaked out the rest of the night. Searched everywhere including outside and didn't find anything."
"Well that was lucky. Imagine what would have happened if you had found it..."
"Hopefully a fox, coyote, cat, or cougar."
"Being clearly asleep, and then someone wakes you to ask, 'Are you asleep?'"
"Bruh my mom be like [this]."
"The only correct answer to this question is 'yes.'"
"I woke up to my mom calling me sobbing because she thought I had died, I was 10 hours away and my blood sugar was severely low and wasn't answering any calls, that was horrifying."
"We've learned what does and doesn't work for waking me up in a medical emergency."
"Blood sugar can be a b*tch, found my mum having a really bad hypo while sleeping when I was a toddler and for years and years after would wake her up to check she was okay without realizing I was doing it for that reason. Glad you're okay!"
Something so relatable.
"My alarm rung. It's a daily struggle."
We've all been there.
If you're not a morning person, waking up in the morning can already be a challenge, but no one wants to get woken up to horrible news or an emergency.
In fact, we should be waking up naturally with our own personal sleeping patterns.
We all know that's easier said than done.
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People have a habit of excusing crap behavior - honestly because it's often easier in the short term. Long term = flaming dumpster fire.
The excuses people use to dismiss behavior range from mundane and meaningless to the sort of leaps normally reserved for kangaroos and Olympians. It's sometimes amazing that these excuses work - but they do.
Some of them work so well that they're just sort of "accepted." That, obviously, kind of sucks and is something we should avoid - so let's talk about 'em.
Can't swerve around what you don't see, ya know?
Reddit user TMTtasmachine asked:
... and away we go.
" 'That's just how they are.' "
"One of the biggest enablers for tantrum throwing, bullying, etc. is that they get treated with kid gloves to avoid dealing with them." - alexrt87
"Oh my God you hit the nail on the head. Whenever someone says 'that's just the way they are' I say:"
" 'Yes, that's the point! Glad you noticed too! Now is it okey-doke for them to be jerks they have special jerk privileges? Or maybe they are just people and should treat everyone else as such?' " - notatrumpchump
"It depends on how it's said."
"People are the way that they are, and you shouldn't be surprised when they continue to be that way."
"This, obviously, doesn't excuse it - but people also shouldn't be surprised when a bad person continues to make bad decisions. Neither should we waste space in our minds being bothered by it." - unlawfulfoxy
Harassment Isn't Humorseason 2 lol GIF by ShamelessGiphy
" 'It's just a joke, bro.' Harassing people isn't humor." - loading__99
"A guy who says/does offensive things and decides whether he was joking based on the reaction of people around him." - Eatsleeptren
"Dude, legit had someone come up to me and start shouting in my face, calling me Madison, pretending I was cheating on him. Literally the most crowded location outside a theater, everyone staring at us, looking at me like I was some horrible cheater while I was out with my then fiancé."
"I started hyperventilating, my fiancé nearly decked the dude, and then someone shouts 'CUT' like this is some big 'YOU'RE ON CANDID CAMERA' moment and everything's supposed to be okay."
"I burst into tears."
"It was the most humiliating moment of my life, and thank god my then fiancé, now husband is not the type to overreact or jump to conclusions, or be abusive. Imagine how bad that could have been for someone with an angry or abusive partner."
"Prank videos are a plague on the internet and there is a REASON so many of them are fake, or involve actors." - Darkovika
Stay Sober, Then!Drunk Drinking Beer GIFGiphy
" 'I was drunk / high / etc.' "
"Then don't drink?! Stay sober if you can't NOT be an a**hole!" - BasedBenjamin
"Alternately, I hear a lot of 'I'm a happy drunk!' "
"Yeah, according to your drunk a$s. That doesn't mean you're not an ahole. Not remembering is not an excuse either." - PepeBabinski
"I was also loud, obnoxious, and I wouldn't remember sh*t the next day."
