First of all, the rant that I am about to go on might be attributed to the fact that I am still sick. STILL SICK! When is this going to end? Or it might be attributed to MENOPAUSE! Not the cat, actually mine, or maybe, just maybe I have a legitimate gripe.
It all started 16 + years ago. We bought the building that our business is in and it had a coal/wood burner as it's heat source. For obvious reasons, that was not going to work, obvious being while I have had experience with coal and wood burning heat sources, I was therefore experienced enough to know I was done with that portion of my life. The day, the coldest day in January that year, was the day that the gas company was to hook up the gas to the new furnace. They didn't show up, the coal burner was unhooked, the pipes were going to freeze, the LADY on the phone didn't care, so what, I ranted, I raved and finally with the threat of suing, lawyers, media intervention and one well placed phone call, they came and got us gas. Not one to forget such incidents we jump forward to two years ago.

All went smooth with the gas company until then. We got a gas well drilled on our property, we no longer needed their gas, we asked to rent the meter as we knew that they would have to come back and redrill the well at some point. All the memories came rushing back. The woman on the phone was not nice. Honestly, does the gas company outsource their phone service to a high security federal women's prison? I have yet to get a nice one on the phone.
The calls starts something like this.
If you have a strong smell of gas, explosion or a fire, please press 1.
If you have a question about your bill, please press 2.
(Just for the record, I have pressed 1 and no, I am not proud of that, but also for the record, it does not get you a person any quicker)
Then please press or say your account number, and then they repeat it back to you and then when Inmate #45903 comes on, she asks your account number again. Why?
We rented the meter for $12.48 per month for almost a year and then I got a check in the mail for $96.28. When I called to ask why? Press 2, account number, Inmate #78543 says "We don't rent meters to customers" I argue that I have been renting this meter for a year and she says I have not. "May I please talk to your supervisor?" I question. Apparently the warden is out for the day and the answer is no.
"Ok, I am going to hang up now and call back and hopefully I am going to get someone nicer on the phone"
Call Back, press 2, account number, Inmate # 46795 "We don't rent meters to customers"
Dejavous, except this inmate informs me that someone will be out to remove that meter. I ask where she is geographically, she says Charlotte, I have yet to check if they have a Federal Women's Prison there.
I then tell her that would not be a good idea.
No one shows up to take the meter.
Jump ahead to this past December.
They are coming to redrill the well.
We call and for $370 they will hook us back up to their gas. They do, not without incident and some plumbing to meet their "new" specifications. Well redrilled,
January Gas Bill $534.00 Paid
February Gas Bill $245.00 Paid
Last week I get a check back for $245.00. Apparently I didn't owe them that money.
Today, Gas bill $144.00. Did I mention that that our well is back to supplying our gas and has been since sometime in January.

So I call, hopefully hitting the two button and hoping with all my might that they have taken the road of every other tech company out there and that now they outsource their phone service to India. No luck, Federal Inmate #89564 answers the phone. She argues that we are still using their gas. I ask why I got my last payment back, she says because I didn't use any that month (my point exactly) she says that the meter reading is right, she threatens to send someone out. PLEASE DO! She reminds me that I need to winterize my property if I am not using their gas. I tell her that we have our own gas, she reminds me that the pipes could freeze...I was tempted to go back 16 years for one brief moment.
I thanked her and resisted the temptation to ask her how long she was in for.

I did get some knitting done. Other than that I am living on Dristan, Advil and Nyquil, slogging through my days. Doctor tomorrow and hopefully some good antibiotics.


Lynn said…
I have done nothing but knit this winter, those are great projects. I just posted a few of mine on my blog too!!! Sure hope you get to feeling better soon!!!
Wow...some places hire the most frustrating employees! We have a list too!

Thanks for sharing your knitting with us.

Have a fabulous Friday ~Natalie
Laurie said…
Isn't technology great? I long for the days when actual people who worked for the company you're calling answered the phone! I think they're all in cahoots with the pharmasutical companies for blood pressure medication kick backs!
Lesley said…
Hi Cathy seems a never ending dilema with gas people. My goodness seems like it just continues like the Energizer bunny.
Love the knitting and I sure hope you feel better soon. You get sick every winter all winter long don't you??? knit yourself a mask.
LOL Les xoxo
Jenny said…
Oh man...I'm sorry things are so difficult for you right now. I think these places all hire clones of the same people. Great job on the knitting and, no, you can't stab the gas people in the eye with your knitting needle.


Was that bad?