Thursday, June 26, 2008

Public Works: You're On My List

Three weeks ago during a really bad storm, this happened:

(that grass there to the right? that's my front lawn)

We were VERY lucky that:

1. our car was not parked in its usual street spot or it would have been crushed

2. it didn’t fall on our house

We were kind enough to cut up the tree ourselves and make nice piles with the branches on the street in front of our house.

The Timeline:

Sunday, June 8: the tree falls across the entire street

Monday, June 9: place phone call to the town to clean up debris
(their response, “We’ll put you on the list!”)

Monday, June 9: place phone call to electric company to inform them part of the tree is leaning on wires
(their response, “We’ll put you on the list!”)

Monday, June 16: place second call to town to clean up debris
(their response? you guessed it: “We’ll put you on the list!”)

Monday, June 23: electric company finally comes and takes down branches leaning on the wires

Present day: tree debris is still in front of the house

Really? Three weeks to come clean it up?

Yes, the main reason I want the branches cleaned up is because they look ugly. Our yard is so green and perfect and nice, and those dead branches are really an eyesore.

Vanity aside, they are taking up the street space. On the upside, this makes it impossible for my neighbors to park their monstrosity of a vehicle in front of our house. However, it also eliminates space for us to park one of our cars in front of our house, so we’re continually volleying the cars in the driveway.


So apparently once the electric company came to take down the rest of the tree we were to call the town again so they could come and remove the rest of the tree and grind up the stump.

Yeah, sure.

Here’s how THAT phone call went.


PW: “Public Works.”
Disgruntled, I-don’t-even-know-what-you-want-but-I-don’t-have-time-for-you tone.

ME: “Hi. I’m hoping you can help me. A few weeks ago, a tree in our yard – actually it’s between the sidewalk and the street, so not technically our yard, but more on town land – fell in a storm. We cut it up and moved everything out of the way, and it’s in front of our house…”

PW: “What’s the address?”

I ignore the fact that he is rude and cut me off, and give him the address.

PW: “I’ll put you on the list.”

There’s no way he wrote down our address in that millisecond.

ME: “Yes, we have been on the list. For three weeks. I am NOW calling to report that the electric company has come and removed the branches that were near the wires. We were told when that happened to call you back so that you guys can come and remove the rest of the tree and grind up the stump.”

PW: “We just don’t take out trees. It needs to either be dead or busted up.”

ME: “I see. Can you define, ‘busted up’ for me?”

PW: “You know, broken and stuff.”

The College Of Public Works? Has very low admission standards.

ME: “Yes. Well. This tree? Has no branches on it. It is just a trunk. Coming out of the ground. Like a wooden pole.”

PW: “Oh. Then we’ll have to send a supervisor out to look at it. What was the address again?”

What? You didn’t write it down the first time? Shocking.

I relay the address again. Slowly.

PW: “You’re on the list!”

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