Two Sundays ago, I knocked on my neighbor’s door to let her know about a water main break in the front of her house, in case she wasn’t aware of it. She did know about it and had, indeed, called our city utilities company. Since it was a main water pipe, not the one that goes directly into her house, it was the city’s responsibility to fix it. They said they would be out this past Thursday to fix it. They wouldn’t come out sooner unless neighbors complained about losing water pressure.
When I saw my other neighbor looking at the steady stream of water running down her curbside to the drain down the street, I informed her of the situation. Since she lives right next door to where the main pipe was broken, I was surprised that she wasn’t told by her neighbor about the status of the leak and the water pressure issue. I mean, we’re a neighborhood, right?
Thursday came and went with no activity. By Friday afternoon, I thought I’d give our utilities company a call to find out the status of the scheduled repair. I was quite irked because they make it a point of emphasizing to our community NOT to waste water. We’ve been in a very long drought and are always reminded not to water our lawns during the day, water only twice a week on certain days and at certain times. We’re also encouraged to wash cars on our lawn so the grass can get some water at the same time.
This leak was wasting water, 24 hours a day for seven days…an entire week! I called a few numbers to get a contact name and number. When I called the contact, I wasn’t surprised to get his voice mail. I left my first name, the name of our neighborhood, the address of where the leak was, the length of time water had been running out into the street and down the drain, and that we were told it would be repaired the day before…and it wasn’t. I politely asked if we could find out when it would be repaired because it’s such a waste of water, and left my phone number.
Two or three hours later, I called again because, after all, it was Friday and I really didn’t want the water running for another full weekend and didn’t want to wait two more days to find out when it would be repaired. This time, in my message, I mentioned, “I’d like to be able to tell my neighbors something before the weekend starts. Thank you.”
How did he get into the bird seed? Persistence!!
At a little after 8:00pm, my husband and I heard a heavy and deep noise down the street and saw lights. The city utilities trucks had arrived! I’d like to think it was my polite reminders and the fact that I mentioned the whole neighborhood on the conversation that got them to move on it. Whether they had “forgotten” about this water main break or already had it scheduled for after-hours, I don’t know but I think my phone calls did give them a nudge.
By 1:19am, (after also breaking a main gas pipe, turning off our gas and twelve neighbors’ gas, fixing THAT pipe, then coming around to turn our gas back on and lighting our water heater pilot lights), I could hear them finishing up with the water main break, and trucks driving off. Success!! 😀 One person can make a difference!
I live my life with this motto in mind so recently, I was quite proud when our son came home a couple of weeks ago from his job as a server and wanted to call the police.
You see, he had almost had an accident (thank heavens for his quick reflexes!!) because a road sign had been hit and bent at a right angle directly into the road. He would have been decapitated had he not swerved in time! It was around 2am, I think, when he woke me up to find out how to call the police. Of course, my mind jumped to something horrifying and he quickly said, “I’m okay, I just need to tell them about a danger.” He was concerned someone was going to get hurt and rightfully so.
He had already gone back into the restaurant where he worked to warn them about it since it was on their way home. While he thought someone from the restaurant was going to call the police, he wanted to make sure the police knew exactly what the danger was and where, so he wanted to call them himself.
We scoured and scoured the blue government pages in the phone book and couldn’t find a regular phone number for the police, so we called 911. He told them it wasn’t an emergency but his phone call could prevent an emergency. He gave the operator all the pertinent information, described his close-call, and the next day, the sign had been removed and as far as I’m concerned, lives were saved.
Our son could have easily given up looking for the right phone number or just be thankful for arriving home safely, but he persisted and chose to call 911 and inform someone who could fix the problem. We’re so proud of him.
To me, it’s proof that people do care…about their community, their loved ones, the quality of life, and the lives of strangers.
If you’ve been persistent in your life when it comes to a personal project, or craft project, or strangers, or your community, your family, your dreams, and your persistence has paid off in a positive way, I’d love to hear your solutions and your stories! Please share in the comments. Thanks! 😀
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