If you live or work in one place long enough, you start to see trends in your surroundings.  It may be as simple as the seasons changing or as complex as your company’s forecasted earnings.  For whatever reason, I gravitate towards seeing waste.   It’s not as glamorous as the kid in the movie “The Sixth Sense” seeing dead people but I’m ok with that.  I”m sure my condition has only worsened now that I am pursuing my Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma but hey, why not exploit what you know.

Last year the City of Rochester sent a paving crew over to our neck of Exchange Street.  After watching cars grind their exhaust against the rolling asphalt with a shower of sparks for 15 years, it was a welcome sight.  As two weeks of, well, work went by, we all got to witness the city working its magic first hand.  An over staffed crew leveled some of the road’s low spots, ground out some cracks and patched things up.  If I forgot to mention, the two weeks was only spent on the ONE block stretch in front of our building.

Now a year later, they have come back to our fair block.  I’m no expert on road structure but the hope this year was to stone or pave the entire section of Exchange Street so that the job would be done.  Hope in this case was unfortunately lost.

After our first week of watching the over staffed crew re-grind and patch the exact same road defects, one of us volunteered to strike up a conversation with the supervisor.  When asked what their plan was, he stated: “damn if I know!”.  With this fine of a response on the table, the rest of the Q&A period exposed the following fun facts:

1) The road should have been stoned sealed last year after the repair was made, sealing the surface properly.

2)  Since there wasn’t enough of a budget in 2011, the city had the crew repair only – letting the winter weather have its way in the subsequent surface cracks.

3)  There again wasn’t enough budget this year so instead of leaving everything alone, they repaired the same exact patches.  If you are still with me this is unfortunately all true and yes they are still out there working.

4) They are not anticipating that the 2013 budget will look any better but some rule says you can’t patch more than two years in a row.  So in 2013 they anticipate finally stoning the road, right over the newly formed cracks… which will not hold up very long.  What an awesome plan to keep yourself in business!

Want more?  The supervisor also claimed that there is a city advisory task force in place to keep them from “hanging our at a diner and not working”.  Sounds good, right?  Not so much.  He said that there are 12 cops allegedly policing their integrity, that they’ve never been seen, and there are only 10 – 12 road crews.  🙂