We can't be that mad at this week's blizzard, because even though our car is stuck under snow drifts, our commute took us twice as long and all of our friends are still stuck in airports waiting to fly home, we were introduced to the comedic gold that is the stuck snow plow. We've heard a number of excuses for the plow inaction, but now there is a bona fide conspiracy! Many city residents (including commenter Bob Moses) say the city's Sanitation Department conducted a massive slowdown as revenge for budget cuts. One Staten Island resident said, "My best friend works for Sanitation and so does his brother—both told me it's a slowdown. They said some are calling in sick and others are working as slow as possible.'' But if it's true, can we blame them?
According to Chasing Sanitation, blizzards mean "long dangerous nights" and "getting stuck going to work, at work, going home from work" for Sanitation workers. Many have also taken to Facebook to complain that they don't get no respect. One wrote, "Nobody understands that we got over 2 feet of snow. It takes time to clear it be patient." Another complained, "Actual 311 call?? Yes my name is jerkoff jerkovitz and my block hasn’t been plowed yet. I pulled my car out during the blizzard for s**** and giggles buy it got stuck and I left it in the middle of the block. The sanitation workers are useless!!!" But however thankless the job, it's still their job.
Municipal Labor Committee leader Harry Nespoli said there is no truth to the rumor, and that Sanitation workers don't "mess around with the snow." He also said, "They worked 14 hour shifts. They're getting annoyed over the fact that people are thinking there is a job action." However, he did hint at tension between the city and the Sanitation workers. The city demoted about 100 supervisors to fill in depleted ranks instead of hiring new workers, and Nespoli said morale is down. "When you start doing things like demoting people, it's not the right thing to do." He also said the city was completely unprepared to deal with the blizzard, and that they were "scrambling like crazy" to find workers on Christmas. Nope, not a recipe for a slowdown at all.