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I’m trying not to get sucked into the drama of the presidential primaries… but it’s hard. Here, then, is a diversionary tale of adversity and triumph to distract myself.

On my way to work one rainy day back in December, I noticed Entergy was tearing up the street near our house. Hmmm, I thought. That looks kinda half-assed.

So I took a picture.


The next day the workers were gone, but the hole remained. They had surrounded it with four barricades and yellow tape. (Sorry, no picture.)

I didn’t see the hole for the rest of the year, as I spent the holiday season cooped up in our house, painting painting painting.

When I finally emerged in the New Year, I was shocked — shocked — to see the barricades scattered about.

Fallen Barricades

Astute observers will note that this hole isn’t really anything by New Orleans standards. I’ve seen potholes bigger and deeper than this.

But I noticed the instructions printed on each barricade: CALL ENTERGY.

So I did.

Me: Hi, I’m calling to report a hole in the street with —

Entergy Customer Service Representative (interrupting): Entergy can’t fix a hole in the street.

Me: Well, I’m pretty sure Entergy dug the hole, but I’m calling because the barricades y’all put around it have fallen down. They said CALL ENTERGY so that’s what I’m doing.

Rep: Don’t you think they dug that hole for a reason?

Me: I’m sure they did, but don’t you think they put the barricades up for a reason? And don’t you think they printed CALL ENTERGY on the barricades for a reason?

Rep: You don’t need to yell at me, sir. I can hear you just fine.

It was not the most pleasant conversation. Eventually the rep told me they could send someone out, not to fix the hole but to reset the barricades, but it would be at least a week. I apologized for yelling.

Shortly thereafter I got a call from someone else at Entergy wanting more details.

The very next day I saw that the barricades and tape had been put back in place.

And yesterday I saw that the hole had been patched.


Amazing. Something got fixed.

Published inMiscellaneousPix


  1. Marion Marion

    There should be an addendum to our Entergy bills: “We value you’re business and will service your needs…just yell at us!”

  2. Civitch Civitch

    I’m on SWB’s case for a repeat subsurface water leak. This is easily the fourth time it has broken, and they usually don’t show up until the street itself is in shambles and thousands of gallons are lost every minute. The last time, I had to threaten to have a well-publicized beach party at the site before I got them to do something.

  3. Glad it got fixed, but it seriously irks me to hear about the defensiveness and attitude you had to wade through (and then YOU had to apologize, geez). I have never had a conversation with an Entergy or S&WB rep that didn’t go something like that, no matter how nice and sweet I was.

  4. Hey, if worse came to worse, you coulda faxed your stellar photographic documentation of said hole to the upper management. I’m glad you didn’t have to do that, though. This sure beats the three-plus months it took the folks to fill in the Pothole From Hell on my street that the S & WB opened up in ’06…

  5. Andrea Andrea

    That’s Amazing! Remember back when I moved to New Orleans and I didn’t have power for 5 days in August? When I asked my landlord how I was supposed to get the power turned on, and why didn’t he tell me that it was off before I moved in, he answered, “Just call Entergy!”

    He made it sound like it was a simple and logical solution, but he knew that was far from the truth.

    I still don’t know why it took 5 days to turn it on, don’t they just flip a switch?

  6. Moishe Moishe

    Perhaps it was fixed because Entergy is not a government entity. My family owns a property near the lake and behind the property in the service road a hole has developed that could swallow a small Volkswagen. We have called and called City Hall till blue in the face to have this fixed and nothing has been done. So yes, your story is amazing.

  7. Nice work! I have actually had decent luck getting info out of the guys who do the work on my street, which has been in need of repair so much these last few months so much that my dog no longer barks at the heavy equipment. Nothing from the top, though.

    (as I first read this post, I was watching the s&wb tear up my block for the hundredth time…)

  8. Jen at Living Dominica Jen at Living Dominica

    Obviously, Entergy trains their customer service personnel on Dominica.

    A typical interaction here might go:

    “I am calling to report I do not have water.”

    “So, where is the problem? No one else is complaining!”

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