Jan 30, 2024— Imagine calling your local sewer district with an urgent need — not for a pipeliner or an engineer — but for a listening ear. This gravity defying leap was made possible by John Gonzalez, the communications director from Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. He posted a simple message online: “just a phone number, a voicemail, and a whole lot of emotions. 216-361-6772.” Through the cryptic social media post, thousands dialed into a voicemail that welcomed their emotions in a world often too busy to pause. The response was astonishing – hundreds, then thousands of voicemails, each an echo of the human condition. From words of gratitude to stories of loneliness, each archived emotion proved one thing – “You’re not alone,” as quoted by Gonzalez’s recorded message. This utility company surpassed its call of duty, spiraling from sewage treatment to treatment of souls. Moreover, Gonzalez’s clever use of social media, humor, and everyday advice engaged people across the world. In this mundane setting, a most unexpected connection was born. (1365 reads)
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