Letter To The Editor: Don’t judge ‘lazy’ road crews through a car window
Twin Falls Times News
Regarding the “laziness” of the Twin Falls Street Department, do you really think you can size up a situation with a glance out the car window and determine that the street crew is “just standing around?”
Consider, when street crew workers are “doing nothing,” they might be taking one of the two 15-minute breaks or the 20-minute lunch they are allowed during their 10-hour work day of shoveling 280-plus degree asphalt, clearing storm drains, sealing cracks in a deteriorating road or plowing snow at 3 a.m. on Christmas morning. When a crew member is standing and looking into a hole while talking on a cell phone, he is likely talking to the city engineer about the appearance of a big pipe where the map says there shouldn’t be one. The guys “standing around doing nothing” are waiting for another load of something en route from somewhere delayed by an accident on the other side of town — the debris from which one or two of them will have to go clean up. Or they are resting from the back-breaking labor their detractors don’t do to avoid injury, which would cost the city a workmen’s comp claim. The guy in the street sweeper, parked and talking on the cell phone, is talking to the crew’s supervisor, who got a call from police dispatch telling him somebody dropped a bag of trash in the street, which he has to pick up before there is an accident, which would initiate a lawsuit against the city and a scathing article in the Times-News about the ineptitude of the street department.
Stop whining about these other taxpayers who, unlike you, have foregone raises for the last three years to show sensitivity to the unemployed who were losing their homes. To thank them, you want to cut their crew, which has shrunk by four employees due to attrition, so they will have to work harder for your thinly veiled attempts to run over them when they are fixing potholes in August? Remarkable.
I have a feeling this letter is going to get some of you going, but it’s true, perception isn’t always what’s really happening. I’ve worked directly and indirectly with the folks out on the front lines and know that they’re not always just leaning on a shovel when it looks like they’re leaning on a shovel. There’s one local road crew member that I tease a lot because he uses a blue tooth so a lot of the time he will be sitting on a curb or leaning against a truck, but he’s talking to contractors, supervisors, etc. while doing this. You just can’t see because he has his bluetooth in.