June 2015 Review of Norman, Oklahoma
I originally came to live in Langston, OK because I had lost my job in Sanford, Florida. I had lived in Florida all of my life (45 years) until coming to Oklahoma. I was able to secure a position with the University of Oklahoma in 2013. I was very excited because I thought I would have the opportunity to support my professional growth and development while collaborating with other professionals. I have tried to be positive, but the truth is that Norman, like many other cities, is for a specific type of person and that would be Republican. I will state that most of the people are family oriented. However, there is very little customer service when interacting with any business. By that I mean if you walk into a restaurant or a government agency there is more of a focus on chatting with friends than taking care of business. A lot of modern conveniences are lacking. For instance when I changed my drivers license I could only use cash. Also, you can not mix cash and credit when purchasing at certain establishments. The modern convenience I miss most is being able to pay rent via the apartment website. There are no rental options for paying online, even when you are renting a home. This may be the Bible belt, but there is no hospitality. People don't invite you into their homes this includes church-attending Christians. When I lived in Florida I had no less than 10 invites around the holidays - being single that can be important (I have no family in Oklahoma). Not one person, even people that came to know me through work or other social events extended holiday invites. Another issue is the infrastructure, not just in Norman, but the entire state. The roads need a lot of work. This work would include fixing the large holes in streets, painting the road markings (lanes), street lights and sidewalks. When it rains it is difficult to see the lane markings (they are faded or don't exist) and it is very dark, but there are no street lights. I found it very strange that a Republican state pushing that everyone work including the mentally and physically challenged would not provide safe routes along the various highways and streets; there is limited bus transportation. As much as I appreciate working at the University of Oklahoma they do not believe in free speech. In fact, if you say anything negative about the university it is ground for immediate termination, even if it is true. Like the fact that the technology is about 20 years, behind. In order to print from a conference room you must contact IT and they will set-up the permission to print for 24 hours and then your ability to print will terminate. This process must be done prior to each meeting. There is a smart technology in each conference room, but if you don't have permissions you can't send email from the computer. The university gave raises last year. The first time in four years. There are jobs here, but they are low paying. There is really no traffic here, when you compare the rush hour to Atlanta or I-4 in Florida. You will not be stuck in traffic more than hour unless there is road construction or an accident. Also, the education system is poor. The money that is spent on each child is about 4,000 a year and I am probably being generous. The state legislature just voted on raises for teachers, in the amount of 5,000 dollars to be fully paid (the teachers will receive so much money each year) by 2020. Most of the teachers move to Texas where the pay is better. (Langston University (Langston, OK) has not given its employees a raise since 1998). If you work for a government agency your salary is available online, which is provided by the State of Oklahoma. Finally, it is important to remember that the majority of people - again like most other people in cities and states, have not lived anywhere else.
Native | Norman, OK