Friday, March 24, 2017

Living Out of A U-Haul Pickup Truck

Living out of a car is pretty sad.   Living out of a rented car, even worse.

We were in the Florida Panhandle at one of those "Spring Break" kind of destinations, at a campground in our RV.  It wasn't a very nice place.   As we checked in, a very young couple in their late 20's or early 30's checked in ahead of us.  They did not have an RV, but were staying in a tent.  They had all their worldly possessions with them, in the bed of a rented U-haul pickup truck like the one above.

It was pretty sad.  So young, in the prime of their lives, healthy and able, and yet living in such a marginal situation with no clue as to what to do.   The RV park was also a parts dealer and fishing store and had a "help wanted" sign on the door.   The lady said to her boyfriend, "Hey, maybe I can find a job here!"

The manager shook his head.   People living out of a car are not destined to be good employees

He knew that their situation wasn't due to "bad luck" or whatever, but likely due to drugs or other personal issues (criminality, etc.).

I am not sure where this couple was going, other than nowhere fast.   The cost of the truck rental, $19.95 per day, would eventually add up to a lot of money, and they would have to turn it in eventually and end up walking.   How could you be that age and still have nothing to show for your life?   Hell, I'd just bundle up my stuff and get on a bus if I was that poor.

But they were doing a poverty-trick that we see all-too-often, particularly in places like Florida.   The poor tend to do things like move to another State to "get a fresh start" without any real plans of where they will work, where they will live, or whatever.  They just pick up and move, likely ahead of a posse of creditors.

When I said in my previous posting that one of the seven steps to escape poverty is to move, I didn't mean this!   This is poverty-think.   Move once you have a job offer in a place where there are jobs.   Go there and find a place to live and then move your stuff to the new location and report to work at the new job.   That's how middle-class people do it - or used to.

Increasingly, today, we see people moving like the Joads from Grapes of Wrath, renting a U-haul or Ryder truck, towing a trailer with an utterly clapped out "hobby car" - usually a Camaro, but it could be an Mustang, 20+ years old and not worth moving an inch.   Following is Mom in a car with a laundry basket and crap stuffed in the back seat.    People just moving willy-nilly and paying money to move garbage much as the poor pays money to store garbage in storage lockers.

Again, the poor make poor choices in every sense of the word.    And while they might not be able to help it, you can, if you have half a brain.

Perhaps a change of scenery is helpful for some folks, even if they move in this Brownian motion fashion.   And old friend of mine contacted me after 40 years and said he was still living with his parents and was flat broke.  I suggested he move out of his impoverished home town, and last I heard he was in Texas and had a good job.   So maybe it can work.

But more often than not, if you don't have some sort of plan, just picking up and moving away isn't going to work out very well, other than to take all your problems and move them to a new location.

It is sad that people live this way, but no, I am not interested in saving them.   How they got into this situation is something I have an inkling about, as I used to hang out with people like that - folks who lived in the margins, often mired in drug and alcohol abuse.   Folks who might steal your crap or beat the snot out of you, if you are not careful.   Best to stay out of their business and out of their way - as far away as possible.

You can't save people from themselves, and I am sure if you asked this young couple, living out of a pickup truck, whether they had their shit together, they would say they have things under control.