Tuesday, September 07, 2004

311

Not the charmingly genre-defiant band but the mysterious New York City complaint service.

I called them today to complain about two things:

1) The water fountain at Cooper Park - where I play basketball - which has been either exceptionally warm and funky or just plain trickling since the summer began. I told them to trick it out.

2) A pothole at the intersection of Graham Ave. and Meeker. I lied and told them my car had gotten a flat tire, just driving over it. Kablamo! If the city doesn't fix it, I told her, my car and my family might blow an axle next time and careen into a school. Really, it's just scared me a number of times. But disaster could strike. It's a brutal and strategically placed pothole.

Has anyone else used this service? The thought of direct access to the City infrastructure makes me feel loved and protected. I don't know how quickly they'll attack these problems. But the woman I talked to was very nice and her voice filled me with hope. I asked what the general problems people called up with were. Mrs. 311 told me noise and potholes.

I will report back with updates on these trivial but tangible problems and how quickly they are remedied. Start making noise so I can complain about that too.

3 Comments:

Blogger doctor grosz said...

I used 311 when both my hot-water heater AND my boiler went to pot last February. My landlord, an ever-thrifty fellow, obvisouly decided that he could save some money if he went with contractors who would make the project a C-List priority. Seeing as how I work from home (and was doing so in a fur coat), I figured it was high time to complain after 72 hours of no heat.

Unfortunately, the operator I spoke with failed to inform me that I could file my complaint anonymously until AFTER he submitted it. Thanks, dude.

I know for sure that they spent the next 24 hours calling him at home. About every hour, too. Whether or not he was fined remains an unknown but I would love it if it was several times the amount he was planning on "saving."

Still took the bastard a week to get us heat and hot water. In February.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Cas for commending this new friendly service (as kindness is practically a rarity in NY bureaucracy). I recently reported an obstructed traffic light at the horrid intersection of E34th St and the Midtown Tunnel. 311 promptly transferred my call to the Dept of Parks & Rec and they will swiftly remove the little tree that was the problem. Why must we destroy nature instead of moving the light? Nature must be more easily bullied...

- Susan Stewart

10:10 AM  
Blogger Casimir said...

Since I've called 311, neither thing I mentioned were fixed. But I'm not giving up yet. The water fountain issue may have come up too late as the season for outdoor sports is fast fading. But I shall continue to study my pothole for improvement. Sounds like you both made NYC work for you. As it should!

11:31 AM  

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