Monday, August 09, 2004

A short essay on incompetence

Why is it that some people are, seemingly, trying to make my life harder? Don't these people have anything better to do than to waste my life?

Of course they do! They have lots of other peoples' lives to waste.

I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear that, in this latest example at least, this has nothing to do with any US government agencies. Instead it has to do with elastic-trickery, or more specifically with American Electric Power.

When I moved into my, conveniently located above a bar, apartment I called up the power company and told them I'd just moved in to the flat and asked them to change the billing to my name. I had to call them two times, as the first time 247 ½ didn't exist... she could find 248, but being as that's on the opposite side of the road it wasn't much help. The second lady I spoke to managed to find my address, and then set about requesting lots of information from me about when and who and with which number... all the usual gubbins.

A few weeks later and I received a bill. I noticed that the bill didn't specify my apartment number... this didn't concern me overly. A week later and a letter is sitting in my mailbox addressed to "The Occupant" of "247 ½...., Es". I think Es? What's Es? Could it be east side? The letter informs me that some scallywag (I'm paraphrasing here) has been using electricity at this location without informing AEP. Apparently, if they are not contacted within 5 days then the power will be disconnected.

Being the cunning genius that I am, I figure they had probably given me my neighbours account, leaving mine in delinquency. Being the power loving, dutiful alien that I am, the letter provokes me in to calling them — on the telephone and nasty names... although not calling them nasty names on the telephone, 'cause that would be rude — to sort out the mess before they turned off my power. Thirty minutes later, on about the fifth or sixth repetition of my story, we have a breakthrough and the lady I'm talking to works out that I'd been given an account attached to the wrong meter. If I were a religious man at this point I would have praised those gods which I believed in. Instead I just muttered swear words under my breath.

So now I sit and wait and wonder "What have they fucked up now?". Only time will tell.

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