Friday, January 8, 2010

Service With A Smile (Not)

A reader wrote in with another tale of bad customer service at our public servant's office:

"I called [Ald. Shiller's] office Wednesday January 6 to find out if I could pick up a parking permit for the Columbus-Maryville lot that evening because the permit I have expires on January 13. The alderman’s office is only open late on Wednesday and I work from 8-5:30 downtown, so I would have to take time off work to get a permit, except Wednesday.

I spoke with Lorna first, who is in charge of the program. She told me I could not get a permit prior to next Monday. I explained I would have to take time off work and she told me there was nothing they could do. I told her that I’m a resident of the ward and it was very rude the way she was treating me when I’m calling there for help from their office. She then asked me if I wanted to speak to the Chief of Staff.

A lady got on the phone and said her name was Denise and immediately started telling me why I couldn’t get the parking permit this evening. I interrupted her and asked her to please listen to my concern before she answers me. She just kept talking over me. Finally I said, please please please let me tell you what my issue is so you can address that directly.

I told her I understand the rules regarding the permits and such, my “problem” is that I was treated so rudely when I called their office for help. She then started speaking over me and would not listen to what I was saying. First she told me I could not get a permit today because they didn’t start handing them out until Monday. I said to her that has changed because I have previously gotten the permit 6 days prior to the current one expiring. She then told me I could not get the permit today because they are not ready to be picked up.

I asked Denise if the next time we renew the permits maybe we can change the procedure or make them available earlier so people don’t have to take time off work. She told me no. Both Denise and Lorna flat out said no to every solution I was trying to offer. Instead of trying to compromise in any way, they just said no. Denise told me if she gives me a permit early she will have to give one to everyone early and she is not going to do that.

Denise told me this is the way it is going to be because when they handed out permits early previously people parked willy-nilly and she had people calling her at all hours of the night and she had to have cars towed. I asked her what correlation the permits being handed out early and people parking hap-hazzardly in that lot. It was at that time that Denise hung up on me.

I remained calm through the entire call and never raised my voice or changed my tone to be rude but it certainly was a different story on their end.

Every time I have to deal with their office it is a negative experience. Every time."


  1. Next time tape the conversation. My guess is that some local news outlets would love to hear how the residents of the ward are represented.

    I think that our elected officials and their staffs have forgotten who they work for. Why don't we remind them of that.

  2. Isn't it amazing public servants FORGET that their jobs revolved around those that vote. With everything that is going on, government needs to show that it WORKs FOR the people instead of it being just to hard to do their job.

    We can vote these staff people out with the removal of the alderman.

  3. As one could expect, the Columbus/Maryville parking passes expire on January 13th and the ONLY time we can get a renewal is between the hours of 9am and 5pm starting Jan. 11th; the hours that most of us work.

    It's all about what's most convenient for Helen and her staff. Her office has always been rude and not accomodating, but now we have something that we didn't have before: this blog that also happens to have huge popularity throughout the ward.

  4. Remember that on election day and vote her out and her office out of a job.

    I don't know why we even need 50 Alderman either since they can't give their Wards good customer service.

  5. Next time someone goes in for a request, can they bring a videocamera? Let's youtube this.

  6. Sadly, this has been my experience with the office as well.

    On a somewhat related topic. I have heard that permits are also available for the strip mall parking lot on Sheridan at Sunnyside.

    Does anyone know if these are still available and how to get one?


  7. Dear Denice Davis:

    When I was 13, I used to end conversations I didn't like being in by hanging up on the person. My mother told me it was immature and rude. So I haven't done it since. I guess you never got that memo, so here it is. Another thing: "Mean Girls" and "I'm the Mommy, That's Why!" are not valid business models, let alone customer service handbooks.

  8. If the person who wrote this had come in person, Denice would have thrown her out of the office, made her cry and threatened to call the cops.

    That's how the 46th Ward Office deals with people they can't hang up on.

  9. This type of behavior coming from Denise is, sadly, no surprise at all. She's one of the most confrontational women out there. I saw her at Target on Peterson a few weeks back, and of course, she had to question the cashier on every item that was rung up. She must always feel like she is being wronged or that she's the victim.

