Time We All Sat Down For A Plow-Wow

, , , , , | Working | June 28, 2018

(Due to all of the on-street parking, the plows around here never clear out the whole street. The portion where cars would park or sit idle is left to the duty of the people who wish to park their cars there. There are exactly two exceptions to this. One is when a resident hires a private plowing service. The second is when there’s so much snow the plows run out of places to push the snow. In the latter case, typically they’ll instead use a truck and a backhoe to cart the snow off, whereas the former case is simply more pushing. I live on a street corner, so I have about double the shoveling just for the sidewalk alone. One particularly bad winter, just as I round the corner to tackle the second half of the sidewalk, I see a plow pushing the snow off the street, and right into the fence around my backyard. The fence is visibly leaning as he’s pushing, and he is still going back to push more in. Phone in hand, I snap a picture of his whole plow and then his license plate before tapping his door with my shovel. He rolls down his window just as I snap a photo of his face.)

Me: “What do you think you’re doing?”

Plow Driver: “I have to get the snow off the street.”

Me: “By pushing it into my fence?”

Plow Driver: “I have to put it somewhere.”

Me: “So, Mr. [License Plate Number], have you noticed my once-upright fence is now leaning?

Plow Driver: *speechless*

Me: “If my fence breaks under the weight of all that snow and your plow, are you going to pay for it, or will I have to sue the city and show them this photo of you behind the wheel of your plow to see that money?”

Plow Driver: *drives off rapidly*

(I continue my shoveling, starting with the mess he left me. The good news is I get everything cleared in that morning. That afternoon, I see a different plow clearing another neighbor’s driveway, again pushing the snow into my driveway. Phone in hand again, I snap the same the same two photos as before, but this time I notice something interesting. Unlike the first plow, this plow has a New Hampshire license plate. I then tap the door, and the driver — someone completely different — rolls down his window as I snap the third photo.)

Me: “What do you think you’re doing?”

Plow Driver #2: *pointing to a house* “My sister lives right over there. She asked me to clear out her driveway.”

Me: “So you’re pushing it into my driveway, after I cleared out all the snow?”

Plow Driver #2: “Uh… Sorry.”

Me: “By the way, I noticed you have New Hampshire plates.”

Plow Driver #2: “Yeah, I live up there. I just came down to help my sister.”

Me: “Oh, okay. So if I called the police and reported you, Mr. [License Plate Number] whose sister lives at [Address], would they find you have a license to operate a plow in the state of Massachusetts?”

Plow Driver #2: *pause* “Tell you what I’ll do. I’ll clear out the snow I pushed in front of your house, and anytime you want, I’ll plow it again for free.”

Me: “No.”

Plow Driver #2: “‘No’?”

Me: “You’re an a**hole! All you’d do is push the snow into someone else’s driveway! Now get lost!”

(He drove off. After breaking my back all day, I spent the closing hours of the day in front of my television to goof off. Around eight at night, however, I heard the distinctive beeping of a large vehicle backing up, and a sound akin to rolling rocks and metal clanging. Curious, I poked my head out the window. Rather than taking the deliberate approach of carefully chipping away at the ice-walls my neighbors, the plows, and myself had made during the day, they believed the most efficient way to get the snow was to knock all the walls over and the scoop it up slowly; the clanging was the avalanche hitting my fence. It probably wouldn’t have been a big deal, if their schedule didn’t say they had to clock out at nine exactly, and the next shift actually started where they left off. As a result, all of our sidewalks were buried again, our driveways had become obstructed, and there were no clearings for the crosswalks or bus stop. So, in the middle of the night, I went back to work. Thanks a lot, plow drivers!)

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