"Quitting drinking has been one of my best choices of my life." - TTungsteNN
"Help"new girl coach GIFGiphy
" 'I'm just trying to help you' " - Miserable-Air1234
"Every time I've heard this, they're manipulating me while helping only themselves." - mykittenfarts
"My Mom to a T. Everything she does is better than anyone else's and she always gets pissed that people don't praise her for 'helping.' "
"She's now a certified (by herself) psychic and I have come to the conclusion that she's not a covert narcissist but an obvious one. I really wish I was joking." - Silent_Discussion657
Parenting ProblemsLeave Me Alone Run GIF by TLC EuropeGiphy
"Any variation of 'I'm a Mother/parent.' "
"Had some lady cut me in line at a coffee shop and she hit me with 'I'm a single Mom of 3!' as her excuse."
"Ok? And? I was still here first." - maid-for-hire
"I'm a single mom and I f*cking haaaate when other single moms/parents pull that sh*t to get special treatment."
"Last week, I was having a rough morning, my kid was being difficult, and I was running late. I was rude to a cashier over a minor inconvenience."
"Not only did I apologize for my shitty behavior, I wrote corporate to let them know how professional and patient she was while I acted like a f*cking toddler."
"Was being a parent part of the reason I was frustrated? Absolutely. Was it an excuse for that behavior? HELL no."
"I acted like a b*tch, and I called myself out, and I apologized. I still feel bad about that - I rarely let things get to me to the point I snap at others." - ClusterfckyShtshow
"Wow. I'm a Mom as well and tired but it doesn't give anyone a right to use it as some sort of ploy to get away with stuff."
"Like, mice become Moms about 12 times a year. You're not special 🤣" - SpoonLoops
Believing Your BossThe Office Monday GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
"I had a boss say some really racist sh*t around me one day and the next day, out of nowhere, he says:"
" 'Don't believe half the things that come out of my mouth!' "
"It was not really an excuse, more like trying to cover for himself after the fact, but still stuck with me." - sirlongbottom441
"Report them to HR. Seriously." - kokichi--ouma
"Looking past the racist stuff for a bit, that's not a very encouraging thing to hear from a boss…" - WonderfulBlackberry9
Bad Day AgainBad Day Reaction GIF by Schitt's CreekGiphy
" 'I'm having a bad day/week' "
"Okay, so you decide everybody that you interact with deserves the same fate? Get out of here, dude." - myordinaryexistence
"We all got stress, don't take it out on me. I get some people have stress bad enough for it to be passable every once and a while (family member passing, etc) but general, stress should not lead to you being a jerk to me." - willsimpforfree
"Damn, I'm definitely guilty of this. Usually I remember to apologize after but at this point I've learned to just avoid the situation in the first place by minimizing my interaction with people if I'm in a shitty mood." - nozzzrul
"Reminds me of when that White boy went on a murder rampage and killed a bunch of Asian women & that a-hole sheriff gave a press conference telling the media that the 'poor boy had a bad day.' "
"My idea of a bad day involves going home after a rough day at work and just staying in the house."
"Apparently, I should change my ethnicity from Asian to White and go on a murder rampage, see if my @ss gets a sympathetic sheriff to say on my behalf that I had 'a bad day.' " - kingkazul400
It's Not An ExcuseSeason 2 Reaction GIF by FriendsGiphy
"This won't go down well, but using depression as an excuse. As someone who suffers from it, it's still not ok to treat others like sh*t" - Rainbowwallstickers
"Could not agree enough. My partner has a 'friend' who treats everyone like sh*t all the time, has no consideration for others and openly mocks people in public."
"She gets so much grace from those around her under the guise of her 'mental health.' It's so infuriating watching an adult woman never have to take responsibility for her actions." - 34boor
"I get there are some things you can't control, but you are still responsible for keeping that sh*t in check and if you're aware of your mental illness, you should be aware of how you approach people and situations."
"I'll admit I used to be guilty of using my mental illness to be an @ss, but now I'm trying to better myself" - VeeSquibbles
Florida Gonna FloridaLooney Tunes Florida GIFGiphy
"People are letting Florida off the hook way too damn much. And I live in Florida."
