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Connoisseur - Moderator
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I should probably not post this right now because I am really upset.

I arranged for the gas company to come to my house to move my meter outside (at their insistence.)

I was told it would take about two hours to do, so I arranged to work some extra time so I could get off work.

The guy arrived about 45 minutes late and then right in the middle of the job, he announced that there was an emergency, so he was going to leave my house, leave me without gas and go tend to the emergency. He was upset that I refused to leave my house open or to just stay home (either using vacation time or unpaid) so he could deal with the emergency.

I understand that a gas leak needs to be attended to, but I don't understand why every technician in the area has to go there. (This is what the pompous woman at the utility claimed when I called her.)

This winter, I scheduled them to come and read the meter on a Saturday. Even though I am a full time employee, tax season is very busy for me and I work almost every Saturday. (Unpaid, of course.) No one from Consumers (our utility) stopped by, so I wasted a Saturday. I was told there was an emergency. When I asked why they did not call me so I could go to work and get some things done, they arrogantly claimed that they don't have time to do that.

I'm not in the utility business, but I cannot imagine that they would treat customers that way if I had a choice of companies. (To be fair, most banks have competition, but their service is usually pretty weak, too.)

If he does not call me at work this afternoon, I guess I will simply have to live without gas for my dryer, water heater and furnace (the furnace is admittedly not an issue right now.) until tomorrow or whenever they deign to lower themselves to finishing my job. I shall enjoy my cold shower tomorrow morning and for as long as they find other things to do.

I can't believe they would not try to find a better way to handle this if there was competition. Government is just as irresponsible (especially in Michigan.)

This is why I am no believer in expanded government programs. They are inherently, power-mad, rude and inefficient because of human nature. (However, on the other side of it, maybe if Christians would practice the entire religion and not just those parts of it that allow them to snipe at people they don't like, maybe government expansion would not be advocated by so many.)

End of rant.
 

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If they're state regulated, get on the phone with your State Rep and Senator.

Raise hell with them and have them raise hell with the gas company.

They'll listen.
Wow, photo-finish posts!

That's about it-they'll listen. Maybe comiserate. They have really no sway over such matters. Even if on pertinent committees, oversight authority is vested elsewhere. The best approach is to contact the regulatory agency.
 

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Hi, Forsberg,

Across the country advocates and utilities have spent millions of dollars in evaluating restructuring of the electric industry. For that matter, we probably spent millions on it here in Vermont when I was working on the issue back in the 1990's. Some states restructured their electric industries to provide for retail competition, which was sold on the idea that competition would lower prices. Other states, like Vermont, looked at the idea and decided against it. While the states that adopted retail competition initially looked good, because retail prices were artificially suppressed, I think the universal experience since then has been higher prices with retail competition. It is also clear that manipulation of the power markets in California by Enron caused tremendous dislocation and price increases in their electric markets a year or two before Enron went under.

You were the victim of terrible service by Consumers Power. This emphasizes the need for regulation not just of price but also of service quality. In some utility regulation systems, referred to as "alt-reg", the utility isn't entitled to earn up to its full potential if it doesn't meet service quality standards, including outage levels, trouble response, and stuff like that.

I understand the impulse to say that the company would do a better job if they had competition, but the experience, either in terms of price or service, has not supported that notion.

Sorry to hear about your experience, though.

Jack
 

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This is why I am no believer in expanded government programs. They are inherently, power-mad, rude and inefficient because of human nature. (However, on the other side of it, maybe if Christians would practice the entire religion and not just those parts of it that allow them to snipe at people they don't like, maybe government expansion would not be advocated by so many.)

End of rant.
That must be a very handy device.

Every time you don't approve of the way people act, you can use the occasion and your anger to bash Christians.

But, luckily for you , I have your solution... Next time just ask to speak to an atheistic representative (or agnostic, Muslim, or pagan, anything other than Christian will probably do), and have them send out a similar minded technician. That should solve all your problems. :)
 

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That must be a very handy device.

Every time you don't approve of the way people act, you can use the occasion and your anger to bash Christians.

But, luckily for you , I have your solution... Next time just ask to speak to an atheistic representative (or agnostic, Muslim, or pagan, anything other than Christian will probably do), and have them send out a similar minded technician. That should solve all your problems. :)
it the christians fault naturally, first they let their women enter the workforce and now no ones home to let in the utility guys, or milkman, oh wait....
 

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You seem to be wilfully misinterpreting what Forsberg said. He's not blaming "the Christians", he's merely suggesting that things would be better if everyone who considers himself a Christian treated other people decently. In my experience, this is what Forsberg does, even though we are usually on opposite sides politically.
 

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jack,

Spin it how it suits you, but he clearly states that many people advocate government expansion (maybe) because Christians practice the parts of their religion that allow them to snipe at people they don't like.

There's little room for interpretation. It's pretty plain English.

"... maybe if Christians would practice the entire religion and not just those parts of it that allow them to snipe at people they don't like, maybe government expansion would not be advocated by so many."

I don't think he really believes it. Maybe his anger and his disdain for Christians lead him to make a foolish statement.
 

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You seem to be wilfully misinterpreting what Forsberg said. He's not blaming "the Christians", he's merely suggesting that things would be better if everyone who considers himself a Christian treated other people decently. In my experience, this is what Forsberg does, even though we are usually on opposite sides politically.
my comment was directed more to what relayer said, trying for satire again not making it
 

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Connoisseur - Moderator
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Relayer, I go to church every Sunday and am an elder at my church. You say more about yourself than me. I'm no Christian basher and for you to accuse me of doing so repeatedly shows that either you don't read or don't care about the accuracy of your remarks. Whatever, dude.

I just pointed out that one reason people cry out for government intervention is that many people don't really step up to the plate to help out those who are less fortunate. There is no way to force people to step up and there should be no way to compel it.

In my irritation, it possibly came out wrong.

They did come over and finish the job, although I had to leave work. This will cost me only a couple extra hours of (I hope) make-up time and not a half day of vacation.

It was horrific, arrogant service by my local utility company. I'm not pleased.

Maybe if folks on the RIGHT AND THE LEFT would focus on understanding and problem solving instead of kneejerk reactions that appear to be based on hatred, we could start solving some problems. The status quo just continues to benefit jerks like those who control my utility company.
 

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I like the tried and true "you say more about yourself..." bit. It's and old, yet still very popular diversion.

All I know of you is what I read in your posts and what you said in this thread. If you represent yourself inaccurately, then that's not my fault.

I do find it ironic that your post snipes at Christians who snipe at Christians.

Clearly, you are one of the better Christians. Congrats.
 

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Connoisseur - Moderator
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Whatever, dude. Enjoy your victory.

I don't know that I have done a whole lot of Christian bashing. It's relatively easy to read through my posts. I seriously doubt I have done any Christian bashing.

That's why I resent your post and your apparent attitude. Fight with people who are your enemies.
 

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... It is also clear that manipulation of the power markets in California by Enron caused tremendous dislocation and price increases in their electric markets a year or two before Enron went under....
Oh my yes. The rolling blackouts, 400% increases in utility bills, all that was so very much fun . "Competition" it was really not as the whole thing was rigged, gamed and manipulated by all the players in the "market" for a very long time. It's still sort of a mess but more stable. And yes, the situation needs improving in the way of better regulation and more transparency. Utilities are sort of odd creatures, in that they provide a commodity but are really a service-based business. Many of the utilities here have performance-based metrics that seem to be working in terms of service calls and outage repairs but it's still, to a great many, a worse system than we had before whole thing got rigged years ago.

Forsberg, I'm sorry to hear that you were left to cold showers. That really is stupid thing for the utility to have done, not having enough personnel assigned to cover what is going on. I hope they get you reconnected very soon.

Cordially,
Adrian Quay
 

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Connoisseur - Moderator
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My gas is hooked back up now. It's just the arrogant - "How can you question us" attitude and the total indifference to the value of my time that bothers me.
 

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^ Ah, glad to hear it!

When you noted in your frustration that you wished Christians would practice entire religion, well that rang a bell with me. I don't see it as a "bash" of a comment but an anguished one, a frustrated noting of how much better things could be if people really paid attention to the fact that they spend most of their lives dealing with other people just like them. The People of the Book are all called to treat one another humanely. Buddhism calls people to see that they are not really different from anyone else and so do most religious traditions that cover the majority of the people on earth.

The utility company is just a legal fiction and it's full of people doing the work. The folks that were supposed to do your work, now how did they get that indifferent-mindedness in the first place? I think you're spot-on in noting it's a very personal thing, stemming from one's beliefs and values. If more people considered the "entire" religion they belong to it would make a vast difference. Even in such apparently mundane matters as a service call.

The hard part for me, of course, is responding to such indifference with its opposite, love, which is the calling instead of responding with anger. Some days I manage pretty well, others I don't.

Cordially,
Adrian Quay

PS
Sorry about going on a tangent but your remarks and this thread got me thinking.
 

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jack,

Spin it how it suits you, but he clearly states that many people advocate government expansion (maybe) because Christians practice the parts of their religion that allow them to snipe at people they don't like.

There's little room for interpretation. It's pretty plain English.

"... maybe if Christians would practice the entire religion and not just those parts of it that allow them to snipe at people they don't like, maybe government expansion would not be advocated by so many."

I don't think he really believes it. Maybe his anger and his disdain for Christians lead him to make a foolish statement.
Disdain for Christians? Forsberg is a Lutheran just like myself.
 

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Connoisseur - Moderator
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
To be fair, I don't want to criticize the people doing the work. There very probably was a legitimate emergency. I just think that they could organize themselves to handle emergencies (which on their level are something they should realize is going to happen from time to time.) without inconveniencing people.

Letting everyone who was staying at home to make sure the meter reader's time was not wasted that the reader was not coming is a problem, too. With today's computers, etc. someone could have contacted us so we could have gone about our business that day.
 
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