Sunday, August 07, 2005

Out of Control

Sometimes you lose control of things and there is nothing you can do about it. My last two weeks have been a string of coincidences or God trying to tell me something and I wasn’t listening.

Part One

It is July 29, 2005, 7:00 a.m. I wake up, go to my bathroom to do you know what and brush my teeth. I turn on the faucet and nothing comes out. I go to the kitchen and turn that faucet on and nothing. Dam! No water. My first thoughts are, did they turn my water off? Hell, I paid my bill, what’s up with this? I stepped out on my porch and saw the problem. A water pipe that runs under my street was broke and it was shooting water out of a newly formed fissure in the road. Again, dam! Now what am I going to do. I have to use the toilet. I proceeded to the bathroom and released myself because I can only hold the liquid so long. I had to remember to “not flush.” That was the beginning of my weekend.

I originally had planned to do some laundry, wash my hair, and, it was water my lawn day. So much for cleaning up and replenishing the soil. Dam! I realized that I, and I’m sure you and others, depend heavily on water. We need it to feed our bodies as well as clean them. We need it to clean our clothes and cars, not to mention, feed the lawn. I found myself unable to do much of anything that included water, so much for having an organized day. In other words, to hell with my plans. I made the phone call to the Detroit water department. Yep, they knew about it and would send someone to investigate. Investigate? Investigate what? The water line broke, it was gushing water onto the street and no one on the block had any water in their house, what’s there to investigate? How about someone to fix the darn thing, I’ve got things to do and goals to meet. My weekend starts on Friday and ends on Sunday with a ton of water related work to be done. If I didn’t have any water, how was I to accomplish them?

An investigator came, marked the gas lines, put a barricade around the break and left. My neighbors and I spent most of the morning discussing how we might get the water department to move faster on resolving this dilemma. Not many went to work that day. No way, as the old saying goes to, “shit, shower and shave.” So we talked, talked about the city and its service, or lack of it I should say. “We won’t get any water probably until Monday.”
“My mother lives around the corner. I’ll just go to her house and clean up.”
“I’m going to keep on calling the water department until they get somebody out here.”
One comment after another we all made, not many could I write in a public domain. Our mission, to get the water line fixed. We wanted our water on and running like it always was.

Anyway, as time went on, we found out the water line would not be repaired until the next day. Now how soon or late that would be, was anybody’s guess. Although, a supervisor swore it would be morning, none of us trusted the city’s water department. There had been some political issues concerning the water department and turmoil was rampant within it. All we could do was cross our fingers, pray, and hope that we didn’t get lost in the mix.

I proceeded to get ready to visit my sister to bathe because I had to go to work. As I was gathering my things required to clean my body, the news came on and a suburb in our metro area had the same problem that morning. To my surprise, their city immediately moved on getting the residents in a condition that they could live with. They supplied drinking water and rigged hoses from another source to each house. This so that residents did not have to do without water, not even for one day. Now I was MAD. I e-mailed the news station and gave them a piece of my mind about Detroit’s water department and the way they handle the same problem. I got a reply. In the reply, I was informed it would be sent to the night news editor and someone would get back to me. Not having time to wait, I went on to my sister’s house.

Later, as I returned home, there was a message left on my phone’s answering machine. I was to call the station when I got in. They wanted to talk with me about my water problem. I did and the producer asked if I was still without water. “You dam right I am.” By the way, it was now 10:00 p.m. She said she would make some calls and get back with me. Well, I never heard back from her again but, the water department was on the block to make repairs the next morning. Now this may sound like nothing much to you but the city of Detroit’s water department doesn’t work on weekends. So to see them on Saturday morning working to fix a water line break made me smile. I wondered if my call to the TV station and their interest in what kind of service I would get, prompt a little due diligence on the water department’s part on good press. It’s definitely my view point on the matter.


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