"Just because it's hilarious doesn't mean it isn't still completely f*cked up." - AlphaWhiskeyOscar
"The phrase 'Florida Man' is almost always followed some heinous way a Floridian is being an a$$hole." - PepeBabinski
"I'm also originally from Florida, and that state has serious problems. We need to pay attention to it." - [Reddit]
Moment of honesty ... as a Floridian ... yeaaaah, I'm gonna have to agree with that last one.
We live in a time where we are critically re-examining how we pay workers. After a two-year-long pandemic where some low-income and "unskilled" jobs were deemed "essential," we now must put our money where our mouth is.
For too long in the world have incredibly important jobs been overlooked or else outright maligned. Teachers in the USA make some of the least money, career-wise, and have some of the hardest jobs. Dancers pay to put their bodies through hell with no guarantee of paid work after training.
So how do we fix this problem? By naming it, of course.
Redditor u/NightReader5 asked:
"What professions are severely underpaid?"
Here were some of those answers.
Our Elderly Deserve Better
"I worked as a CNA in a nursing home and I loved it. It's such hard work for such little pay and that's why I had to leave."
"Not only that but I was a rare person in that I LOVED caring for the residents. Nothing was beneath me such as changing a dirty diaper or spoon feeding."
"Everything helped their quality of life. Sucks they can't keep people that genuinely enjoy it cause I couldn't make over $10 an hour."-Dancer9d9
"Came here to say this: Emergency Medical Technicians. I will never not be just a bit salty about this."
"My husband is one of those people who does this job because it's his passion and he loves helping people."
"It would be nice if he earned more than the kid who just got hired at McDonald's this morning."-ThePotterheadHobbit
High School Bathrooms....
"The janitors at my high school. I walked in the men's bathroom there once and there was a mega-giant steaming pile of crap and diarrhea right in the middle of the floor."-satanic-sex-god
"Anyhow. Are you sure that was a high school? We're talking grades 9-12 here, right?"-VoicedVelarNasal
"Unfortunately yes. Other highlights of my oh so great high school men's bathroom that contains teenagers from 14 to as old as 20 are:"
"A dude bringing a sledgehammer to school and smashing a sink, the toilets being blown up, the toilets being frequently clogged with trash..."
"Smashed beer bottle glass covering the floor, and a centimeter of pee flooding the bathroom whenever you walk in. I hate it here."-satanic-sex-god
You know immediately YOU might not want to do this job--so why is someone else getting paid next to nothing to do it?
The More You Help Others The Less You Get Paid
"Statistically speaking, any job that provides significant social benefit to others, the less you will get paid, something that David Graeber discusses in essays and his work, Bullsh*t Jobs."
"This is so sad. I'm currently in a job that pays very well, I just dont find any meaning or fulfillment with it. I want so badly to do something where I'd be helping others- something with purpose- but I honestly dont think I can afford it."-mko0njo9
"Social workers. Dealing with negligent, abusive parents while trying to help the children while in an underfunded, low-paid system is a travesty."-ZRX1200R
"Can also confirm. I like working with my family's but I don't get paid enough to deal with their crap or most of the bureaucracy."-Altowhovian93
Minimum Wage To Go Against FIRE
"Entry level wildland firefighters. They start them at $15 an hour."-NuclearEyedSquirrel
"I live in a small town in Ohio and I think the lowest starting wage I've seen was 11."
"That's the low side and those places are having trouble hiring because there's so many places paying higher. McDonald's here starts at 13 or 14 an hour."-rjoh4459
One Kid, One Para
"Paraprofessionals. Yea, my town increased the pay rate for paraprofessionals to get more people to apply since they have a shortage but the pay increase was not that good IMO."
"For that job, I think you need to be compensated for the physical and mental demands of the job."
"It's a hard job and they should be paid for the work, the pay rate in my community for the job with 60 credits is $14.50 but I think it should be more than that."-YourQueen2Bee
The question then becomes, why won't the people who HAVE money do something to help the quality of these jobs, and make sure that these people get paid?
