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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Genius Fail

So, we've got a guy who is not paying his electric bill. It is months and about a grand behind. It finally comes to the point that we cut him off, and a serviceman goes and boots the meter, mission accomplished.

Not so fast.

Because of previous drama at this address, a meter tech went by there to check things out a few days later. Found the lock ring and boot on the ground, meter back in and spinning. This is called a "self-restore" and a "tamper", which is an automatic $400 fine. Plus, we cut you off "more permanently".

So the next day, one of our nicest and most laid back servicemen, Paul, arrives in Truck 575 to cut this guy off from the pole's service drop. No one is home, but he chats with an elderly neighbor lady who sees him and comes out to visit. We're the Good Guys, after all. Service dropped, he's done and on his way, mission accomplished.

Not so fast.

Our customer service department gets a call, the recording of which I have not yet had a chance to hear, but the notes tell the story. Apparently the homeowner called in and said he was out of town but had heard from his family that the power was cut. That is to say, 217 members of his family. Yes, that is the precise number of people he claimed were at his home during a family reunion gathering, which was ruined by the power being cut off.

Aside #1: I had about 40-50 people at my house for a Memorial Day gathering. I actually did try to count once but couldn't do it. And I was actually present. How he got 217 while not physically present is an amazing feat.

Aside #2: If this family reunion drew 217 people to his home, then why precisely was he himself as host out of town during such an important event?

Aside #3: His house is 1080 sq ft. If all 217 were inside, they each individually had about 5 sq ft of personal space and were very quiet while Paul was there.

Aside #4: And where did those 217 people park their cars, anyway?

But wait, it gets better.

Dirtbag went on to claim that his grandson had approached Paul to ask "what was going on" when Paul went off and "smacked him with a wrench". He says the grandson is in the hospital and will incur medical expenses, and that a police report has already been filed with "80 witnesses".

Oddly, the brothers in blue did not come to arrest Paul on an assault charge, or even try to interview him, or even call any of us at all for any reason. Curious.

The first Paul heard about it is when I asked him if he carried a wrench on his service truck. A little crescent wrench, he said, that rarely gets used, why? Oh the fun we had telling him all about his violent ways that he kept hidden from us. He must have been plenty mad at the dirtbag's family, because he has no memory of the event at all and obviously blocked everything out except the nice chat with a little old lady in front of a small empty house.

Um, dirtbag, we're the power company, not plumbers. Our one-man service crews don't carry weapons-grade wrenches.... anywhere. Now if you piss one of our guys off you might get brained with a hotstick or something.

A wrench? 217 family members? While you're not home? That all stayed hidden? 80 witnesses? And no arrests?

I've stopped laughing, because it is absurd to the point of tragic. Good luck dirtbag. We'll probably bill you for any legal expenses you incur on us, on top of the arrears and tamper fine. Genius, you FAIL.


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