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February 16, 2012

Water services grief

Think about this: You finally get a raise after three or four years (and some still haven’t). You’ve been working understaffed, poorly equipped and under the scrutiny of every citizen with a cell phone camera. And then you read about the consultant being paid $250 per hour to tell you what your department managers have been telling you all along.

Oh, that’s right. Just be glad you have a job. What a morale booster. The human resources department needs to do its job and follow the HR manual, allowing management to release those who don’t want to follow the guidelines or be accountable for their actions.

Finally, Local 500 needs to get some teeth (that’s being nice) and get rid of that no-strike clause. It makes your union a bunch of kittens (being nice again).

With no fear of reprisal, the city has no reason to seriously negotiate with you.

Kansas City Water Services Department, keep your heads up. The people of this city really don’t know or understand your effectiveness.

It will snow sooner or later and the police and firefighters will need someone to clear the way for them. Let’s show them how we do it.

Sheila Thomas
Kansas City



Let's see - the water department accidentally breaks a valve in front of your home. You call when you realize the staff member left only 5 minutes before. You're told he is turning around and coming right back. The plumber you hired (who is on the clock) waits ninety minutes and gives up. You call again and explain you have no water and children in the house as water gushes down the street but not into your home. The next day you're told by the Action Center someone will be there that day. You buy bottled water to flush the now - not working - toilets and to have drinking water for your children. Day three several people show up and figure out the valve needs to be replaced. You book a hotel room so you can take a shower. The kids go to the library to use the bathroom. Your husband works late for the same reason. Day four the truck arrives to dig out the street so staff can fix the valve. The street and the gaping, deep, dangerous hole in a neighborhood filled with children isn't repaired for more than a month.

I don't blame the workers - they were very kind and tried hard. But the Water Department hierarchy means problem solving in an emergency is nonexistent and they don't really care if you have children at risk. Pay the workers more, get rid of the management. That might be a start.


Jdog, how are those independent snow plow guys doing this year in the metro?

There was a water main break on ward parkway a month or so ago and those guys worked through the night, neck deep in water, in freezing conditions. I was hoping they were getting overtime.

But by all means, keep on with your snow removal fantasy...


Notice how people like Sheila never mention what is fair pay, proper staffing or an appropriate level of appreciation!

From what I know, independent snow plow drivers can fetch between $50 - $100pper hour. Go for it Sheila, and enjoy your summers.

Big Daddy

Underpaid, understaffed, under appreciated. Welcome to life Sheila...

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