"Everything in veterinary medicine. Kennel technicians, Veterinary assistants, Veterinary technicians, Veterinary receptionists, and Veterinarians."-aIsiduous
"Veterinary interns/residents, too. I work 70-120hrs+ per week, am on call about half the days per month, have to pay for my own board exams and accreditation fees out of pocket, and all for ~$33,000 per year."-WyrdHarper
"It's bullsh*t. There's nothing on this planet I want to do more than be a veterinarian, but I simply cannot afford the debt. Hopefully one day we'll get the recognition deserved. Stick in there, I know you got this!"--aIsiduous
In The Classroom
"I work in a special school, I love it but I really don't think we get paid enough for all the times we get yelled at, punched, kicked, bit, spat on, cursed at, have our classrooms trashed, have things thrown at us..."
"And then we also have parents making demands and admin telling us their 'simple' solutions to all of it that we have to carry out while they have zero clue on what it's actually like to spend a day in the classroom."-Sajiri
A Morbid State Of Affairs
"Funeral directors/embalmers/funeral professionals. We didn't get days or holidays off to begin with. Now the pandemic has stretched us to working double overtime, which we are exempt from getting paid for under Florida statutes."
"And forget hazard pay for being exposed to COVID multiple times a day every day via the deceased, the deceased's family members, the general public attending funerals, and the hospital/nursing facilities we remove decedents from."-Lesscute
So why are we holding off on giving these people a raise? Their jobs involve dangerous, mentally and emotionally taxing situations, and yet, we treat them as if society could function without them. The truth is it couldn't.
And society had best learn that as soon as possible.
What causes a small town to die?
Honestly, there can be quite a few factors, but perhaps the biggest one is that small towns often lack the upward mobility opportunities that are more available in urban areas.
As a result, many towns around the United States for instance have lost tens of millions of people as their populations seek jobs and opportunities elsewhere.
And what remains of these places can be pretty sketchy.
People told us more after Redditor RadicalizedSnackWrap asked the online community,
"What's a super sketchy US city that we never hear about?"
"Daytona Beach, FL. Imagine a bunch of alcoholic high school kids who came for spring break in 1984, and never left, and never grew up."
Oh, I don't have to imagine it.
I've seen it!
I lived in a neighboring town for a while and bodies would always turn up in farmer's fields that the cartel in Yakima had dropped off there."
Sounds like Netflix needs to get its hands on Yakima, a new show to go against Ozark.
"I remember a story..."
"Guntersville, Alabama. If I were to ballpark it, over 80% of the population are meth addicts and traffickers.
I remember a story where a man walked into the Walmart, took all the supplies and equipment required to cook, and proceeded to cook meth in the bathroom."
"A run-down town..."
"Reading, PA. A run-down town that is mostly used as a central point to run drugs between New York and Philly."
I am writing this from right nearby actually, and I can smell it from here.
"Small town almost entirely..."
"Butte, Montana. Small town almost entirely comprised of violent meth heads."
"More of a town than a city..."
More of a town than a city, but it's such a weird place, bordering on Twilight Zone. You'll see a meth house right next to a youth theatre."
According to a friend I have who spent a lot of time in Arizona, this sounds about right.
"Used to have..."
"Gary, Indiana. Used to have a prosperous steel economy, but now it's just home to abandoned buildings, failing infrastructure, and lots and lots of crime. Just look up pictures."
"I always said..."
"Amityville. Yes, that Amityville.
I always said the "Amityville Horror" house is for amateurs. You want something scary, put on a nice watch or a gold chain and wander around downtown Amityville after dark."
I went there once.
I have not been back.
"It looks harmless..."
"Harrisburg PA. It looks harmless and maybe a little boring but holy hell that place is a giant puddle of corruption just waiting for someone to step in it. Not just state government, there's a bunch of layers you can use to crawl up the corruption ladder."
"Used to be..."
"Natchez, Mississippi. Use to be the headquarters for the KKK. Not much there besides crackheads, plantation homes, and European tourists. Don't own a nice place if you're black, you'll be stopped by the police and questioned."
It doesn't look any of these are changing anytime soon, and that's sad.
Have some small towns to tell us about? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!