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Utility workers are region’s unsung heroes

They hear it all, especially during a crisis. They’re cussed, threatened and generally treated with disrespect when others’ needs aren’t immediately met.

Your problem might be the most pressing problem in the world to you, but they work tirelessly to address the problems of the majority.

And once they do their job, how many of us take back the anger-laced tirades that were unleashed on these individuals and say, “thank you?”

The people I am talking about are the employees of American Electric Power (AEP), AT&T, Buckeye Rural Electric and everyone else whose tireless behind-the-scenes sacrifices result in us regaining our typical lifestyle following a crisis.

When power is flowing and our lives are running smoothly, the sight of an AEP truck doesn’t stir emotions. But, when the power is out, as it recently was in most of our county and beyond, those bucket trucks suddenly become famous.

And the men and women who work those trucks certainly deserve our respect, despite our opinions about the business practices of their employer.

Have you ever climbed a pole in the middle of nowhere in scorching heat wearing sweat-inducing electrical safeguards, such as rubber gloves and sleeves, while fighting the swarms of bugs, particularly the mosquitoes, knowing that thousands of people are depending upon you to be expediant as well as efficient?

Does your job dispatch you to places unknown for extended periods of time, even on holidays, and expect you to work every single day until the problem in that area is fixed?

Do you spend most of your time in the woods with concerns about snakes, bobcats or even bears?

If you make a mistake on your job, will it cost you your life?

These people work under these circumstances every single day.

When a major storm hits, their lives are disrupted much more than ours.

Sure, they are earning overtime cash, but as they earn that extra money they are spending their time working on our problems with disregard for their own families. Do we not think they have problems and priorities of their own?

Unless you are in the military, would you give up your freedom and willfully agree to be on call 24/7?

Would you uproot your life to ensure that others can use their microwave, phone, air conditioner, and coffee pot?

Power outages suck and the utility companies who overcharge us for the convenience of their service also suck. But the people who work to restore major necessities to our lives do not suck.

They work their tails off to provide normalcy for us. They deserve our respect.

The next time your power goes out, don’t blame the guy in the truck who showed up a little later than you thought he should have. He is trying his best to help an entire community.

Don’t curse at him and give him your opinion of his employer. Just like you, he’s tired and frustrated.

He cannot control the weather and he is not a company spokesman. He’s simply trying his best to do his job — to benefit all of us.

Just be thankful that he’s there to help.


Billy Bruce is a freelance writer who lives in Pedro. He can be contacted at hollandkat3@aol.com.