    I'm almost convinced that if you called Shiller's office, using the address of a subsidized building, and state that you live at such address, you will get service with a smile. Its a big no-no to mention the word "condo" even though property owners are the exact people Shiller is "raping" to get the funds for her pet projects.

  10. I am a resident that has been denied a permit because they have run out.

    I have very little sympathy for the author of this post. Suck it up and get your permit like the rest of us. Sure, it would be convenient if we did not have to go in at 9am on a work day to get a parking permit.
    Somehow the author of this post is expecting special treatment because they don’t want to follow the rules. Then the author has the audacity to come on the web complaining that they aren’t getting special treatment, is quite insulting to those of us that do follow the rules.

    How would you prefer to hand out a small number of permits? Lottery?


  11. Next time you need any assistance from that office I suggest you use my name.

    They love me. Really they do.

    Just tell em Bucky Neary sent ya.

  12. Sorry, but I'm with LBDaCook on this one. If this is in fact a lot with a limited number of spaces, and the author is asking for a permit before they become available to everyone else, that's expecting some special treatment. And it sounds like Lorna acted like a customer service rep should. I'm not going to say that Ms. Davis behaved in a manner befitting a public official, but I can understand the frustration.

  13. I think the point is, we are paying the people in that service office to be "of service" to us, the people who pay them.

    They are OUR EMPLOYEES -- public SERVANTS. There is a polite way to say no to people. Talking over them, and hanging up on them is not it.

    If anyone in the private sector treated paying clients the way Ms. Davis did in this case, they would be fired on the spot.

  14. "...I work from 8-5:30 downtown..."

    can you get the pass you need from the Clerk in City Hall?

    our aldermen are supposed to be legislators, not administrators

    our aldermanic aides are supposed to be policy & legislative experts, not experts on telling off constituents

    every time we give our aldermen more & more of these so-called "constituent services" we shoot ourselves in the foot

    some ambitious young reporter should investigate the basic cash transaction controls in Chicago ward offices

  15. "Every Alderman office is opened until 5p.m."


    where'd you get that from?

    ward office employees have no job descriptions and no hours

  16. I am really sorry to hear about this exchange. It is reasonable to want to understand a policy change. That desire is not the same thing as being rude or hostile.

    As chief of staff especially, Denise should have the skill to make that distinction and provide the information you were asking for without incident. As for the permit, you may have to pick it up during work hours or Wednesday after work but if I'm hearing you, that's a separate issue. You just wanted to understand why the policy changed from last year.

    I've had a similar go around with several ward offices about permit parking. It hasn't ended in a hang up but it has ended with staff members sighing in exasperation.

    I don't appreciate anyone responding to reasonable inquiry as though I or my questions are some terrible burden. Reasonable inquiry merits reasonable responses. If they cannot, for whatever reason, explain themselves over the phone, call and ask for a written explanation for the policy change. May seem persnickety but, hey, you're not the one who hung up on them ;-))

  17. LBDaCook- you've got it completely wrong. THis person would have to be a complete idiot to ask for special treatment and then complain on a message board when she doesn't get it. I sensed no feeling of entitlement in this post. I don't see this person was asking for special treatment. She was trying to understand why the timeframe to hand out these permits have changed and why their office doesn't make it easier for those people that work M-F during the day to utilize the services in their office. The author even states that her issue with Denise was the rude way their office treats people, not confronting her about why she couldn't get the permit that day.
    You say suck it up and deal like the rest of us but there is an unfair advantage to those that do not work during the day- of course they can be there first thing in the morning on Monday. So isn't that special treatment for those that don't work during the day?? It just needs to be fair so everyone has equal opportunity to obtain a permit. AND in the past their office has offered to mail a permit to me- guess who you talk to and what kind of mood they are in really matters in that office.
    ALSO- I'm curious who the person is that deleted their comment that had been posted at 1:47pm-that stated the office told her she could send a neighbor to pick up her permit. That person must work for Shiller, how would she know that otherwise and why did they delete their post??

