i hate bronchitis, but 311 is sorta okay

thank goodness my doctor told me to go home and stay in bed AFTER the electricity came back on.  we may only get four channels, but if i had to lay here in the dark without being able to see what Jack, Carly, Holden and Lily are doing …

i hate bronchitis. i hate the sticky feeling inside your chest that brings to mind those hideous mucinex commercials.  i hate those deep rumbly coughs that catch you off guard.  i hate not being able to converse for more than 5 minutes without choking.  but i hate pneumonia and being in the hospital worse, so i'll deal with it.  thank god for steroids.

Rich Lord wrote about 311 in today's Post-Gazette.  my own experience with 311 has been mixed.  the service is pretty so-so.  you call and this booming male voice brands the service as Luke Raventstahl territory before you know anything else.  then you enter a land of waiting and incredibly awful music that is distorted and far too loud.  a pleasant female voice tells you 1 caller is ahead of you, more bad music and then somehow 3 callers are ahead of you.  if and when you finally get through, the workers are very, very grumpy.  i'm sure their jobs really suck.  they've been assuring me for months that someone was working on the loud music/caller line jumping issue.  ha.  most of the time, they don't even ask for my name or offer me a service ticket number. it is just on to the next disgruntled yinzer. poor blokes.

so the service needs some plucking.  the follow through has been so-so.  much better during election years and until Kevin Quigley figured out that i wasn't a Ravenstahl fan and didn't return any of my email messages about his fishing derby.  the tree in front of my house was cut down, eventually, after i emailed pictures of the dangling limbs to every email address i could find.  being sent a card telling me you can't do the work i requested is almost as annoyin as the card telling me you did the work.  stop spending money on cards and hire more workers. 

i think the system has some merits, but the fact that people get bumped ahead of me in line on the telephone end is just weirdly symbolic about the actual work getting done.  sometimes you have 1 campaign contributor ahead of you and sometimes there's 3.  you never know.

my favorite moment in all of my 311 dealings.  well, there are two.  one is when the lady told me that BBI doesn't fine dumpers so don't bother reporting it.  ha.  the second is when the BBI dude was shaking hands with the twice-convicted gun and drug thug instead of citing his mother for having a crappy ass drainpipe that is damaging at least three other roofs.  if i only had a camera phone that day. 

ah.  i am never satisfied.  or maybe i still have a fever.  i can't find any soup.  there is no soup for dinner on the northside.  well, except soup i don't like. 

i know there is gay stuff happening in the world.  being sick has drastically shrunk mine.  losing a good friend who was so young.  well, that shinks it some more. 

sigh. 

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