Friday, November 11, 2005

Our electricity was off today

Here in the boonies, it isn't unusual to have our electricity go off.  I'd say it happens, on the average, once a month.  Usually, it behaves just like it did today:  It winks off, causing every appliance in the house to shudder and grind to a halt, then winks back on briefly, so the most possible damage can be caused.  This always makes me and Cliff groan, because we know it's hard on refrigerators and freezers to have the current interupted repeatedly like that.  Not to mention what it does to the computer.  If it goes completely off the first time, the computer, of course, stays off.  But today it just barely winked at first, causing my poor Dell to go off, and back on.  Then, just as everything was loaded, but before I could turn it safely off... everything went off again.  And stayed off.

Our coffee hadn't finished making.  Cliff wondered if he'd be able to take his before-work shower.  Thank goodness there was enough water in the tank of the commode for him to flush (enough said about that).  We have a well, with an electric pump; so when the lights are off, so is the water.

I grabbed my "Texas Trilogy" book by Sandra Brown (I don't recommend it, by the way); Cliff picked up his two most recent antique tractor magazines.  And we headed to the living room to read, in the comfort of our Lazy-boys.  I finished my book, and then began to wonder if I should report this outage.  I never call, because I figure someone else will do it... someone who is hooked on soap operas, perhaps (as opposed to someone who is computer addicted).

But after an hour without electricity, I looked up the number for Aquila and called. 

A polite lady robot answered, and asked me to punch in, or speak, my eight-digit customer number... or my ten-digit phone number.  I don't know my customer number, so I gave them my phone number.  The robot repeated it (amazing!) and asked for my zip code.  Then my street address.  Of course, each time she repeated it, and each time I had to say "yes" when asked if she had it correct.

After about ten minutes of this, the robot informed me that they couldn't find me in their system.  So could I please give them my eight-digit customer number (isn't that where we started)?  Then she helpfully informed me that if I didn't know my eight-digit customer number, I could find it on my bill.

My bill?  If I still had my bill laying around, they'd be sending me notices for not having it paid by now!

I gave up in disgust.  It wasn't fifteen minutes before the electricity came on, and I went about the too-familiar task of re-setting every clock in the house.

Cliff got his shower, and we lived happily ever after.



ksquester said...

Big tip...........If you want to talk to a human of any utility company....answer the prompt for NEW'll get a human every time. Yes, you will have lied, but you get a human and tell them that none of the prompts apply to you. Anne

ora4uk said...

Mosie....and Cliff too.....what an outlook on guys are precious....glad all turned out well for you....Hugs....Ora

madcobug said...

I hate power outages and what it does to appliances much less sitting in the dark. Helen

plieck30 said...

And you lived happily ever after until it does it again. Don't you just feel stupid talking to a telephone when you know there is on one on the other end? Paula

csandhollow said...

I always push the number for a real person or hold until a real person picks up. Lucky for us we always get a person even if it is middle of night.

toonguykc said...

I love Anne's suggestion!  Please try that the next time this happens.


jlester961 said...

Our automated systems here don't have a button to push for the "real" person. I've found though if I keep saying "help", "no" or any words it doesn't recognize it'll put you through to the customer service person

marainey1 said...

We are so dependant on the power supply that it makes you wonder how those early settlers ever succeeded in all they did.  Some times, I wish I were more prepared for the times we don't have electricity--I'm at a loss when it does go out.
Surge Protectors are supposed to help...I think.  'On Ya' -ma

bookncoffee said...

Don't you just love these robotic moments.  Hard to decide if you like the robots better or the rollover to people from India who have been hired to answer the phones for all the big US companies.  

deslily said...

Robot phones.. gotta love 'em (NOT!)  Anything to be sure you don't have to pay someone to be on the other end of the phone.. Forbid the companies should "make jobs" instead of take them away
Sorry sarcastic i know.. but they complain about how high unemployment is but do their darnest to "not  hire" anyone!.. go figure!

robinngabster said...

It's funny how we take electricity for granite (may be spelled wrong) ...when it goes off we wonder how anyone ever did anything before it was invented! I had to live without a microwave for about a month and boy...I thought that was hard!

vortexgirl said...

Ours doesn't go out that offen thank God.  I did call once after it had been off for hours and they didn't even know.  They know when the bill hasn't been paid.

siennastarr said...

I love Happily ever after stories! lol

I have to deal with Robot men and women all the time at work!  When I call and verify insurances.  Sometimes, when a REAL person answers, I get all tongue tied and don't know what to say!  How sad is that?? :/