  18. Davis should be immediately relieved of her responsibilities within the office of the 46th ward.

    This, of course, is not the first time she's acted immaturely to the people who pay her salary.

    And, let us not forget the dance that she did after the WYTIF amendment meeting, and the insults she exchanged with those who were not thrilled with such behavior.

    The role of a public servant is to serve the public.

    Not berate them.

    Regardless of whether or not the author of this email was asking for something in or out of the norm, mistreating constituents is unacceptable.

    Davis has a history of unprofessional behavior.

    It's high time that the alderman realize that much of the polarization which runs rampant in this ward is a direct result of the actions of her Chief of Staff.

    For the alderman to allow this behavior to continue is akin to agreeing with it.

    If the alderman agrees with this behavior, then she needs to be relieved of her responsibilities, as well.

    Alderman Shiller, do you, or do you not, condone unprofessional behavior from your Chief of Staff?

    If you do not, then take action: do the ward a favor, dismiss Davis from your office.

    If you do agree with this behavior, please submit your resignation.

    It's just that simple.

  19. I called the alderman's office to verify they would be open this Saturday for their monthly Saturday. I was told they are open the first Saturday of the month which was last Saturday. Then I asked if they would be open tomorrow because they were not open last Saturday because of the holiday weekend. I was put on hold and then told the next Saturday their office will be open is February 6. If you look at their website, they certainly had very very limited office hours over this holiday season. No business I know closed at noon everyday...

  20. Yo,

    don't hold your breath on that one.

    If Shiller runs again, a big "IF", my guess it will likely be so that those who work for her directly or indirectly will continue to have a source of income.

    Her campaign fund and how that money gets doled out may be a consideration too. That seems to be partially a "friends and family" fund. I recall Hugh posting that her son seems to get paid out of it.

    We all remember Brendan don't we?

    Defender of the downtrodden. Attorney who sues police departments. Legal scholar who writes briefs on behalf of accused terrorism funders.

    If anyone doubts my veracity google "boim", terrorism and the name Shiller.

    I know Brendan loves me. After all I'm the one who publicized the fact he got a real estate brokers license a few years back. Then he gave it up shortly thereafter. Snicker.

    Legal databases are wonderful. My "P" phone gets automatic emails regarding any mentions of Mr Shiller or his mama in many legal databases.

    Computers and the internet are a bitch, huh?

    Of course he could try to issue subpoenas regarding the various identities of people who post here.

    I live for that stuff. It's better than chasing hookers through the snow on Wilson and Dover.

    By the way "P" phone stands for "Pirate phone". Which has various capabilities most other phones don't have.

    Hooker acquisition GPS.

    Satellite capabilities to call in airstrikes from A-10 Warthog aircraft.

    Works as a stun gun in close combat situations.

    I'm like a one legged James Bond with a Chi caw gah accent.

    I'm a legend in my own mind. Sorta like Mayor Daley......only taller........much taller.......

  21. I agree there was no reason for being treated this way. It amazes me how and why some people act this way (and its tolerated) when they are in customer facing roles.

    That being said, 1) if you work downtown can't you obtain the permit there on your lunch hour and 2) I do agree with the special treatment arguement. What makes you so special that they should hand it out early?

    But all in all, I think the city is silly for only handing out permits a few days prior to the old permits expiring.

  22. re: Saturday hours--last winter my husband had to take care of some condo association business (rebates for our dumpsters or somesuch), and called to verify that the office would be open (he was told yes). Sure enough, when that Saturday rolled around, the office NEVER opened. Who can we call and yell at about thta? Certainly not Denise!

    The whole exchange that the original poster laid out sounds ludicrous (and definitely does not sound like asking for special treatment). Sadly, this sort of treatment is not unique to the 46th ward offices.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Oh, here we go... "newcomers"!! It was just a matter of time. How is it that the person who called with a question and was yelled at and hung on up by someone whose job it is to serve her.. "public servant," that's what every single person in the 46th ward's SERVICE office is... a servant to the public... how is it that the person who got all that abuse is "hateful" in your world? Oh, I get it, it's the old Shiller party line... every "newcomer" to the Uptown is mean and hateful and naive. Gotcha. ;-) I'm glad to see "newcomers" aren't the only people who make up their minds in spite of the facts of the situation.

