This above article, is why friends, I continue to be discontent about the CL&P response. It seems to me that they are not doing their job. That it is not the storm to blame at this point – but the ineptitude of their corporate response.
My Valley was a disaster area – we were cold, our food spoiled, but we did not go SEVEN days, now EIGHT without power. Further, our State Police and senior housing complexes were back online as soon as was possible.
And granted, my ire, it is all personal, my brother has lost a week of wages from two jobs and my step-mother and 85 year old grandfather remain in a house on just half power with the help of a generator – a house that gets its water from a well. My aunt shattered her hip Monday, had surgery this week, and has to go to a rehab facility. She remains in the hospital on an extended stay because the rehab facilities have no power. Several of my other family members and friends remain powerless, though I’m sure are making due with what they can. In fact, I watched on Facebook as every friend and family member got back online, they offered up their newly heated homes as places of refuge for others. I’ve seen human decency abound this week, here in the Valley, and in CT. I understand the hard work of the line workers, it’s cold, it’s long, it is under appreciated. But how can one sit tight-lipped when the response to this storm is so lacking. How can one take a step back, when a company that gets paid out of the pockets of its customers is not responding.
And I know what-for in terms of under-appreciated. I got through college by waiting tables and tending bar. And since finishing grad school, have spent my time as a teacher, a public servant, and currently the favorite villian to shit on by the press. Don’t believe it? See how many stories you can Google about teachers failing the American child. I mean, heard about Wisconsin lately? But you know what? I get up every day, and I go to work. My benefits and retirement are slipping through my fingers. I am yearly required to do more work, and have more education, but my salary continues to lag behind peers who have the same amount or less education than I do. Tell me, who isn’t valued? But I don’t take that out on my customers, on my kids. I go to work with a full heart, because more than anything I love my job. And while I turn off NPR every time a new bad teacher story comes on, I still do my work, and if I mess up, I take responsibility for my actions.
So- I think, I think, the line men can handle the ire the CT public has for their bosses right now. Based on OT rates (depending on if they’re making time and a half or double time), these workers will clear between five and twelve grand this week (based on 16 hour shifts). For that kind of money, they can buy some appreciation.
And if I’m really being honest, all of this, well all of this angst, all of this need to rage against the machine. It all was given to me by my father. Handed down by DNA or a learned skill, I’m not sure. But as my husband got to know both me and my father well, and as I was battling my insurance company to get MRIs of my liver paid for- I would get off the phone after a particularly difficult call with an agent, grinning from ear to ear with another battle won, and he would look over his shoulder, and say, “nice work Bob”. And I didn’t take it as a compliment then- but I sure as hell do now. And since he’s not here anymore to yell out loud, to get a little bit red-faced, to sit on the phone while madly gesturing with the other arm, I’m going to do it for him. And I’m pretty sure he would be proud.