Tuesday, March 3, 2009

An experiment in not "complaining"

I've had a few comments from nutters stating that I should stop "complaining".

Well, too bad. After thinking about your feedback, I have decided the following:

  • I am not an architect, so I cannot design beautiful buildings for our city
  • I am not an artist, so I can't create artworks that lift the spirits and please the eye
  • I am not a green thumb, so I can't plant gardens that soothe the soul and cool the temperament
  • I am not an engineer, so I can't fix our roads and footpaths
  • In short, there is not much that I can personally do to physically improve our quality of life

I am however a great complainer. It was what I was born to do. I have worked in the belly of the beast, spending a year penning responses to people complaining to CityRail, so I think I know complaining inside out. I have dealt with a wider variety of complaints (and nutters) than you can possibly comprehend. I have been trained by experts, and have worked with the craftsmen of complaints. My manager at the time was the doyen of flak-catchers, the zen master of complaints management, the guru of grumpiness.

During my time there, I happened to introduce the idea of the form letter to CityRail - my subsequent dealings with RailCorp can be thought of as punishment for my sins.

But as a sop to those who believe that "complaining" is unnecessary, and that councils will find and fix things without anyone telling them that a problem exists, I have devised an experiment.

On the weekend, I spotted two things that I would normally report to Canada Bay Council - graffiti reappearing on a target that gets hit almost every weekend, and a large and rapidly growing pot hole on a busy street.

I spotted the graffiti on Sunday. In the past, I have usually reported graffiti like this via the council's anti-graffiti website on the weekend, and the anti-graffiti team has removed it by close of business on Monday. I have sometimes seen them at it first thing on Monday morning. There is a very short time lag between reporting and action. You tell Council, they fix. Simple as that.

Pot holes can take a little longer - perhaps a week - between reporting and filling in.

Today is Tuesday. I went past the graffiti this morning, and it is still there. Imagine that - no one has reported it, and nothing has been done about it. Funny that. I'm still waiting for Council's magic eyeball in the sky to spot it and report it.

Same goes for the pot hole. I drove over it again this morning with the usual suspension breaking crunch.

I'm going to wait until next Monday, and then I'll report both problems and time how long it takes to fix them.

If that doesn't convince the "stop moaning, you whinging bastard" crowd, nothing will. All I can suggest then is that they start taking their medication again and go back to drooling in the corner.

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