Wednesday, August 4, 2010

If you want something done, do it yourself

Mom was right on this one. It seems the only way to get anything accomplished is to do it myself. Lately I have been sheerly amazed at the lack of initiative that the general populace seems to have. I feel a little like my Gram saying this, but where is your motivation people? It’s your life, take control of it. Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it (as my fortune cookie told me the other night)! Get moving.

Now, I understand, I’m somewhat of a go-getter. I always have been. I’m a fairly energetic, and frankly I’m just too impatient to sit around and wait for people to do things for me when I can probably do it faster and better. This has gotten me into some trouble in the past, like when I decided to take the door off my apartment to move a desk in rather than waiting for help, and then could not get it back on. I’m not stuck up, but a little skeptical. I just don’t necessarily believe that if you say you are going to do something, that it translates into it actually getting done.

Take real estate agents for example. You call them, they are with a client, and say they will call you in an hour. Do they? Not typically, it is more like a couple hours. Take office meetings. They are set to start at 2pm. Do they? Not usually, people are still filtering in from their desks at the start time. It doesn’t mean be there by then, it means be in your chair, your materials prepared, ready to go at commencement time. I don’t mind if people run late. It happens. The problem is when people consistently do not meet time lines that they have set for themselves, it creates the impression of well, simply, unreliability. Now I no longer believe you when you set a time estimate or personal goal.

Here’s a prime example. For the past month or so there has been no cold water in my building. It is in fact, hot. And it smells/tastes metallic, and is leaving iron stains in my tub and sinks. Generally I would consider it a HUGE health hazard because 1. you can’t drink hot water, and 2. during this heat wave, how have we been surviving without cold showers is mystifying. I, of course reported it to my super immediately. He, in his typical fashion did not call me back, even after several messages. So then I called my management company. They informed me that a couple other people in the building had complained, and that they escalated the issue to NYC.

Yet, there was no initiative from the super or from the building’s management to let tenants know that the problem was being looked into. A couple weeks go by, the problem still isn’t fixed. The building says it is not their problem. The city says it is Con-Ed’s problem. Con-Ed does nothing. The problem is still not fixed. A sign in my building appears that the management has reported the problem to 311, and gives a reference complaint number with the recommendation that tenants stop calling the management company because they can’t do anything further, and follow up with 311. I have an idea of what the management could do. Follow up on the problem themselves? Is that so ridiculous?

I call 311 to report that the problem is still not fixed, and check the status of the complaint oh, about 5 times (the squeaky wheel gets the oil right?). Each representative informs me that the complaint has been “transferred to other agencies” and that they have no more information. One representative even deigned to give me a lecture on being patient, because NYC receives thousands of complaints like this daily. Hello?! This has been going on almost a month. I’ve been patient, and I’m sorry, I thought clean drinking water was kind of a big deal, and a legal requirement of the city.

Finally two days ago I reached a woman who seemed to understand the magnitude of my concern. She investigated a little and determined that the original complaint had hit a wall (read: was not being looked in to after all of the buck passing between the building, NYC, con-ed, and unnamed other agencies). No one else even looked into it enough to realize that. So, she took about 10 minutes and filed a new complaint for me. The next morning a representative from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) called me (4 times) and apologized that this has gone on so long and assured me I will have a water test and full report by Thursday morning at the latest. Finally someone who knows how to do their job. He went on to say that all water problems are supposed to be directed to his desk immediately. If anyone had actually done their jobs properly, or even investigated the complaint’s status when I called, this might have been figured out sooner.

The thing that gets me is that there are 10 apartments in my building. Each has at least 2 bedrooms. And for some reason, the responsibility fell to me to get this problem fixed. Really?? I fail to comprehend how no one else that lives there has been interested in picking up the phone to follow up on a real problem, or that the management company did not follow up a single time. It just drives the point home once again. Clearly the management of my building, and no one else that lives there was planning to do anything about the water issue that has been bugging me for so long. They did the minimum they had to by reporting the issue. If I want something done about it to fix it, I apparently have to do it myself.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails