So now the power companies are in the cross-hairs of the discontented. Well, that’s what they deserve for taking on the job. Trying to keep us folks supplied continuously with power for our TV’s, 360’s, phone chargers, not to mention computers, is a full-time job, and they took it on.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. There are many, many dissatisfactions that even I have with power companies. First of all, there’s erratic pricing: you never know what the price is going to jump to, and if you lock into a contract (whee!), you know costs will go down until just before you need to renew said contract. There’s supposed to be competition, but it’s hard to see. Then it seems when the weather gets hottest or coldest, alarms go out to expect possible outages as if it has never been really hot or really cold before.
But here’s one dissatisfaction I can’t see as reasonable: expecting immediate return of power after a brutal storm such as Irene. Expecting linemen to work 24-hour-a-day shifts, 7 days a week, to straighten up power poles or install new ones across a terrain where the geography has literally been rearranged. Where rivers have been moved, where houses have been removed, where roads and bridges are somewhere downstream from their original sites. Sure, I understand the fear of losing all the food in the freezer, of not having light at night in a landscape that has turned unfamiliar and scary. But can I just suggest that frozen food can be cooked on the grill or turned over to emergency shelter locations that might have a generator, and candles and flashlights can persuade children that camping out at home is fun. I expect a lot of neighborhoods have managed to put their resources together and ‘make do’ with what they have, that wonderful pioneer expression. At least, unlike the pioneers, we know that eventually, perhaps soon, electricity is coming, and we’ll lose our family’s attention back to their electronics. And it will be time to put the board games and cards and checkers away in the dark.