  25. Irish Pirate -

    No C130 Gunships in that arsenal for the GD's and Vice Lords?!?

    You need to expand your armory! :)

  26. I've been around Uptown since before "Tabi" was born. I'm old enough to remember electrified buses;although, I'm too old to remember what streets the last ones ran down. It was like being under the EL when a spark comes down.


    The alderman's staff, particularly Denise Davis, have a reputation for being rude. Shiller is too so what the hell do you expect?

    Now over the years she has had some decent staff members so I don't want to suggest her whole office staff is a bunch of rude amadans. Amadan being the Irish word for "eejit".

    As for my hooker comment I suggest Tabi look up the meaning of the word "sarcasm".

    Anyway, my experience with hookers is that I don't need to chase them. They are perfectly capable of approaching nearly any male that walks by and asking if they want a "date".

    Chasing hookers....Jaysus....Tabi hasn't even heard of Sheriff Dart and his fascination with getting publicity by suing Craigslist over "adult" ads.

    I think I will call a "horizontal entertainment specialist" on my "P" phone" and have her cab it to my door. Hopefully, my Pizza will arrive simultaneously and we can have some real fun.

  27. Hey Tabi, I'm not a new comer to Uptown I have lived here for a total of 11 years. Again, I don't see where the poster was asking for special treatment, just a reason why the permits are no longer availble until 2 days prior to the others expiring and trying to work something out to make it easier for people that work M-F to obtain the permits.
    Are you going to tell us how you know the office told the caller she could send her neighor to get the permit? That sounds strange to me.

  28. Nobody should bend the rules for one person, and it is childish to think that the rules will be changed for you.

    No one is asking for rules to be bent - just some civility from those whose salaries come from ours.

    Too much to ask? Maybe that's the naivete to which you refer.

    As for people making up their minds about what transpires in the 46th ward office ..., consistency breeds perception.

    I've personally witnessed on three occasions the wrath of Denise Davis.

    If such behavior from a public employee weren't so "childish", it'd be hilarious.

    I'm actually astonished by the concept that you think the only hatred is coming from new-comers.

    But, I understand, though - it's always much easier to brand new-comers as the hate-mongers rather than to take a comprehensive look at the entire eco-system and see that there are historical issues at play in this neighborhood that have been going on for decades.

    No one is innocent, and everyone's guilty.

    There sooner we all appreciate that fact and do what we can to disassemble the status quo, the better.

    Again with the analogy of when the Jeffersons moved into Archie Bunker's neighborhood:

    Those "new comers" come in here and will ruin everything.

    Now, pardon me while I clean up the mess left by your high horse.

  29. David,

    I haven't called in any airstrikes in decades and that was just in the New Mexico/Arizona desert. Some cacti undoubtedly suffered so that our nation could be militarily prepared to fight the damn commies.

    Then the wall came down and now we need to worry about disaffected rich kids with underwear bombs.

    Sadly, that's probably an improvement.

    Anyway in my own amateurish way I study (COIN) theory.

    Counterinsurgency operations.

    Better to smite thy enemies with the smallest and closest range weapon possible so as to avoid needless casualties. A rifle is better than an airstrike and a knife is better than a rifle.

    Better yet bribe as many of the enemy over to your side as you can and avoid the whole mess of knives and rifles.

    That's basically what Daley did with Shiller. Election after election he went after her and finally "bribed" her over to his side.

    The man is a counterinsurgency genius. I'm going to suggest the President send him to Afghanistan. I am personally willing to parachute with Mayor Daley into the Afghan heartland.

    Actually, I'd just push him out the door and stay with the plane. I'm too pretty to risk my life jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.

  30. "public servant," that's what every single person in the 46th ward's SERVICE office is... a servant to the public...

