Ah, it's that time of year again, folks!
The cusp of Memorial Day? Allergy season? When rogue gangs of Monarch butterflies flap
northbound for their summer homes?
Um, no. It's that time of year I wage an Epic Battle with my gas utility.
I've mentioned this before; they feel every six months they need to get into my house to read my inside meter. They also feel they can only give me a four-hour window appointment, so I have to take a half day off work to have this done.
I personally feel I need the money that working outside of Meter Proximity provides.
They feel this could be solved if I just paid thousands of dollars to move it outside. Which would, in an interesting twist of fate, also require me to take off work, so it could be completed.
I feel it is stupid to do that when other gas companies seem to be able to read meters remotely, with the Technology and the Magic of Not Annoying the Frig Out of Customers, Who Actually Do Not Ponder Their Gas Meters As Much As You'd Think.
The gas company does not seem to see it the same way.
We have not yet agreed to disagree.
So they indicate that another terrific option would be for me to leave them a copy of my key, which they will keep safely for me somewhere in their offices along with Jimmy Hoffa and the Ark of the Covenant.
Given, I've just enjoyed an episode of Identity Theft, as well as someone using my blog content without my permission, I can't say I'm feeling that trusting.
So, I have my bud Josette visiting me over the Memorial Day weekend, and I realized I would be free next Thursday morning for that convenient four-hour window.
I told the gas company, "Hey, Golden Opportunity, dudes-- let's schedule it then!"
And they looked at the schedule, and they said, "Um, yeah... no. We're not available that day to look at your meter. Choose another day."
I informed them I did not have another day. If they wanted a day, this was it. The brass ring. The chalkware elephant. The giant stuffed Barney.
But I just learned I could call back during 7:30am and 9:00am the next day and see if I could get a Shop Manager to open up that time.
Okay, so, yes, the next day, I called in that earlybird hour-and-a-half-window of time and...
No shop manager. Call back again. We'll put your account on hold until you straighten out your non-Meter-Oriented-Life more in our favor.
"Do you have Saturday hours by any chance?"
Not so much.
I initially started wondering where that Shop Manager is, if he's not at work minding the shop in the morning like he's supposed to be.
But I realized. He's probably at home waiting for the meter reader.
Soon I will be calling the gas company to report an explosion. And it very well may be me.
UPDATE: And this evening, in spite of my account being on "hold," I come home to a second threatening notice indicating they have already tried to contact me, but I have completely neglected to respond.
(Um, so what WERE exactly those two phone calls I made to them? And once where I gave them a time to come, and they said they weren't available? Did I make those up? Was I sniffing natural gas fumes or something?)
But this time in the letter, THIS TIME they indicate I can fill their requirements by calling my meter reading in 24/hours a day, seven days a week. WONDERFUL! Gladly! Hand me the phone!
So I dial the number with anticipation in my heart, and give them my 13 digit account number, and they ask me to guess their name (it's Rumplestiltskin), and give them my first born child to spin straw into gold... oh, and enter my meter reading, too, and...
They won't accept it.
Nope. I need to talk to a person on weekdays and schedule a meter reading.
And that's when I exploded in a giant burst of flame all over my living room. This is now a dead woman, typing here, exploded by bureaucracy and rage like an over-roasted marshmallow.
Fer cryin' out loud.