Thursday, December 3, 2009

Utility Companies Are Satan

Above is a photograph of what is taking place right outside my front door at this moment.

Today, at least utility companies in general are the enemy.

The heavy equipment above, including TWO backhoes that are not visible arrived outside my front door a little after seven this morning.

Did I mention the jackhammers?

What is currently outside my door isn't supposed to be there.

At least not according to what a duly appointed representative of CenterPoint Energy (Our natural gas company) told me last week.

Last Tuesday, I was outside supervising the dogs in the side yard (they can easily jump that fence, and will if left unsupervised), when I spotted a CenterPoint Energy SUV slowly driving through the intersection. What caught my attention was not the SUV, but the strange configuration of devices and antennae mounted on the vehicles front bumper. The driver continued through the intersection, stopped, made a u-turn, and drove back through the intersection, even more slowly the second time.

The driver pulled over, got out, opened the back of the SUV and began rummaging around. He pulled out a device mounted at the end of a pole, and began walking around the intersection, holding the device to the ground at several locations, and looking at some type of small monitor held in his left hand. My curiosity piqued, I put the dogs back in the house and approached the man.

I jokingly asked him if there was a problem, and did I need to get ready to run. He told me no, he had picked up on what appeared to be a very small leak, and was just pinpointing the location so a crew could come out in a few days and fix it before the winter set in. He said judging from what he had detected, it would be two guys in a small truck with a jackhammer who would fix the problem in an hour or two.

When the FIRST survey crew showed up a couple of days later, I should have taken their actions as an indication that the "small leak" was going to turn into a major job. Over the next few days, more survey crews showed up from different utilities and the sidewalks and street at my intersection took on the appearance of a Jackson Pollock painting from all of the various spray paint markings indicating what cables and pipes were where.

At 7:15 the jackhammering started.

By 7:45 the backhoes had joined in, orange barrels were strategically placed, and caution tape was stretched at various locations. As of three this afternoon, they are still out there and going strong.

Two guys in a small truck, done in two hours my ass.

At this moment, there are two rather sizable holes in the street, and another crew has arrived... this one has a chainsaw and what appear to be railroad ties that they are now cutting for reasons unknown to me. They look sorta redneck, so I'm just going to leave them and their chainsaw to their business.

I am a little curious as to how what was originally assessed as a "small" leak has turned into a major construction project.

I'm also curious as to what the railroad ties are for...

On to my other nightmare.

For the second time in three weeks, I am involved in a battle with AT&T wireless. Without going into a lot of details, and in an attempt to not sound like a total racist all I am going to say is that I am sick and tired of having to talk to some schmuck in fucking India about an issue with a U.S. company in the fucking U.S.

Misplaced would like to go postal, but would have to fly to India to go postal on the responsible party.

Enough for now.

More tomorrow maybe.

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