On the right is the very lovely South African model Sam Katz and on the left is the Mayor of Winnipeg, Sam Katz.
Which one, when looking at the picture, does not create an urge to vomit? I leave that up to you dear readers to decide.
Now that that bit of weirdness is over and done with (Google you win again!) let us get to what is pissing me off (other than this bitterly cold weather) today. (If I am not pissed off about something at least twice a week then I have lost my purpose for living)
Our wonderful mayor, a man who is known to have done some ahhhhh very "creative" things in his business affairs decided to implement some time ago this informational system whereby you, the citizen, dial 311 and speak with some person on the other end of line instead of dealing directly with the civic department that you need to speak with. Yep, the City of Winnipeg is closed for business in my opinion. Its public servants no longer want to deal with the public - not as if they ever did anyway but that discussion is for another day.
Now this is nothing new as this system has been in place for at least two years but because I had to call them, reluctantly, I get to bitch about it now.
Last night coming back from a meeting I had to catch a bus. I am an infrequent user of the bus systems being that I really hate being around people who are coughing and sneezing and who wear knock-off perfumes....tacky, tacky, tacky.....but I digress. I love to walk (when it is not brutally cold) when I can but there are times when I do not walk too well and in the summers I am on my bike so my experiences with Transit Tom are few and far between.
I decided to take my chances and catch the one bus that would get me within a block of my house as I was reluctant to walk any further in the cold. I was lucky, or so I thought, as I looked at the schedule - I would only have to wait a mere five minutes. Fifteen minutes later.....good thing he showed up as my toes were getting numb....not good.
I boarded, said hello and laughingly said dude you are late! He glared at me. He was not a happy man. Minutes later I am about to get off at my stop and yes, I exit through the rear door as is proper unlike most folks in this city who even though they are closer to the rear door will still jostle and shove and exit through the front one as folks are trying to board but that discussion is for another day....Winnipeg - so much to bitch about and not enough time.
The door opens and what do I see but one of those ubiquitous piles of snow....as I said earlier some days I do not move too well and this day was one of them. I politely brought this to the driver's attention and asked if he could move the bus up just a couple of feet. The bastard ignored me. I asked again and still there was no response.
It is difficult to exit from these newer buses at the best of times in that one hand must be kept on the door in order to prevent it from closing on you so imagine what it is like for someone who has balance issues like most MS sufferers like myself do....makes life really fun sometimes. I exited but was extra cautious because I did not want to slip on the snowbank - that would have landed me under the bus and with this asshole driving who knows what would have been done....probably fuck-all.
I made it off safely if but awkwardly and shook my head in disgust and yelled out thanks to you asshole!!!! I hope he heard it.
So now this brings us back to the 311 BS......I call, hoping to be connected to someone in the Transit Department who can handle my concerns but no I have to talk with some flunky operator who tells me that it could take up to 27 days for my concern to be dealt with. I had to request that someone actually call me. The operator said why and I said because I want to talk with someone in that department. This is not going to be swept under the rug I said.....so my information was taken.
I am not going to wait no stinkin' 27 days. Oh no. I am tossing down the gauntlet here and giving these jokers until Monday - high noon. If I hear from nobody by that time I will then contact my blind City Councillor and make that bugger work. Since this is an issue of disability rights and safety I figure he may act on it.
311 is a joke and an insult to the citizens of Winnipeg. It is high time this system got scrapped and that the city workers deal directly with the public. After all, what have they got to be worried about? They are doing a fine job right?