Blog: Don't Bitch. Be A Snitch!
(originally written 10/8/12)
About three-and-a-half years ago, my weekend baseball league was having field issues, due to a poorly-timed, poorly-installed, poorly-everythinged sprinkler system.
For weeks, we'd show up every Sunday morning to a bone-dry outfield and a lake-riddled first base area—unplayable without extensive attention from we the players/de facto grounds crew.
Tired of all the arduous pregame work and unable to get a response from the park's maintenance department, one night I decided to do something about it—I planned to show up whenever the sprinklers came on, tarp off the infield, catch the water in buckets and discard it in the outfield. When my now-ex found out about this, she asked a question that has lingered with me ever since:
"Why can't one of them (the other players) do it?"
"Aren't I 'one of them'?"
But I'm not here to talk about the past.
Here to talk about July 2012.
So many people in our society do not hesitate to complain about everything from traffic to coffee prices to gas prices to the environment and so much more...but stand idly by when opportunities present themselves to address those complaints.
I'm proud of myself for being the first of hundreds (or more) to bring two—albeit very minor—local issues to light and playing a direct role in their solution.
ISSUE 1: A major intersection near my crib had a malfunctioning traffic signal; one of the pedestrian countdowns would start whether the button was pressed or not, 24 hours a day. I could hear people curse it late at night, or impatiently revving their engines as if it'd help. Of course, it didn't.
What DID help was when I wrote to the city maintenance department and actually told them about the glitch. Fancy that? In less than a week, it was repaired to perfection. You can rest assured some bozo who directed a haze of expletives at the light is taking credit for the fix, however.
ISSUE 2: Also near the crib is a lonely basketball court, tucked away in a desolate corner of our iconic city park, difficult to find without the help of a tool like Google Earth—which is how I found it.
Reality greatly differed from the satellite pics, however—fresh mud caked over 1/3 of one halfcourt, courtesy of another apparent bad sprinkler. Overhanging tree branches negated the other side. The only usable portion of this halfcourt was the lane. Boo.
On the other halfcourt, well...even more tree branches that stretched out almost ten feet inbounds. At 6'2", any and every shot I put up from that side got rejected by the foliage. Can you say "ILLEGAL DEFENSE"?
So once again, I fired off an email to our recreation district, who in turn responded 48 hours later. Turns out they knew about the water—an irrigation leak—but weren't aware of its' magnitude. And they had no idea about the trees because, guaranteed, users bitched and moaned to themselves and their constituents rather than go about getting the problem solved.
Within two short weeks, I had me a brand new court! If only I had a brand new lower back to go with it...
The moral of today's story: if you have an issue, gripe, concern, etc., it will not be addressed by grumbling in solitude. Taking action never guarantees a solution, but not taking action guarantees no solution. Don't think anyone will be mistaking me for Martin Luther King anytime soon, but again, I'm proud of my victories amidst a society whose general approach to problem solving mirrors that of my ex: "Can't one of them do it?"
The "Can't someone else do it?" credo didn't work on The Simpsons and it seldom works in real life.
Don't like your job? Quit it. Don't like your SO? Dump him/her. Don't like your size? Get on a bike.
And save your bitchin'.