Monday, March 07, 2005

911 is a Joke in MY Town

Sunday, March 6, 2005, 2:17 AM: Your heroine (that being me) is awakened by the sound of an insanely loud bell-type building alarm going off in the warehouse across from her apartment, indicating that either some type of emergency is in progress, or pterodactyl-sized pigeon has taken enormous dump on alarm trigger from great altitude.

Sunday, March 6, 2005, 2:21 AM: Heroine, noting a lack of any sort of emergency response, reluctantly rolls over and calls 311 to report alarm. Retarded 311 Operator asks heroine what type of action should be taken. Heroine replies with something to the effect of "um, well, since I called YOU for HELP, and that's, you know, your JOB, maybe you should kinda KNOW what to do here and whatnot." Retarded 311 Operator seems to agree, and transfers call to 911 Operator, who takes report on alarm and says she'll "send someone out."

Sunday, March 6, 2005, 3:17 AM: Heroine, who is at this point both deeply concerned at the utter lack of response from police/fire/ambulance to what may or may not be an actual emergency, and REALLY pissed off that insanely loud bell-like alarm has continued to ring unabated for the last hour, again calls 311 and is subsequently transferred to 911 Operator Numero Dos, who, unlike her predecessor, says she will "send help right away."

Sunday, March 6, 2005, 3:28 AM - 7:39 AM: Heroine's insanely loud heater kicks on intermittently, drowning out insanely loud bell-like alarm intermittently, allowing heroine to sleep intermittently. At this point, if someone was bleeding in that warehouse, he/she is dead. If someone was robbing warehouse, he/she/they are LOOOOOONG gone. Etcetera and so forth.

Sunday, March 6, 2005, 7:40 AM: Heroine is awakened by the Sounds of Sirens (my apologies to Simon, Garfunkel, and Engrish speakers everywhere) as firetrucks scream onto her block, all in a rush, some FIVE HOURS AND NINETEEN MINUTES after the initial 911 call. Firefighters proceed to break into warehouse, climb up on roof, and generally futz around for close to an hour, during which time they at last succeed in shutting off insanely loud bell-like alarm after numerous tries. Great work, guys. Whew. Heroes to the rescue.

Sunday, March 6, 2005, 8:34 AM: Your absolutely fucking FURIOUS heroine AGAIN calls 311, this time with the intent of reporting this gross failure to respond to someone, ANYONE who will listen and may have the authority to do something about it. She encounters Retarded 311 Operator Numero Dos, who, like her predecessor, asks heroine what she should do. Heroine is understandably low on patience by this juncture, and requests to speak with 311 Supervisor. 311 Supervisor agrees that this lack of response is a "reportable issue," assists me in filing a formal complaint against the NYPD, and further provides me with the means and information necessary to follow up on said complaint. Heroine assures 311 Supervisor that he can bet his sweet bippy that she will not only follow up, but pursue the issue as far as is necessary in order to glean an explanation as well as an apology from the "protectors" of our fair city. Heroine also informs 311 Supervisor, as diplomatically as is possible given the situation, the hour, and her lack of sleep, that 311 Operators are, by and large, completely fucktarded. 311 Supervisor resignedly agrees. Heroine is SO not comforted by that fact. The end.

Points of contention:

  1. If I lived on, say, the Upper West Side instead of pretty much anywhere in Brooklyn, the response time would have been more like five minutes. No question.
  3. Of course I'm not a heroine. I was being facetious. Fucking relax already. (I do have great boobs, though.)
  4. Now that there's an official complaint against the NYPD out there with my (real) name, address, and phone number attached to it, I best hope I don't have a real emergency of my own anytime soon. But you know what? Fuck it. What are they gonna to respond in a timely manner...? Yeah...

So there you go...Our tax dollars, hardly at work. Fight the Power.


Blogger Anna said...

Helen, you heroine, I am obsessed with your blog. And with this story. :)

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wet myself and busted out some Mariah Carey for you! -- Charles

3:33 PM  
Blogger c said...

you state the obvious:

1. you have nice boobs
2. the police suck ass

11:33 PM  

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