Tears and Laughter: The Process

You can say what you will about it, but the primary reason we habitually check our Facebook News Feed is not to see cute pictures of puppies. It is not to read the latest scripture or positive mantra. We are all just watching and waiting to see who will be the next one of our “friends” to go on a tirade and post a rant.

And it is probably a healthy way to manage frustration. I laugh and read them out loud to anybody who will listen. I will even crank up about how, “I don’t know if I would have said that.” Until I get upset about something, then it is no words barred.

I could suppress feelings like a professional when I was younger. But I lost that ability after 40 and now I don’t even try to contain it. My kids tune me out and Justin should be relatively numb to it at this point, but I know my friends are just refreshing their News Feeds waiting for it. They will listen to me. They will join in with complaints of their own.

So last Sunday when the power went out in the prime of the morning with the sun shining outside, there I sat. I had company set to arrive for lunch, and there I still sat with the power out…but with 3G on my phone. See? That’s when I decided to post three or four brief sentences. I won’t go back and rehash them in their entirety, but it started something like, “Thank you Alabama Power for destroying another day.”

I realize as long as we live out the way we do I can continue to expect the occasional outage. And even though it is my personal opinion that I may be in the running for a state record for the number of outages ever reported, I admit that in recent years the service has dramatically improved. My patience has not.

My post was directed more toward the imaginary main office than the local office because I have lived here for almost two decades and had never scored the local number – until now. Not that it would have mattered if I’d had it. There is a process. I get it. But I’m redheaded.

The power was on within four hours, five hours before the estimated restoral time, and I was back to happy. But wouldn’t you know it, a local representative called to explain the process.

The “process” is part of the frustration. When an outage is reported through the 800 number the operator notifies the poor guy on call, who I’m sure cusses every time the phone rings. He may be floating around in the pool or on top of his house cleaning out gutters and the customer has no choice, but to wait. He is already an hour drive time away before he can even begin to look for the problem to see if there is a need to dispatch another guy.

And I can discuss this reasonably. I can talk about it logically. I understand their positions and the circumstances they sometimes must go into in order to work on power lines no matter the weather or the season. I do get that, and I appreciate them and the service they provide. But if my power goes, I’m still going to be impatient.

My first call is always sweet and polite, but my attitude tends to decline further with each consecutive call. Especially if it is in the night and one of my children is asking if I have called Alabama Power for an update lately. After the fourth call, they should just automatically hang up on me. Nobody wants to hear it…well, except everybody watching their News Feed.

Amanda Walker is a columnist with The West Al. Watchman, Al.com, The Thomasville Times, and The Wilcox Progressive Era – https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist. The opinions expressed in any columns appearing on WestAlabamaWatchman.com are the views of the writer and not necessarily of The Watchman itself.