As a local government worker you need a thick skin; working in a highways department, it needs to be like a rhino; and as an engineer, you may want to have a word with Tony Stark about an upgrade.I have had to deal with some very unhappy "customers"* over the last couple of weeks who were annoyed with the service they were getting (or not which may be more the point for some). I have had shop keepers who hadn't bothered to respond to a consultation and were now upset that we had started on a scheme which included stopping people (potential customers) parking at a bus stop and them driving over the footway (where are we meant to park they cried - tons of space literally round the corner I said).
I have had the resident who wouldn't accept that I wasn't there to complain to another transport authority on their behalf - they managed to email me to moan about the other authority, but couldn't use the email address I provided to moan direct. Then we have Mr Scattergun who emails everyone he can think of and when he doesn't get an answer the same day, sends another email complaining and we end up with multiple departments and people trying to answer when they really need to butt out and let me respond within ten working days.
Then I had the councillor who wanted to raise (on behalf of a constituent) concern that there was a signalised junction where people found it hard to cross because of a lack of green man, a narrow refuge and lack of gaps in the traffic. The answer of course is a redesign and green men on all arms, but the concern evaporated when the impact on drivers was also explained.
Next up was the complaint by email with a press cutting attached reporting on a collision with the person asking for my comments before they took it further. The complainant disagreed with a decision made a couple of years ago (bus stop again) and clearly wanted to make a fuss. I think my answer will be that they should take it further because that is their intention anyway.
Away from the the day job, the continual whining on Twitter about UK traffic engineers, well, continued (yes, I know there is an off button and I know a lot is probably justified). What would have crowned the fortnight would have been one of my neighbours having a moan about potholes, but at least I was saved from that!
OK, I will put my fortnight into perspective. People continue to get killed and injured on our streets because we have let them be engineered for cars. People still can't travel independently because there are no green men at junctions, buses cannot pull into the stop and people are scared to ride bikes - you know the list as well as I do.
So, have a pop if it makes you feel better, group-blame highway engineers if you must; but remember that underneath the exoskeleton of officialdom, there lies ordinary people and many of them are frustrated as you are.
|At least I get to escape on two-wheels from time to time,|
even if it is just putting up official notices!
*perhaps people are customers, but it is still a stupid term. As if there is a choice.