Friday, November 28, 2014

And So It Continues -- Power Outage Part II: Electric Bugaloo

As you might be guessing, my parents still don't have power.  Not up to speed on this whole deal?  Check out my previous posts.

I went out for brunch and a bit of shopping (to the grocery store -- which is empty the day after Thanksgiving people!  Best time to shop!)  with my mother.  My father opted to stay home and keep the heat sources running in an attempt to keep the house at least a little warm.

It was exciting for a bit this afternoon.  A little before 3pm the status check said that their power had been restored.  Hurrah!!

So I called them on the landline.  They might not realize the power was fixed until they heard the phone ringing.  They didn't answer, and when the answering machine never kicked on I knew the power must not really be back.

So I called my mother on her cell.  The power was not fixed.

She called Central Hudson, and they informed her that it had been fixed last night.  No.

Fucking no.

My mother asked if they thought she and her neighbor would both still be running generators if it had been fixed last night.  Whomever she spoke to asked if she wanted to file another work order.  Seriously?  They have no power or heat, do you really have to ask if they would like to have that situation resolved?

And then she went next door, to tell her neighbor the exciting news.  As you can imagine, he was as delighted as she had been to discover that they supposedly had gotten their power restored last night.  He was also going to call Central Hudson to correct them.

And now, when you check the status, it is back to this:

You might be thinking, "It's annoying/inconvenient not to have power.  It will get fixed.  Calm down."

No, I'm not going to calm down.  We are possibly going to have record-setting low temperatures tonight.

I logged on to Facebook, and saw a post from Central Hudson giving themselves a big old pat-on-the-back for all of the hard work they have done, and how they have restored 95% of the power outages. They are closing the warming centers and the dry ice distribution because everything is awesome now!

That is when my residual "niceness" about the situation finally ran out.  I wondered how many of these people really got their power restored, and how many they were claiming had been restored but, like my parents and their neighbors, were actually still out?

So I decided, just for shits and giggles, to message Central Hudson on Facebook and see if I got a response.  I'm more than happy to give them credit where credit is due: whomever was answering their Facebook messages did they best they could with the information they were given.

I explained the whole situation, how the status check had said their power was restored when it obviously was not, how my mother had called and been told it was restored when it wasn't, and then had to file another work order.

The first answer I got was the standard explanation about how sometimes when they fix a bigger problem, they can't tell that there is still a smaller problem further down the line.

I can see how that could happen, but that obviously is not the case here.  I informed them that it was only ever the two houses -- there was no bigger issue.  They can see the twisted wires on the pole -- there is nothing visibly evident as "down" if you are looking at the ground. 

A while later they wrote back and asked if she had reported that, about the twisted wires.  I had to call my mother to consult.  She told me she had reported that when she initially spoke to them yesterday (she even knew the name of the person she spoke to), and her neighbor had told the person he had spoken to several times (he knew that name as well).  When my mother had called this afternoon to report that, in fact, the power had not been restored she did not get the person's name, nor did they ask for any information.  All they had asked was if she wanted to open another work order.

The last message I received was that there was an open work order for both addresses since "a few hours ago".  I just gave up and said thank you.  It's obviously a complete load of crap since "a few hours ago" they were under the misapprehension that the power had been restored.  No one even called them to file the new work order under a little after 3pm.  

And so the power outage continues.

I understand that communication problems can easily take place in a situation like this. I do not, however, enjoy having smoke blown up my ass.  You screwed up.  You cannot simultaneously believe the power was restored and have an open work order on it.  You marked a problem as fixed when it clearly was not.  My guess?  Someone drove by, saw that no tree branches or wires were down, and marked it as fixed on the assumption that another crew had already been there.

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