Security Cameras Help Public Employees Do a Better Job

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With all the available security cameras on businesses one knows he is being watched as he walks down the street from store to store.  Apparently, most people don’t realize they are also being watched as they pass by homes.  Some homes have cameras in all directions while others just have cameras facing the street.  This is my little rant.

One thing is certain.  Public employees will no longer be able to cheat and lie about how they perform their duties away from the office.  For instance, for ten years the local postal employees would leave notices in the mailbox at the curb.  The standard notices say they tried to deliver the package or letter, but no one answered the door.  They fill in the date and time they made the attempt and leave it for me to find a time when the post office is both open and you are off work to make a trip all the way in to town to get it.  Every time I would get one of these notices, I thought about if I was home at that time and why didn’t I hear them knocking at the door.  Some times I was positive I was home but knowing it’s their word against mine and no proof, what can a person do?  Not much.

After installing security cameras, the same postal event happened on a Monday.  Using the post office web site to reschedule delivery of the letter should have brought it the next day.  By four o’clock the carrier should have already been there.  At first I thought there would be no mail at all since there was no knock on the door, instead I went down to the box and there was another notice just like the first.  Frustrated, checking the time the carrier wrote, I wondered how that could have happened.  Surely I didn’t spend all day waiting for the carrier and then manage to miss her.

Back to the post office web site and reschedule for yet another day.  This time with the special instructions to knock loudly.  And then a look at the security video gave proof that the carrier was too lazy to drive her vehicle all the way up the drive way and get out of the truck.  She was too lazy to do her job two days in a row, never mind the previous ten years.

On the third day I watched as the letter carrier drove to my mailbox, she was stopped there quite a while.  Knowing she had a delivery and would coming to ask for my signature, I waited.  On this rural property, it’s quite a long distance from the house to the road.  Once again, the carrier drove away without delivering the letter, instead leaving a notice saying she had tried to deliver the letter.  I went to the post office and got the letter.

This infuriated me.  I wrote a letter to the postmaster explaining that for the previous ten years this had caused packages to be returned to sender because the post office is not open after I get off work.  The letter went on to explain the situation had changed since we have security cameras which show the truth of how postal employees were doing their jobs.  I left the letter on the desk, with no intentions of mailing it.  None.  I just wanted to get it off my chest.  I forgot about it.

Three days later there is a loud knock on the door.  The dogs went wild barking in excitement.  There stood a the postmaster.  He was there to apologize for the lousy service for the previous ten years.  He promised it would not be happening again.  In shock, I asked why he came to my house.  He said because there was no phone number listed on the letter.

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Uh oh.  How did he get that letter?  I didn’t send it.  It turns out my better half saw the letter and was just as fed up as I, and so were our friends because it happens to them too.  For the last two years all of our mail has been delivered properly.

As it turns out, the cameras come in handy when dealing with city employees too.  We got a whopper of a water bill.  Okay, if we owe it we pay it.  Not a problem.  But, I wanted to be sure I actually owed the money.  I called the public works department to verify the bill.

Now, just so happened that the public works employee claimed he came to our house to make notice of a water leak issue, but failed to find us home.  He made such a note on our account records.  The fact is that I saw his truck in the street that day, I watched him as he did something in his truck, and then drove on down the street.

Now as it was, the city was inclined to believe the employee, not me the customer.  The city employee on the phone said the meter reader couldn’t call me because my phone number was not on record.  That wasn’t true.  The same offices previously called me to ask permission to install some sewer lines on my property. So, knowing that a second employee had just lied to me, I mentioned that I watched the meter reader remain in his truck, stopped in the road for a few minutes and then drive away.  I also asked them how I could be sitting on the sofa, looking out the window at his truck and not see or hear him drive up my extra long driveway, knock on the door without the yappy dogs barking, and without being captured on the security video.

Silence on the other end of the phone.  Then she said she would have the manager call me about it.  Six hours later I called them back to see what they planned on doing.  The same female said the manager had tried to call me and left a voice mail.  When I said that my phone was with me the entire time as I was waiting for the call and it did not wring, no missed calls and no message, she was shocked.  She took the number again, said it was the same number as before, and said the manager would call me tomorrow.

Additionally, the meter reader’s decision not do his job will have resulted in 25 more days of hundreds of gallons of water going to waste.  Consider that leaving the hoses on full for twenty four hours will fill the 18′ round swimming pool over 5′ deep.  I was trying not to think about the fact that the pool costs about $200.00 to fill while I’m waiting for her to call.  Could it be 25 more swimming pools?  If so, the next month’s bill will be higher than the previous.  

The call came, and the manager said she would send someone out to correct the situation and denied everything the employee said the previous day.  She was willing to cover up the fact that a city employee lied and was willing to let a citizen take losses that could amount to thousands of dollars.  Not one word about how that matter will be addressed.  Sounds like a polished politician.  We’ll see.