An Eagle’s Viewpoint

If only it were a little warmer today, it would’ve been a pleasant one, but unfortunately, the wind was blowing just enough to make my nose run whenever outdoors.  Fortunately I was blessed with several opportunities to be out in the countryside on appointments which I always enjoy.  I don’t think I’ll ever grow weary of bucolic settings, which is likely due to having been fortunate enough to live most of my childhood years on a farm.  One of my siblings and I shared a great love of cattle, and especially milking cows to where I was always hanging around the milking parlor, feeding and petting the cows while they were being milked.

Nearly an hour of my time today was spent on the phone with a tenant, Q3, which is that idiotic company that’s changing out our old gas meters, and my least favorite service provider, Alliant Energy.

What started it all, was an early morning phone call from a tenant saying he had no heat or hot water.  Since I’d already dealt with Q3 other times this past week, I asked if he was contacted by them to replace his gas meter.  He said “No”, but I then asked him to get one of his family members to go outside and see if the meter was locked out, along with checking for a knob notice on his front door.

After my instructions, I called the Q3 number I’d kept from other lock-outs past week, and wouldn’t you know it, the guy told me he had no way of checking if that house was visited by them.  He then gave me a woman’s number to call who would be able to help me.  I called it, and of course I got an answering machine telling me to call another number, so I did.  And wouldn’t you know it, I got another worthless pre-recorded message.

By that time I was fuming, so I called Alliant and again forced to listen to their voice activated crap until I finally got thru to a customer service rep.  After telling her precisely what my problem was, she said, “We show no record of that meter being changed.”  I then pointedly asked her, “Are you positively sure that meter wasn’t replaced?”  Her canned response was, “If that meter was changed, my computer would show it, and I’m seeing there having been no changes made on that account.”

By that time I was seething frustration and ready to get in my car and drive out to the home, but just as I was getting ready to leave, the tenant called saying, “You were right.  My son found a sticker inside the front screen door with a number to call so I called it and Q3 is sending a guy out right now to turn the gas on.”  I was very thankful that’s all it was, but insisted he give that tech an earful for his company having not acknowledged it was done.

What’s been really bothering me all the more now, is wondering how many people there are in this town who’re either on vacation or have already headed south for the winter while being completely un-aware their gas has been shut off.  I personally can’t think of a worse time of the year for them to be replacing meters, and the reason they won’t turn the gas on, is because they want to make sure pilots are lit on furnaces and hot water heaters.

As far as I’m concerned, Alliant Energy had no business allowing Q3 to change those gas meters unless there was someone who lives in the home being on-site.  It’s just one more example of how our gas and electric provider is turning into another company that out-sources work to sub-contractors just so they don’t have to put any of their workers on overtime.  Whomever is running the corporate show at that company, is trying to make brownie points in cost savings at the expense of their “locked-in” long term customers.  Oh if we could only go back to the days of Interstate Power where there were real people that cared.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to walk into an office and pay a gas and electric bill like they still do with some of our area co-ops?

On a more positive note, I thought it would be appropriate to share a photo I took of what appeared to be a vacated eagle’s nest.  Now if you let your minds wander after closing your eyes, just imagine what our world would look like from an eagle’s viewpoint.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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