Sonni's Family and Our Friends

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Friday, October 01, 2004

Current Events in Key West

This has been a long and difficult month to get through. September is generally the slowest month of the tourist season anyway, but having to deal with the upset of weather and tourists concerned about vacations they had planned, there were many cancellations that really hurt the local population. I'm hoping that it is over but that might just be wishful thinking. Thank goodness I had a little cushion so paying bills wasn't a problem. Now I just have to save that money again for the next time.

So many cruise ships were cancelled and other people weren't flying into Miami or Ft Lauderdale and then coming down to the Keys. The town was empty. Most towns don't have a lot of people walking on the streets and lots of bicycles and mopeds - but we do. So it felt weird not seeing a lot of people walking around. Sales at the store were awful - the worst since I took over the management. But still, the sales people needed a paycheck. Commision checks for the month are going to be very low - but at least they had the hourly. Even though there wasn't the need to have 2 people there sometimes, they were still on the schedule. The owners of the store are good people and understood that.

So many people here work at service jobs - restaurants, bars etc. and not only had hours cut, they also made no tips when they did work. Even the businesses have been worried. A small store on Duval street can rent for $14,000 a month (choke) so it wouldn't take much to ruin a business.

Not long ago Robo went from fulltime to parttime at the store so he could work at a restaurant where the tips are really good. He also movedout of the house and got an apartment with lis ladylove. They didn't get a chance to really get on their feet so they're struggling. Other people who I've met since I moved here, and know I do okay must think I have the letters ATM on my forehead because they are crawling out of the woodwork to see if I have any money to spare. Not.

I heard a lot of complaining in town from people who evacuated and then were upset that they did. All I can say is that there were some nasty hurricanes out there. People died and some faced tremendous damage. We were once again spared. Maybe we don't have as much money as we think we should have - but we didn't have anything to clean up. We just needed to unpack what we packed and keep our fingers crossed that we won't have to pack it up again.

Now it's a brand new month. Fantasy Fest (Mardi Gras) is at the end of the month and the tourists will be back in droves. About that time our humidity will be decreasing and we'll stop sticking to everything. The weather will be beautiful. I'll be able to take a break at the store and sit outside and watch the sunset with the sailboats going by. I think that's worth the possibility of a hurricane - don't you?


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