Surprise inspections have residents on edge

By Sabina Mollot

Residents who’ve recently called for plumbing work have been getting more than just their sinks checked.

According to one family in Stuyvesant Town, an appointment last week to have a drain snaked turned into a surprise apartment inspection when the maintenance worker assigned to the job also opened closed bedroom doors and asked the residents questions about their counter tops and appliances.

A resident of the apartment at 280 First Avenue, who asked that his name not be published, said the employee also frightened his adult daughter, who was in her room when he opened the door — without knocking. While the father was in another room, he said the worker breezed into his daughter’s room, telling her he was looking for air conditioners.

After the dad confronted him, the workers was “very apologetic,” saying management was making him to do it.

The employee also produced paperwork showing notes he’d taken at other apartments he’d been working in, and that he was supposed to ask if people had air conditioners.

The employee then asked if the family had a dishwasher and also asked about the countertop in the kitchen, which is when the resident said he told the worker to cut the questioning. The resident said that again the employee was very apologetic and left soon afterwards.

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Soapbox: Why people go postal

Last Friday afternoon at about 2:30 p.m., I went to the Stuyvesant Post Office. The metal gate was down and a long message was taped to it indicating that they were closed in preparation for their move to the old Duane Reade on 14th.

No mention of when the new facility would be open for business.

Prior to this, no posters had been prominently displayed regarding the move. Nor was there a mailing to 10009 postal customers to let them know in advance when the switch over from one facility to another would take place.

Since the publicity months ago when the move had been announced, there had been no follow-up communication with customers.

I went next morning at 8:45 a.m. and joined a small line of people needing new post office box keys. The metal gate, still down, no longer had Friday’s notice. In fact, there was no notice of any kind. At 9 a.m., the gate was still down. At 9:03 a.m., a woman happened along and told us the new facility was open and that is where they were doing key replacements. Some of the folks had been waiting in line in front of the old facility since 8 a.m. and were angry that the original notice misled them.

At the “cozy” (read cramped) new site, only one woman was doing key replacement. Of course, because there was no sign at the old facility explaining that there would be no retail services, no mail pickup, no package pickup, etc., she was trying to answer all the customers who kept coming in looking for services not being offered and was starting to get frazzled and snappy.

After getting my new keys, I walked back to the old site where a small crowd had gathered, not knowing what was going on. I explained things to them, went back home to create two signs about the old site being closed forever and the new one opening at 9 a.m. Monday (February 24), and taped them up on the gate. By Monday morning, the signs were down and people were standing around looking at the metal gate, not knowing the status.

The lack of respect for postal customers seems to have been a hallmark of this particular post office for years, but there is no excuse for not taking simple measures that keep people informed.

If I can put up a sign, so can they.

The responsibility does not lie just with the manager of this branch. It should have been the responsibility of a higher-up to ensure that the public was well informed. In this, as in many other situations, a failure to communicate is a failing indeed.

Susan Steinberg
Stuyvesant Town

Letters to the editor, Feb. 27

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Shivering tenants getting cold shoulder

In last week’s “Letters to the editor,” there was a letter describing and highlighting the lack of heat in so many of the Peter Cooper/Stuyvesant apartments.

I write this in my cold den with the heater blasting away. We all agree that we have had unusually cold weather. In that spirit, why is it that CW continues to keep heat out of our apartments during the day? With this inclement weather, many elderly and even young families with babies are homebound. This is something that should be considered.

My friends and I have called 311 and the two Project Managers, whose numbers have been given to the service department and us. There is never a reply from the CW executives, even though our telephone numbers are included in the message on their tapes. 311 has responded, but it does not seem to matter. When calling the service department, we are told, “I will make out a work order.” It seems their pad of work orders must have had to be reprinted since so many of them have been made out, but it never seems to make a difference.

I have been living in Peter Cooper for over 65 years. Sure, I have had situations regarding heat during those times, but this year takes the cake. Something must be done and should be done to require heat in our apartments.

Name withheld, PCV

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