In my neighbourhood there is an “unassumed road” that cuts through a big box commercial complex and leads to a major highway interchange.
It begins on a corner shared by Tim Hortons and Toronto Bread, an industrial bakery, passes a vacant Rona warehouse location and wends its way past concrete hives of brand name store fronts: The Brick, LCBO, Metro, Chapters are anchors for the complex.
William Kitchen Boulevard is nothing if not your classic litter trap. Knitted clumsily among the bushes, grass and building faces flanking this street
I travel this road, whose upkeep is divided among several private development companies, and my heart sinks. My memory of these lands is long. Half a century ago an open expanse of green housed a modest headquarters for Old Spice and the emerging hardware powerhouse Lansing BuildALL. We would bike over to the clear stream that is now a polluted watercourse running parallel to the road I’m talking about. It forms a pond on the last undeveloped portion of the lands.
Evidence of human contamination is everywhere. When the road was first built, it was attractive. After years of use and commercial activity, the decline is undeniable.
The last straw for me was the sight of a struggling street tree strangled in plastic bags on the boulevard outside Mr. Greek Restaurant. After driving by it all winter and procrastinating, I finally resigned myself to making the complaint call, first to the property manager’s front line woman, and then to the corporate VP because aforementioned staff person was rude, let’s say not very customer-friendly.
Customer service is all about listening and then acting.
If you want action on a complaint, email a corporate executive, like a Vice President or CEO. That route took all of five minutes to produce results, and came with an apology, a status report and a successful freeing of the plastic from that poor tree within 24 hours. Just in time for spring! I must give credit to upper management at FirstGulf, a company that takes its reputation seriously and gave the litter complaint the attention it deserved.
Whether the result of a midnight prank by a couple of young male drunks or the wind’s wicked hand the plastic was tied so tightly that one fair-sized knot of it remains at the tip of one thin branch.
Not that I'm complaining . . .