Sunday, March 17, 2013
I hate hospitals and courtrooms, one reason I never entered the medical or legal profession. I'm not crazy about doctors or lawyers either, so that's another. Not that I've made such great career choices. Stress and distress, for the most part, I've fallen into one unpleasant way or another to earn a buck. Shoot, at one point I had to spin why nothing says love like a fully-paid burial insurance policy.
From an aesthetic perspective, my dream job would be something outdoors and benign -- forest ranger, for example, landscape architect, utility meter reader.
And really, honestly, I'm most drawn to the last, as a career. Don't know why I never thought of it. I'd be perfectly happy walking door to door, checking gas and water usage, fiddling with words on the side.
Meter readers enjoy fresh air, exercise; they don't have to deal with surly bosses or disgruntled customers.
Just learned our local gas utility will replace our meter readers with the ADVANCEDmeter, a device that transfers our daily gaseous habits to -- well, I don't know where. The pamphlet doesn't cover that part. But according to the pamphlet, this change is to our advantage. The ADVANCEDmeter will clear up some really complicated and scientific shit, like, "Gas usage increases during cold months as your furnace and water heater use more energy."
Well, slap my ass and call me Charlie.
According to reliable sources, the meter exchange will cost consumers $1 billion in rate hikes. But, says the pamphlet, it will also "take 1,000 SoCal Gas vehicles off the road every day ... operational savings will be passed along to customers."
I did some quick and dirty math. By wiping 1,000 meter reader jobs from the SoCal landscape, we consumers can start laughing all the way to the bank in 2033.
So I called the number on the pamphlet and put my name to the installation deferral list. Something we can apparently still do until the Public Utilities Commission undefers us (an inevitability, sighs the pamphlet). And this ineffectual gesture probably does nothing more than add an additional item to my personal/consumer/professional report card accumulating in the cloud: Doesn't work and play well with others.