MASCO in Hollywoodland: A Progress Report

July 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Our Summer of MASCO/Hope Anderson Productions

The sewer project that has been Hollywoodland’s most annoying daytime summer event started a couple of months ago but reached its apex, at least in my area, during the last couple of weeks. Fortunately, I missed 12 days of jackhammering during a recent vacation–the only time I can remember being gone during a noisy period. When I got back, I noticed a lot of trash in my black garbage bin–which was strange not only because I had been away, but because it was made up of styrofoam lunch boxes that should go into the blue recycling bin. That blue one, I noticed, contained empty concrete bags. Then a couple of days later, I found one of my green garden bins overloaded with uprooted plants (and a cardboard tube). None of it was mine.

It could only have been the detritus of MASCO, the subcontractor doing the sewer work for the City.

Beyond the creepiness of having someone else’s incorrectly sorted trash in my bins, MASCO’s workers trespassed on my property, opening an enclosure in order to dump it. While it wasn’t the first time I’ve had my bins commandeered by strangers–phone company workers routinely dump trash in my bins while working on a nearby box–it was the most egregious. The next day, when I found MASCO workers directly outside my house, I said the least they could do was to sort their recyclables and move my bins to the curb. They agreed, yet when I returned at the end of the day, I found the bins in their usual place and the same styrofoam boxes in the black one. The green one was especially hard for me to drag to the curb.

The next day I found a MASCO backhoe parked directly in front of my garage, preventing my exit. It was midday; no one was around, apparently because they were on their lunch break. Now running late, I had to race around a three-block area to find anyone from MASCO, at which point I unleashed a tirade about their lack of consideration. The worker pretended not to understand what I was saying, so I repeated it in Spanish. His attitude was somewhere between “who cares?” and bafflement.

Because none of the workers would identify their foreman or give me their supervisor’s telephone number, I decided to track down someone in authority at MASCO. When I reached the supervisor, Alfred Garcia, and told him my story, he was appalled and apologetic, promising he would “talk to those guys.” I hung up feeling the worst was over, and was relieved when the crew decamped for another part of the Canyon.

But early Thursday morning they were back, repaving a nearby street, and by 8:15am, there was a truck being parked in front of my garage. The driver was utterly mystified when I told him he couldn’t leave it there.

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