I had a social media tantrum on Friday evening, and it felt gooooood.
Our street and many streets around us have been having their water and sewer mains replaced all summer. It has been barrels of fun.
|It was awesome not being able to park in our driveway for six weeks.
Grocery day was particularly fun!
Three separate times over the summer we have come home from work to find no running water in the house. The last time this happened we called the city and then waited and waited and then waited some more. After calling back several times, someone finally arrived at our house at 9:00 pm to tell us there was nothing to be done until the contracters came back the next day. We had no water overnight, and as we have young-ish children, this was also super fun. Good times!
So on Friday when I got home to find that once again that we had no water, I phoned 311 to report it, but then I was feeling punchy and so I decided to throw a social media tantrum. Twitter, Facebook and email were all whirring from my computer, and now a couple of days later, from my blog as well. I tagged my city councillor, the mayor and as many email addresses as I could from the contractor who has been doing the work. My fingers tapped tapped tapped away. I was exasperated, imagining another long wait into the night to be told that we wouldn’t get water until the next day at best, and at worst on Monday.
But! At 6:30 pm, city councillor Katherine Hobbs replied to both my email and my tweets. (Thank you Katherine for being so responsive every time we have contacted you!) She told me that six people from my street had called the city with no water that evening, and that the city truck would be at my house within the half hour. I looked out my window, and behold! There it was.
The city worker turned on our water from the standpipe (I’m learning the lingo) and explained that they had disconnected us from the temporary water lines earlier that day and they had reconnected our house to the watermain. They had intentionally not opened this valve though because apparently they cannot do so when no one is home.
Why was there no plan in place for the water to be turned on for we poor working folk as soon as we arrived home at the end of a long week? Why was there no letter telling us what needed to be done so that six individual homes had to phone and wonder what had gone wrong? I am shaking my head at the mismanagement, but I am grateful to have clean water in my house, so there is that.
As for my social media blitz, who knows if it did any good, but I believe that it did make things move faster than they would have otherwise. I also felt like I had a voice that could be heard in a crowd – something that can be difficult for me. Social media is powerful and empowering. Please use it wisely.
P.S. I need to shout out to Andrew, the poor lone contractor who walked past my house at just the wrong time after all the other workers had gone home for the day. He heard me plead my case, called the foreman, checked the water lines, and was kind and empathetic. He really wanted to help, but in the end there was nothing he could do. Thank you Andrew.