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Monday, January 12, 2004

Welcome back to your cubicle

It's an especially cruel Monday here in Portland, as many of us are returning to work and school after being away for several weeks. First there were the holidays, then the snow week.

So here's a thought for your Blue Monday: Portland is the sixth most stressed-out city in the United States. This news comes from a study done by an outfit called Fast Forward, which ironically is based right here in the Rose City. KGW-TV reported on it over the weekend, and Rob of AboutItAll.com beat me to the punch in digging out the study.

So there we are, right behind New York City, Vegas, N'Awlins, Miami, and No. 1 Most Stressed-Out, Tacoma. Detroit is No. 9; Jersey City, No. 19; Gary, No. 31; Newark, No. 55. Least stressful of the top 100 metro areas? Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y., followed by Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle, Pa.

Portland -- more stressful than Detroit? Way more stressed-out than Newark? Just the thought of it is getting me uptight... that, and the mayor on TV last week, blathering incoherently about how city workers should get back to work, when the streets were so bad you'd break your neck just trying to get to your car. Then there's that architecture dandy in The Oregonian gushing about the hideous, out-of-place crap that they're slapping up in the name of "urban infill." Hey, and let's have the city buy the National Guard Armory at an inflated price and turn it into a toney theater for the Pearlies, more tens of millions out of the homeowners' pockets for another white elephant. And what's with the Packers at the end of the game -- were they on the take? I can't handle this any more, people! I'm going to snap, I tell you!

Comments (8)

As a professional "law talker", I would like your opinion on Mayor Vera's press release to the news media last Thursday telling Portland city workers to return to work. In the intensive STORM TEAM coverage, I didn't hear a word from the Mayor about "the City that works"----workers using their best judgment about the safety of traveling on our ice covered streets. In her press release I heard, "get to work", maggots.

She was able to scamper down the hill with a New York bravado to kick start the Portland infrastructure. It seemed to me that she was caught up in image control to the detriment of the city coffers. It seems possible that some city worker could sue us because they tried to please the boss and crashed into the china shop, orphanage, what have you. Isn't the city paying some advisors to double check her statements for egregious omissions?

North Portland

Don't even get me started on the infill . . .

We may be stressed out, but at least the poor business climate here in Portland is only an "urban myth" according to Vera "not-on-Jack-B's-top-10-nitwits-list-for-2003" Katz.



Business Journal: What is your response to the suggestion--which has been asserted by people in business and local business groups--that Portland is "bad for business"?

It is an urban myth perpetuated by those who don't know all the work that's been going on from the booming days of the 1990s. And those who keep-up the urban myth are part of the problem because it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It doesn't help us with businesses who are thinking of expanding or of coming here. People who are saying it are feeling the impact of a recession. We're feeling it as well. We're facing our fifth year of budget cuts at the city. People have forgotten that in the 1990s, we were one of the fastest growing cities. Money Magazine and others claimed Portland as 'one of the best.'

If you snap, there'll be many of us to follow. But really, Albany? Bismark, for God's sakes? Come on! The only reason people who live there aren't stressed out is because they gave up! While their ancestors moved to better locations, such as Portland, they got lobotomies and stayed.
I think that might explain Tacoma, too. People move there (ignoring the Tacoma aroma) and think it'll be great. Then they realize that having a big REI doesn't mean they're going to have the opportunity to use the stuff they buy there.

Vera missed the nitwits list because she announced her retirement -- the best news Portland's had in a long time.

One of the nine dimensions identified in the study methodology was days of cloudy weather. Ah, a bit subjective, no? I know that 115 degree dry heat stress me out a whole lot more--but Phoenix is given a boost in the ratings. Oy.

Portland - 6
Newark - 55

Something is definitely wrong with those polls!

you would think with the copious amounts of the wacky tobaccy that is consumed in the portland and the NW in general that we would have a lower stress level. there should be lots of people who are just chillin'.

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