I asked how did this happen? The citizen told me that she received a call from her husband saying their water was off. The customer called city hall and Merlene allegedly said they were working on water lines in the area. The customer said she hung up but a few hours later, the water was still off. Please keep in mind, the customer gave her name and address when she called. By this time, the citizen decided to go check her meter and she noticed it was locked. The customer called back and gave her name and address again while asking what was going on and asked why her water was off. This time, Merlene allegedly, knew what the problem was. According to the customer, her water meter was locked because she had two water bill accounts in her name. I asked the customer were her bills current and she said yes. Merlene allegedly asked her was she back in her house and the customer said she didn't know what that had to do with anything since both bills were paid. Keep in mind, the customer's account wasn't delinquent, there was a problem with her having two paid accounts that were current. Only in Lumberton. The customer was told that she needed to come to city hall and sign some paperwork to have the locked removed. Now this when it gets interesting.
When the customer gets to city hall, the other clerk, Kenon Cooke-Johnson, not Merlene, addresses the customer and allegedly begins to verbally attack the customer; allegedly saying "if you have something to say to me say it and yelling that she's not afraid of her." This is all a part of the Distressed Clerk Victimology Handbook. I guess while the other clerk is yelling and allegedly attempting to agitate the customer so she could become irate, Merlene was calling the police. Allegedly, they're hoping the police will walk in while the customer is getting irate. The customer said she remained calm but said had they been in the streets, the situation may have been different. Apparently, her calm demeanor didn't matter because the LPD was already enroute and accosted the customer. The customer tried to explain but her attempt was futile. The customer was handcuffed, charged with something related to disturbance of the peace and taken to the police department for daring to question a clerk about why her meter was locked and her account was not delinquent.
Here we go again. The last time we had to deal with such foolishness, Hobson was in office. If a clerk wants to be addressed professionally then they should carry themselves in a professional manner. It's sad and seemingly unnecessary, but I'm going to advise customers to record any conversation they have with anyone at city hall because they're attacking the citizens for asking basic questions. When push comes to shove, the police are not going to be on your side; they're going to take the word of their co-worker over yours, unless you have proof on your cellphone. Thankfully, my only interaction with the clerks is at board meetings and when I pay my wayer bill. They haven't gotten out of hand with me, other than a deep sigh and an eye roll but if they ever get out of line with me, I will respond accordingly and post the video after I leave the police department. I think I need to visit the office more often because I wish they would talk to me the way this customer said they allegedly talked to her. Now she has to defend herself in court because the angry birds in city hall allegedly don't think citizens have the right to question their decisions. The hell!!!