A Tale Of Two Phone Calls
While stopped at the traffic light at Clifton Boulevard and Summit Avenue on March 8, I noticed the top of a utility pole swinging an arc of twenty degrees across the sidewalk with the high wind that day. When I got home, I called the Illuminating Company to ask them nicely to do something about it.
After spending several minutes wading through yet another corporate American voicemail tree due to “high call volume” – corporate speak for “we don’t want to hire enough people to take care of your call" – I finally got to talk to someone whose primary concern was documenting the system and making sure I wasn’t a prank caller. This despite all the voices I heard around him talking about high winds.
“Oh, and sir – the swaying pole is in front of a school and next to a bus stop.” The customer “service” agent’s next statement: “Please hold.” Not!
The dispatcher answered the Lakewood Police non-emergency number in less than twenty seconds, and told me “Police and fire are on the scene, sir.” Thank you.
The contrasting responses of corporate America and of those who protect and serve show that the rank and file in government understand their job is to serve the people, while corporate America’s concern remains covering its own interests and protecting its wallet.
Bravo to the fine men and women of the Lakewood Police and Fire Departments. And to the worker bees at the Illuminating Company who got the power back on well in advance of the predicted “By 8 a.m. tomorrow morning."
However, corporate America’s prescribed canned playbook response underscores the importance of us commoners standing up to corporations and their endless quest for their precious profits.
Next time some corporate scion rails against government, ask yourself? “Who cared on March 8?”
Bob Soltys is a photographer, penman, former Navy officer, letter revivalist and the co-author of A Lucky Life.
Bob Soltys is a photographer, penman, former Navy officer, letter revivalist, and the coauthor of A Lucky Life.