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Pamela Fagan Hutchins | Us vs. The Man.

I prefer to take a positive approach to solving problems, but after four months I am positive nothing will ever be done unless I raise a negative stink.

Update: Roughly 24 hours after I posted this, the COH PWE completed the work repairing the road in front of our house.  They did a good job.  They were super nice, even if a little terrified of me at first.  And, I do mean they.  Although I only met one of them (Ernest), my contractors met at least one of them, too, and the contractors and I can attest that at one point there were five people out in the street.  So, to those that worked together to solve the problem, I tip my hat.  Thank you for working in the cold today, and for doing a nice job.  <3 Pamelot

That is drying concrete, with the monitoring well label showing flush with the street. No hump, no two inch protrusion. Nice job.


Let’s call today Us versus the Man.  The Government Man.  Although so far I’ve mostly dealt with the Government Woman, I trust you get the picture. 

Hello?  City of Houston, is anyone home?  We’ve called five times in the nearly four months since your “monitoring well” (COH: “Monitoring what?” Us:  “How the hell should we know, it’s yours not ours.”) erupted from the pavement in the road in front of our house during the major grounds shifts that occurred during the Texas drought this summer.  Each time, we re-explained the story as we were asked the same questions.  Each time, the Public Works & Engineering Department sent another worker out.  The workers were unfailingly polite, and completely without a clue.  They took pictures on their mobile phones and promised us that someone else would come out to fix it…because they had no idea what to do.

So far, placing their saw horse with “COH PWE” is all they’ve done, and they did that three months ago.

Nevermind, COH, we didn’t really want to park a car in front of our house anyway.  And we don’t mind if people knock on our door and ask why we haven’t had it fixed yet.  It’s no bother.  Maybe we should sick the Meyerland Community Improvement Association on you.  Or KHOU news

Or we could remove your saw horse and let someone blow a tire out on it and sue the city.  But then a little old lady might trip over it.  Or worse.  We could have another Baby Jessica and the Well situation.  OK, maybe not quite that bad.  It’s ridiculous, though, and we are fed up with it.

What’s a girl got to do to get the COH PWE to fix their shit????

Twitter and Facebook friends, please tweet and share.


p.s. If you are with the COH PWE, you can reach me at  When this post had been up only 30 minutes, my software already identified ten hits from people at URL’s within the COH on this blog.  But no one has contacted me to find out more or to fix anything.  Not impressive.  I didn’t put this blog up as a curiosity.  I put it up in hope someone might recognize a responsibility to do their job.  Oh well, maybe it will be forwarded to that type of person eventually.

p.p.s.  I emailed this link to the PWE Director, along with my address and detailed contact information.  Now, I guess we sit back and wait to see what happens. Thank you to the city worker in front of my house right now.  I posted at 9:52 a.m.  He arrived at 3:30 p.m.  Still no contact via phone or email, but none necessary if it GETS FIXED. 

Shown from the back because I don't want to use his image. He is the nice guy who came out. Although he appears to be afraid to ring my doorbell. 😉 The other four came to the door, and I was very nice. As I was to every single City PWE employee I spoke with. But, I guess I'd be nervous, too, if I were afraid to end up publicized.

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31 Responses to Us vs. The Man.

  1. I would appreciate people sharing this. I would love to get this all over Facebook. I don’t know any other way to get the City’s attention than negative publicity. Positive attempts through multiple calls and meetings certainly didn’t make a difference. :-(

  2. Eric says:

    When you read COH PWE really fast it looks like COW PIE, which is kinda what I think of their service so far.

    • Pamela says:

      Total Cow Pie. I actually feel guilty doing this, because the workers that have come to our house have been so nice. The people on the phone, less so, but not horrible. It’s the complete inaction that is troubling. I’ve seen these concrete humps with the inlaid identification of “Monitoring Well” in the center, in many places in the City. How can PWE profess to have no idea what it is or what to do about it? And how can after four months, they still think it is not a black eye on them to leave their sawhorse in the street and let everyone that drives by here see their complete inaction???? You’d think they would care that everyone in our neighborhood thinks much less of the City as a result of this.

  3. Nice….Stick it to The Man. Good luck with this and I hope it gets solved very soon.

  4. That’s like the go around I had last night with Chase. It looks like someone tried to access my account and asked for a access code ’cause we got a phone call giving us an access code. I called Chase. The woman from India was on a merry-go-round, “Chase is concerned about your security. That is why we have these alerts in place.” Yes but how did they get my phone number? How did they get that far into my account?” Lady: “same answer.” Don’t you consider this a security breach on your end. Lady: No and rest of same answer” And we went on like that for 30 minutes (OH I HOPE that phone call was monitored). She read from a script and got angrier and angrier at my questions becasue as far as she was concerned, Chase didn’t make the call (altho it is a legitimate Chase phone #) and I was deviating from her scripted response. I can’t tell you what I said after I hung up. And I’d been doing so good, too. Not Santa probably won’t come to my house.

  5. Tracie says:

    I hope it works! There is no reason for them not to have figured out what that is and done something about it in all this time.

    • Pamela says:

      Sadly, the solution is quite simple. You simply reapply concrete in a little road hump around it. It has always stuck up above the road surface. The patch before smoothed it. Like I mentioned, I’ve seen these around Houston before in places other than in front of our house. They could have solved this so quickly and so simply. C’est la vie. Or as my husband said, “Cow Pie.” 😉

  6. Eric says:


    • Pamela says:

      It only took 5.5 hours…after a highly publicized blog!
      I will write a thank you post and pull this one down if he is able to fix it by Friday like he thinks he can.
      He was very, very nice (and a little scared to talk to me, ha ha).
      Seriously, he drew the short stick, and he handled the situation with grace and competency.

  7. Terri Sonoda says:

    Cow pie….LOL Pamela is a force to be reckoned with. Recognize, people!
    Way to go Pamela!

  8. Ally says:

    Haha on Eric’s comment – that’s exactly what I thought when I was reading – COW PIE!!! Good job, Pamela!

  9. Irene says:

    WTF? It is SO typical of road departments! Maybe you and bubbamon should go out with some tarmac yourself (I do believe the Home Depot carries it) and patch it yourself. Then bill the roads dept. No excuse! Your taxes are paying them dearly.

  10. Peter says:

    What they have spent on “investigating” could have fixed 5 of these problems!

  11. Q: How many software engineers does it take to change a lightbulb? A: It can’t be done – hardware issue. Sorry, I had to say that.

  12. Audrey B. Palazzo says:

    Hi Pamela,

    That thing that looks like a cow pie I thing it is dangerous if not covered correctly. In our place I have seen one like this and a single motorcycle got an accident because he didn’t notice this.

    • Pamela says:

      For real! I hope that the motorcyclist wasn’t hurt. There’s a little old lady who walks her big old German Shepherd dog in the street here all the time. I have this horror of her falling over it and breaking a hip. But it’s fixed now! Yay!

  13. lizza says:

    Its a joke, its like here they went down the road and fixed about 30 holes but left 4, I asked them why they left them (at the end of my drive!) and they said its because they didnt have yellow paint around them.

  14. JennyBean says:

    Why do we have to go these measures to get people to do their jobs?! But if I had to place a bet on you aor the city of Houston, I’d bet on you!

  15. Too bad that they have to get embarrassed over any form of media before they take any concrete action. Like you, I also regret doing things like this, since the people I talked to were nice. Let’s just hope they learned something from this.

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