Category Archives: Writings

COLUMN 19: I’M HERE.

Just how exactly did I come to find myself squatting in someone’s disaster counting their rolls of toilet paper? This certainly wasn’t anything I imagined for my future when I lay in bed, staring up at the constellation of glow-in-the dark-stars that spattered my teenaged skies. At the very least, the doors my little golden Phi Beta Kappa key were going to open weren’t supposed to be X’ed with yellow caution tape and kicked in with my own foot…

read more of the article at

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/column-19-im-here

TOTAL LOSS: A COLUMN ABOUT INVENTORYING OTHER PEOPLE’S TRAGEDIES

TOTAL LOSS: A COLUMN ABOUT INVENTORYING OTHER PEOPLE’S TRAGEDIES

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Stef Willen works for the leading West Coast natural disaster company. Her thorough inventory of everything in a burned-down home or business helps owners receive fair settlements from their insurance company. She planned on doing it for a couple of months. Then a couple more. Then maybe long enough to write a book about it. Now it’s what she does, and she gets a decent paycheck if someone’s charred dwelling is at least 3,500 square feet. If they are a clinical hoarder, she doesn’t have to work for the rest of the month.