Calling the mayor's hotline results in more trouble for constituents, not less

Me: Hi, Columbia Road just south of Quincy Street has about a foot of
standing water and cars are getting stuck, in case you're not aware yet.

Phone person: What part of the city is that?

My brain: Um, and you work for the City of Boston?

Me: Dorchester

Person: OK, what's your name and telephone number?

Me: No thanks; I'm not there anymore and don't need anything further.
Just letting you know.

Person: We need your name and number in case we need to contact you
about the issue.

Me: No, I don't need to be contacted. Thanks.

Person: Ma'am...

Me: Thanks for your time, bye.

Apparently if I want to be helpful to my fellow residents, I need to
permit the city to bug me about something that no longer has anything
to do with me.


Barbara from Dorchester said...

I've found that whenever it's a traffic issue of any kind I get a better response from 911 (or 617-343-4911 if I'm calling from a cell phone and want Boston 911 and not State-wide 911). I also always give my name and number since they hardly ever call back anyway. It seems to make the operator more comfortable -- like a prank caller or habitual curmudgeon wouldn't do that.

eeka said...

Yeah, I have no problem giving my name, for the reason you suggest (I'm willing to stand behind having had a legitimate reason to call, etc.), but I'm also not going to succumb to a cookie-cutter system that's set up so that they need someone to call back regarding a problem that's something I noticed while driving and that no longer has anything to do with me.

I pointed it out in hopes that they might reconsider whether they need to ask for that every single time someone calls.

Maybe they could ask whether you'd like a call back, rather than saying they "need" the info, since we all know they can't just ignore an issue because it was called in anonymously. It really bothers me when people and agencies in permission of authority pretend something is "required" when anyone with common sense knows this isn't the case.