PennDOT and 311: Trying to be a good citizen is a waste of time

My dear lord.  This morning, Ledcat and I saw a giant dump truck dump a load of sand into the PennDOT owned field behind our house (you'll recall that field).  It dumped and scurried.  We saw the truck. 

Now, PennDOT has had some subcontractors using the property so I decided to call them first to determine if this was a legal delivery of sand rather than an illegal dumping.  I was on the phone for 25 minutes and was transferred more than 7 times before someone took my message.  I called the construction department, the maintenance department, the media department and so forth.  That kind lady finally called me back and told me I should call 911, but did not have any way to verify if the dumping was allowed or illegal. 

So I'm supposed to waste precious local 911 resources b/c no one from PennDOT could talk to me or verify the dumping/non-dumping issue.  What?

Then I tried to call 311.  I was on hold for 17 minutes and 22 seconds.  At first, 4 people were in queu ahead of me, then 6, then 2, then 3, etc.  Then I was dumped into a voicemail (even though I kept pressing the option for a person), a voicemail that was full and unable to take messages. 

Then I called Councilwoman Payne's office.  At least a live person answered the phone.  I've now invested over 60 minutes of my time trying to report a possible crime and no one wants to talk with me.  Payne's staffer at least tried to be helpful, but I think she believes I'm complaining about the overgrowth on the property so I hope that message doesn't dilute the real reason I called.

Sheesh.  Why is this so difficult?  PennDOT should contact the company in question and give them XX amount of time to clean up the dumped materials or press charges.  Simple as that.  It should take four phone calls — me to PennDOT (maybe a transfer or two at best), PennDOT to the company, the company to the department that cleans up their messes and PennDOT back to me to confirm the impending clean up.

Ha.  Paging Diana Nelson Jones for a follow up story. 


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