The Gasman Cometh


The Gasman is stalking me again. He’s not feeling the love…

“10 DAY TURN OFF NOTICE—METER MUST BE READ”

We go through this every few months, he and I. I explain that in an ideal world, it would be great to see him…. We could read meters… chat…. put the gas company "hold" Muzak on speakerphone and totally rock-out…

But see, my day job keeps us apart. I have it so I can pay for things like… oh… my gas bill.

Given I get only ten days of vacation in an entire year— most of which goes toward selfish things like Christmas-- the probability of me actually being home for a regular tete-a-tete with the noble Man o’ Gas is somewhat equivalent to Paris Hilton winning the Nobel Peace Prize in Physics.

But the Gasman, oh nooooo, there’s no telling him that. So he sends me letters. And leaves notes. And calls. And once put a big yellow flier on my front door to show the whole neighborhood his great love of me.

Of course, if I went to the Gasman’s house at mid-day, he wouldn’t be there, either. He’s out sitting on my porch hoping... waiting... thinking, “Maybe this time will be different—maybe she’ll be home this one time.”

But it’s not to be.

I’ve tried to explain my neglect of him is nothing personal. I also neglect the mailman, the FedEx guy, the paper carrier and the garbage man. I am an equal opportunity neglecter. Thing is, the Gasman is the only one who wants to hang out inside my house.

So I give him my meter readings online. But every now and then he tells me it's just not enough. Others have hurt him before and now he finds it hard to trust. He must see my meter for himself. So I tell him I’d be happy to meet him at a time that’s convenient for the two of us.

Then he plays hard to get.

He tells me he’s only willing to meet me within a four-hour window. And leaves me taking off half-a-day of work to wait for him, longing for the sound of his work-boots on the steps.

He’s such a tease.

The Gas Company’s solution to our relationship is I either pay a jaw-dropping $3,000 to move the meter outside-- not fiscally feasible-- or I lend them a key to my home.

But we all know how THAT goes. I’ll be coming home and finding the place trashed because the Gasman initially invited over just three close friends… but then some friends-of-a-friend showed up to check out the meter…. and before he knew it, they were having a full-on rave…

I’ll be finding sticky-notes stuck to the fridge telling me I’m out of Cheez-Its and beer. Everything’ll smell like booze, urine and propane. And there’s bound to be a couple of meter readers upstairs in a compromising position, though they'll claim they were "just testing for leaks."

No, thank you.

I wonder sometimes where this exactly this whole thing went wrong. After all, am I not the customer here? Aren't my payments always on time?

But I grab the phone and dial, the automated voice routing me around the world in 90 seconds and back, each country wanting my account number for their own special siloed systems.

Then the Muzak kicks in, blaring so I have to hold the receiver several inches from my ear.

Ah, yes, Mr. Gasman, they're playing our theme.

I shake my head. Pity. It could have been such a beautiful friendship.

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If Humor-blogs was in charge of Muzak, you can bet there'd be less Yanni.

9 comments:

techfun said...

That sucks! Maybe if you give the key with strict instructions that any parties are to be BYOB and any leftovers are to be left for you it would pay off.

Or just move to Philly where we have super duper magic electric and gas meters that send out spy ray type signals and allow the utility company to just drive in front of the house to pick up the mater's dirty little secrets,

Jenn Thorson said...

Ah, Techfun, you've hit on the biggest reason I don't want to spend the dough to put the meter outside!...

I KNOW the moment I do this, the gas company will begin installing the super spy ray signal technology you've brought up. Other companies in the city (just not in my area) have it. So we Have The Power.

Also, you know, I'd miss this super interaction with the gas company and their reps. And heck, who doesn't love that? :)

Greg said...

Definitely ridiculous enough for blog-fodder! You can't be the only person in the city who's meter is inside. Tell them to schedule you for a weekend reading, I'm sure they must do it for lots of folks.

This also leaves you free to dash off to the store if the Gasman does bring some buddies along...you know, for beer and Cheez-it!

Jenn Thorson said...

Heya, Greg-- No, other folks certainly have the same issue, too. I'll have to recheck and see if they have weekend hours yet. Last I had checked, they didn't-- just 8:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday.

Heh, and when I'd asked, saying, "You know, it would be nice if there were, say, evening hours"...

The woman on the other end just told me, "Yes, you know, it would... We don't have them, though."

I somehow didn't find that very helpful. :)

Alice said...

I feel for ya honey! Comcast and I don't exactly see eye-to-eye either. But that's about 5 blogs worth of material.

SSB said...

I don't have this issue yet but I really hate waiting around for service people. Where I live they send out a maintenance guy to make sure your apartment's clean they send you a notice and it might be 3 month before ya see the guy

Jenn Thorson said...

Alice- well, here's hoping Comcast eventually comes 'round to your way of thinking. :) I have Comcast myself, but we just keep a polite distance.

Shirley- Three months! Oh my, well, that's one way to ensure a tidy house, but... wow.

Tiggy said...

I see an easy solution. Simply get a job at the gas company as a meter reader, and let yourself in to your own house.

Not only that, but the inconsiderate bastards will also be paying you to read your own meter!

Jenn Thorson said...

Well, Tiggy, I like the way you think! There we go, that solves just everything. Plus, gas company reps probably make more than I do as a professional writer. And just think-- working with the public, I'll have SO much fodder for my blog posts.

You're right-- it's really win-win all around. :)