    I don't assume that at all. My assumption is every person in a ward office is an employee of the City Council or an employee of a political committee and often both

    To the extent they are City employees they are on the taxpayer dole with literally no job description - you may think I am exaggerating about this, if so try FOIA-ing the job descriptions some time

    there is literally NOTHING ANYWHERE that sez they are public servants or have any responsibility to the public or any responsibilities to anyone for that matter, they serve at the pleasure of the alderman

    and since the aldermen exempted themselves from our IG, and since the alderman love to grumble about constitutional separation of powers whenever HR pokes their noses into a ward office, we poor taxpayers apparently have no recourse but to put up with this

  31. Regardless of what the person was asking for there's no justification for the way Helen, Denise and Lorna treat people that live in the ward they represent.

  32. I have lived here in uptown for 25 years and am astonished that there is so much hate and naivete in this website and in general with the newcomers to the Uptown neighborhood.... - Tabi

    You are labeling one class of residents (newcomers to the neighborhood) and making generalizations about their behavior. That sounds bigoted to me.

  33. there is literally NOTHING ANYWHERE that sez they are public servants or have any responsibility to the public or any responsibilities to anyone for that matter, they serve at the pleasure of the alderman

    Indeed; however, they are representing the alderman within a public office and they are conducting the business of the public.

    By implication, they are public servants.

    I hear what you're saying, brother; but, if the alderman is allowed to dither on definitions, then so are we.

  34. So, you were waiting for your free handout, and complained when it didn't go your way. Sounds like you should thank the taxpayers for the free handout, or rent a spot like everyone else.

    I am not supporting Denise's attitude, but come on. You were probably annoying and more anti-Shiller than coming in for services.

  35. Here is a letter I received from the Alderman's Office. They seem nice the last few times I have picked up my pass. They also send these helpful reminder notes.

    Hello Columbus/Maryville parkers- 01/04/2010

    Happy New Year! Your Columbus/Maryville parking passes will expire on January 13th. You can renew and or pick up your Maryville parking pass starting January 11th. Our office opens at 9am and closes at 5pm on Monday January 11th. There are around 70 available parking spaces in the lot, and we will be handing out around 150 passes. Please bring your old parking pass with you to the office; it will speed up the process of receiving your new pass. If you do not have your current Columbus/Maryville Pass you must bring: ID, Proof of address, City sticker number, and Plate number.


    Mindy Taylor

  36. "Better yet bribe as many of the enemy over to your side as you can and avoid the whole mess of knives and rifles."

    Irish Pirate,
    If years in the Marines taught me anything, it's that in an insurgency, you can't trust anyone.

    The mayor and Shiller are both idiots; I don't trust either of them. Just like in an insurgency...eventually the communities get fed up, tired of the bs and stand up for themselves...which seems to be happening in Uptown.

  37. The Alderman's office is a joke and a nightmare! I went in to get my city sticker and there was a man sitting in the waiting area of the office and as people would come in he would bark orders at people like he was a drill sargent. "The line for city stickers starts here!" "You have to have (this that and the other - my words not his) to get a sticker!" There was no politness to anything he said. As I waited this man sat and talked to others complaing and telling stories about the "idiots" that come in and done the procedure wrong in his opinion. I don't know if he worked directly for Shiller or for the city but his brashness, intolerance, and down right nasty demeanor certainly were befitting the 46th ward office.

    Another time I went in to get "No Parking" signs for moving and was treated much like the woman who wrote this posting. I asked why I was only allowed to get a 4 hour window of time and stated my movers would need longer. The answer I received was short and curt, "Becasue that is all the longer you are allowed!" I find it very curious that I can only get no parking signs for a 4 hour window yet the Aragon can post "No Parking" signs for days and weeks at a time. I actually confronted one of the Aragon workers once about this. I had been cirling the block for over 20 minutes trying to find a place resonably close to where I live because I had a car load of things I needed to unload. After 20 min I finally just pulled next to one of the wooden barriers they put out and turned my blinkers on. He rushed over to me and yelled at me that I could not park there. I told him I lived in the building and needed to unload my car. He begrudgingly said O.K. I commented to him that the spaces had been blocked off for over a week and during that time that no one had parked there for the Aragon events and that it is a public street and I should be able to park if front of my own building. He stated to me that "We (being the Aragon) pay a lot for the right to block off the parking." I told him I paid taxes but that didn't matter to him. It is interesting how they "pay a lot" to reserve the street whenever they want. Sounds like Shiller's political pockets are being lined with money to me.

