Saturday, June 30, 2012

Efficiency and Productivity

Efficiency and Productivity / Rebeca Monzo
Rebeca Monzo, Translator: Unstated

Today, Friday, we woke without electricity. Regular television viewers
said yesterday's late-night news program had reported that a large area
of one town, Plaza, would be impacted by maintenance workfrom 8:00 AM
until 5:00 PM. This has been going on for several weeks.

Since I had not heard about this, I called 18888, the magic phone number
for reporting such instances. A weary voice came on, repeating over and
over in monotone, "Outages due to repairs."

Of course! Those impacted are us, the ordinary citizens, especially
those who pay excessive sums of money in license fees and taxes for
their nascent private businesses. No one is compensated. They stopped
doing that here half a century ago.

In the very early hours of the morning a truck with a crane, a repair
truck and ten men arrived atthe corner ofForty-firstStreet and Conill B
in the Nuevo Vedado neighborhood.Eight of the men spent nearly the
entire time sitting on the pavement while the other two were perched on
the pole. Later it occurred to me that the two climbers themselves were
sufficient; all the others were just there as cheerleaders.

Forty-first Street was closed to traffic from Avenue 24 to Avenue 26,
with cables laid out all along it. The neighbors – some resigned, some
indignant – contemplated the spectacle from their balconies.

The delay is such that we have still not determined if they are
sculpting the pole or decorating it. Since we are such an artistic
powerhouse, it is quite possible they are turning it into a work of art,
given the time invested in repairing the thing. So, now, to whom does
one submit a claim? Who is responsible for the resulting losses and
nuisance? No one, of course. Just like the complaints made to the famous
telephone number in question, all protests fall on deaf ears.

It is now a little past five in the afternoon (the promised hour of
completion). Traffic and electrical service have now been restored.
Perfect timing.

If this is efficiency and productivity, God himself should come and see!

June 29 2012

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