Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Smart boxes installed by dumb people

Our electricity supplier out here in California is PG and E (Pacific Gas and Electric).

Ask any Californian, and I am sure they will offer up a myriad of complaints about PG and E. Myself? I haven't had a huge problem with them. We actually do really well, usually less than 100 dollars a month on our bill, because we use propane for most of our stuff. It balances out, we pay a lot for the propane...
I guess that PG and E decided they were going to change out all of our meters to these "smart boxes" that they can access by computer. I have a problem with that concept, in general, because in this economy, I think they are going to eliminate jobs because they can read our meters by computer, now. Plus, computers make errors, and I don't want a computer telling PG and E that suddenly we are using a buttload of electricity, when we aren't, and we never have.
But they didn't give us a choice about getting the smart box, they just put them in. Or rather, attempted to.
We got home from an errand last week to find a note on our gate, from them, because they wanted to change our meter out, but couldn't come in the gate unless we let them in. The funny thing about this is, our meter isn't inside the gate. Its on the very front of our property, outside the gate, right off the street, in plain sight! This was my first clue that I wasn't dealing with the brightest lightbulb. The note instructed me to call and make an appointment with them to change out our box, since they weren't able to do so. I considered ignoring them, but then thought doing that would make it worse. So I called. I instructed the person over the phone as to where the box is, OUTSIDE THE GATE, and made the appointment. It was for today. And of course, the time frame was anywhere from 8 am to 5 pm...
Round about 9:30, a truck pulls up into my driveway, and honks its horn. I was asleep, trying to sleep in for work tonight. I poke my head up, and sure enough, PG and E. Bastards.
Dim lightbulb says "I honked because I thought the dogs were out".
Hello, the gate is OPEN, would I have my dogs out if the gate were open? (Plus, the dogs aren't here, anymore, and that is a long, sad story I don't want to tell right now. They didn't die. We had to rehome them, to a better place... don't ask, I will cry again).
Then he asks me where the meter is. "On a pole somewhere, right?" says he.
"Its OUTSIDE THE GATE" I nearly shout.
"oh, ok. Sorry." And off he goes. 15 minutes later, my power went out. Lucky for him, it came back on in about a minute, or I would have gone out there and done something harmful to his head.
So now, we have a "smart box". And a computer doing our meter reading.
As much as I love my computer, this age of technology may kill me, yet....

(please don't ask me to tell about the dogs, it happened very recently, and I am still having a hard time with it... they are fine, I promise. They just don't live with US anymore...)


Travis Erwin said...

Yep, progress can be and often is a huge pain ion the ass.

sybil law said...

I so wish I just had solar and wind power running everything and I could just tell our energy company to kiss my blaring white ass.

Bubblewench said...

Our company recently did the same thing. We had to sign a release for them to be able to walk up our driveway.

When you are ready, please do tell what happened. I am so sorry.

Daryl said...

ConEd has meter readers ... I am thinking a smart box would be better since the meter readers dont seem to read all that well ... sigh ... I am not going to ask but when you are ready I am going to listen .. xoxo