| David Gane

Showing Up

This time last week my sewer stopped working—no showers, no toilet, no laundry, no dishes. When I went down to my basement, I found it had backed up.

I called the city, who told me to call a private company because they were too busy. I called a company, who came out and struggled with it for three hours, until he told me to call the city. I called again and was sent two guys out to tell me they couldn’t do anything until I fixed my side of the sewer line. So, I called around on Thursday night, found two guys who gave me quotes on Friday, hired one of them, who started work on Saturday and dug up my front lawn on Monday to get it fixed.

Tuesday came around and I found out my sewer still wasn't working. So, I called the people who fixed my line, who came out and looked at it, who told me to call the city because it was on their side, who told me to call a private company because they were too busy, who came out and got it flowing again, but told me to call the city to check their side of things. I spoke to a woman from the city who told me she empathized with my problem (although I'm sure she wasn't bathing out of a bowl of water). Eventually, two guys from the city showed up and inspected it and said that it looked good, but they’d ask someone to come out and clean the main lines.

It took me six days, many phone calls, and a whole lot of money to finally get what I wanted at the start.

We don't want runaround and inefficiency, no matter how efficient people think a system is. But we also don’t need excuses, apologies, or sympathy either.

Sometimes all we want is for someone to step up, take charge, and do their job.

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