Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Moogie's New Adventure with the Sewerage and Water Board

I was reading about his cable company travails over at Mean ol Meany's and thought I'd share with you my latest adventure with the Sewerage and Water Board (plus a little of the backstory).

We had a lovely weekend trip to Little Rock for impending wedding fun, but Pepper's sudden need to get back to the office Monday morning led to an unexpected premature departure.  To avoid having to arise at an obscenely early hour on Monday, we instead drove halfway home late Sunday evening to Vicksburg, and checked into the pet-friendly La Quinta.  Bouie was a little skeptical about the accommodations (which were actually very nice -- breakfast was included and they even offered Milk Bones at the desk!) and wound up sleeping on the bed with us!  This makes me very nervous about the future, seeing as how he tried to crawl into bed with me again this morning, but, how could we have denied this adorable, anxious face?

After sharing a bit of our breakfast-included with Bouie back in the room, and hitting the road early so Pepper could take a 45-freakin'-minute conference call plugged into the cell phone charger in the car, we had a very pleasant drive back to New Orleans, even though there was quite a bit of road work going on (*DIGRESSION ALERT* why, exactly, do highway construction teams require so many multiple redundancies of equipment and personnel , and do people actually apply specifically to be the flagman guys who hold up the "Slow"/"Stop" signs?  And, if so, why?).  Pepper changed clothes and when I walked him out to his truck, we discovered this:

Yes, someone had stolen one -- not both, mind you -- one of the art deco water meter covers from whence once sprung a little spring.  You remember how very painless and successful those conversations with the Sewerage and Water Board went, don't you?

So, it was with no little dread and trepidation that I dialed the "Customer Service" number at the S&WB.  I didn't catch the lady's name who fielded my call after I'd been on hold, listening to all sorts of S&WB news tidbits for at least ten minutes, but I do hope that our conversation was one that was being "monitored for quality control."

I explained to Ms. Nameless that I was calling to report a stolen water meter cover.  She asked, and I supplied name, address, and phone number.  She assured me that she would report the missing cover and tried to disengage.  Knowing how the S&WB functions, however, and not wanting S&WB meter cover minions wandering around, fruitlessly searching for a lidless meter, I quickly added that the meters are on Jena street, not Perrier Street, (which is the mailing address). 

She struggled with this concept.

So, I patiently explained (several times) how our house is situated on a corner and, while the account mailing address is on Perrier, the meters are physically located on the side street, which is Jena.  She repeatedly told me that the meters had to be on Perrier because that's the address on the account.  And then she started using that tone of voice and I could just picture her waggling her head at me, holding up her palm so I could "talk to the hand."   I impatiently assumed my lawyer/teacher voice and explained to her how I was just telling her where the meters are actually, literally, physically located, mailing address be damned, and that if somone fell into or tripped over that hole, it will be on the S&WB's dime, not Moogie's. She said, "yes, ma'am," and I hit the "end" button on the phone.   Repeatedly.

Then I took my blood pressure meds.

As I commented over at Mean ol', I'm beginning to think that many employees of utilities are required to take a course in "Inane Thought Processes."

Or, maybe it's just that Ms. Nameless failed the exam to be one of the flagman guys and wound up in Customer Service.

I'm beginning to think I need to add a "Sewerage and Water Board" tag to the blog. 



  1. You need to watch the video that Lost Fart of Blogging posted in Dis-Service http://lostfart.blogspot.com/2011/03/customer-dis-service.html

  2. Yeesh. Instead of "you have to be this tall to go on this ride" the sign at the water department says "you have to be this stupid to get a job here."

  3. Do you think someone took that cover home as a Mardi Gras souvenir?

  4. I am certainly lucky, so to speak, in the water/sewer department because we have a local water co-op. The office is right around the corner from my crib.

    But, Comcast has yet to call today.

  5. Oh, Lou! That is hysterical!!

    Yeah -- our municipal services employees are a piece of smarts, Inno.

    No telling, Cuz. They're considered artworks, so they turn up missing all the time.

    Comcast still holding out, Paul? Go watch that video at Lost Fart -- it's a wicked pleasure in the ongoing conflict with public utilities, or anyone with a "customer service" phone menu!

  6. Or, maybe it's just that Ms. Nameless failed the exam to be one of the flagman guys and wound up in Customer Service.

    That option has MY vote.

  7. Yup, I think you're on to Miss Nameless -- the flagman exam was a booger.