    Finally, I do not see that the original poster was asking for special treatment but just for the Alderman's office to listen to her concerns (and I am sure that of others) and offer extended or alternate hours when people could get the permits. But of course a constituents suggestions and desire to be treated politley fell on arrogant deaf ears.

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. You were probably annoying and more anti-Shiller than coming in for services.

    The alderman's staff does not reserve the right as far as to whom they can be pleasant.

    It's called "professionalism".

    And that, at the very least, is what any person should expect to experience when in the office of a public official: professionalism.

    As for FairlyNew's comment - no one said that there aren't times when abject violations of common decency don't occur; but, the one constant is Denise Davis and her bitchy attitude.

    That reflects on the entire staff, and the alderman.

    Again, people do question why this ward is so polarized. And again, Davis is one of the main reasons.

    You'd think the chair of the Human Rights committee in Council would be sensitive to how her staff treats people.

    Or, maybe it's only a certain type of people that matter.

  40. anywhere else in City govt, if there were hundreds on the payroll with no job descriptions, no qualifications, or exhibiting the attitudes described here, there would be an uproar, but City Council is the last refuge of the friends & family

  41. if you wander into a ward office and feel sort of like you have barged into a private clubhouse & you're not a member, that's about right

    let's be careful not to inadvertently pick up the other side's rhetoric here -
    your expectations of service let alone civilized behavior from ward office staffers are merely the result of years of spinning the "ward service office" cover story for blatant patronage hiring

  42. Tabi.... Thank you for your kind, considerate, and pleasant way of informing me of the "No Parking" enforcement signs; obviously you have gone to the Denice and Helen school of communication. Please tell me where you live so I can go downtown and pay $50 and request that your street parking be blocked off. I will keep it blocked off for weeks on end and see how frustrate you become. I do not claim to know all the policies of the ward or city, but if Shiller's office and the man that works at the Aragon had explained it to me in a polite manner maybe I would not have complained and been upset by my treatment.

    In all of your posts so far you have portrayed yourself to be a raving b*tch. Honestly it is people like you that are one of the major problems in our community. Your complacancy and screw you attitude toward those of us in the ward that want to see it run well and have positive change for ALL that live here is refreshing (please note my sarcasm).

    People are not saying Shiller has not done Uptown any good, they are just frustrated because she and her staff are running the ward on their own personal agenda and not what the majority of the constituency in the ward desire and they are continually rude and ignore our desire to have a thriving and safe community for everyone (low income, renters, and "evil condo owners" alike).

  43. "You have to pay for enforced no parking signs. Downtown.... not at Alderman Shillers office. They are $50.00 a sign.... So instead of complaining go pay for them like the rest of us."

    Gee, Tabi, I wonder how you know this. And I wonder how you know exactly what conversation happened in the alderman's office when the person called in. And I wonder why you're the first and only person to play the "Newcomers are hateful" card.

    Wanna tell us about where you work?

  44. I'm thinking that come next election day, Lorna, Denise, Helen, oh, and Brendan as well, will be names no longer associated with the 46th Ward!

    For me, that day can't come soon enough!


  45. their own personal agenda.

    If you think that's peculiar behavior, I want to buy a unit in your condominium association.

  46. I find it very curious that I can only get no parking signs for a 4 hour window yet the Aragon can post "No Parking" signs for days and weeks at a time. - HopelessinUptown

    Through the years, Aragon has contributed $17,500 to Helen's campaign. Maybe it's just a coincidence. Yeah, just a coincidence.

  47. If you want to tape a phone conversation with the alderman's office in the future, it is very simple to do. Go to Radio Shack and buy a device for $25 that connects to your phone and a tape recorder. Press 'record' when you call them next time.

    Maybe there are more up-to-date ways to do it, but this $25 method works great, too.

  48. It seems like everyone wants to complain.

    It's free parking in the city of chicago. Most people have to pay for parking. We all have to work but if you want free parking you have to renew your permit like everyone else.

    I've read this story several times. The writer never loses her cool and is sweet and calm the whole time and everyone else is awful constantly.

    Get in line like the rest of us, and pick up your permit. I work downtown too, and don't expect special treatment.

  49. Fairly new, I don't recall anyone wanting special treatment. It's unfortunate that Helen's office believes it's sufficient to give a few days notice for people to take a vacation day to get a sticker for parking. When anyone questions this practice, there's talk that they want special treatment.

    I won't accept low standards for the treatment of constituents. I wonder why you would?

  50. Just Wondering

    The writer of the story wanted the office to save her a parking pass. That is special treatment.

    I don't agree with the way the office treated her, if the story is even true.

  51. Also just wondering,

    if you knew anything about the maryville parking process you would know that the day you receive your pass is the same day you find out when it expires. The expiration date is written on the pass. Giving people three months to prepare for picking up a new pass, as well as receiving reminder emails.

  52. Fairly new, there has been a lot of posts on this thread because the actions from Helen's office are "not fairly new" and people have grown tired of it.

    In the past, there was 6 days notice to pick up a new permit and that would have allowed the person who can get off work early on Wednesdays to have time to pick up a permit without having to take a day of vacation.

    My experience in customer service is that sometimes I have to give news that's not what the customer wants to hear. When that happens, my workplace expects that I deliver the bad news in a respectful way. I've found that when I do that, the angry reactions are rare.

    You doubt this situation in Helen's office happened. I wonder how many horror stories about this office you need to hear in order for you to start picking up on a theme?

  53. Just wondering,

    Soon, so I hear, the Maryville sight will be bought and the neighborhood will have no free parking lot. So until then, I'm thankful. Picking up my pass tommorrow morning; I'll let you know if the office treats me like crap.

  54. I hope you're one of the fortunate ones.

    A warning though, when you get to the office, don't ask anyone there about the development at Maryville that claims to have had community input. The meetings were closed to a few select individuals and reminding the Ward Office of that might get them upset with you and have you perceived as the enemy.

    I wonder how many readers close to the Maryville site got letters this past week about proposed zoning changes there?

  55. I also wonder how many people actually think they have input into zoning changes in the 46th Ward? Once you the letter of the proposed change, it's a done deal.

  56. I read this article, and all I hear is more people whining about their government subsidized parking. As near as I can tell, the free market cost to provide spaces in a dense neighborhood would be over $50/month. So they're getting almost as big a subsidy for parking as what the CTA gets for actually providing the transportation. All so they can clot my lungs.

    If you don't like the exact terms of your government subsidized parking? Take the damn bus.

  57. Cal, I think you're missing the point, too; however, when you say "government subsidized" don't you mean "stuff we've already paid for?"

    Unless, of course, the government has located a source of funding that isn't based in taxes collected from the people.

    Even if your point were aligned with the tenor of this post, you'd still be off-base since these people are simply asking to get their money's worth.

    Y'know what we shouldn't pay for?

    Getting yelled at by our employees.

  58. Cal Blue, I'm just wondering why you are so accepting of rude behavior coming out of a tax-supported ward office?

  59. Ok. I went to the office and picked up my parking pass and they were nice as usual.

    The girl who gave me my parking pass smiled and told me to have a nice day. Plus I get free parking for another three months.

  60. Even a broken clock is correct, twice a day.

    Good to hear that no one gave you any grief, FN; but, unfortunately, a lot people haven't shared your experience with that office.

    Of course, if the person you interacted with was Michella (sorry, if I keep butchering the spelling of her name), then I'm not surprised.

    She's good people.

  61. They asked me last night when I went to get my permit if I had called the office last week so they are trying to figure out who posted this story, I guess.

  62. Mindy's decent enough people, as well.

    I just fret the effects of her having Denise Davis as a mentor.

  63. Fairly New, I wonder if Helen's office is okay because you get treated with respect and it doesn't matter if anyone else is the recipient of Denise's rude behavior? Are you excusing behavior because you, yourself, aren't the recipient of it? Do you really think the many people who post their experiences just like to make up stuff about Helen and her staff? Really?

    Is self-centered hyphenated or is it 2 words?