Thank A Utility Worker
A few hours without electricity or heat is annoying. A day without it is terribly inconvenient. A few days without it is frightening. A week or more of it is absolutely life changing. Especially when the children miss school for an extended period of time!
We just don’t realize HOW dependent on electricity we are until it is abruptly taken away, and we are forced to live without it. It’s not just a loss of lights. It’s a lack of heat during what turned out to be freezing cold nights. It’s an inability to find or stock fresh foods, which also can’t be cooked or prepared. It’s the inability to make phone calls to loved ones to let them know we are OK. It’s the shutting down of gas stations which, even if they had gas, couldn’t operate their pumps. It’s being cut off from the world we have come to take for granted at our fingertips via TV, radio, and internet. It’s schools being closed for days or weeks at a time. It’s businesses shutting down. And while most of us can live happily without vacuuming or ironing for a while, the turning off of our working world really does make you feel completely alone and vulnerable. It’s a feeling that can’t truly be described or appreciated until the situation has been forced upon you.
This fear, frustration, and uncertainty can undeniably make residents upset. It is, perhaps, understandable that complaints abound, rumors fly, and questions are raised about the efficiency of utility companies and their workers. But consider the ENORMITY of the job these men and women have had to face over the last week. Entire towns have been shut down. Whole electrical grids destroyed. Far, far too many downed trees taking wires with them to even be counted. Electrical systems have had to be basically completely rebuilt, and these workers have been working around the clock shifts . . . literally . . . . to make this happen. PSE&G reported that, in Union County alone, 160,000 customers lost their power. We’re actually lucky . . . . while we have been coming back online piece by piece, there are many other areas of our state that have no idea when they will have power again. And , just to put things into perpective a little bit, Governor Christie reported at one point that there were 2.4 million people without power in the state of NJ. That is TWICE the number that represents the entire population of the state of Maine, which has 1.3 million inhabitants. WOW.
Consider this, too. The utility workers who have been working NON-STOP to get your power restored, may themselves be going home to a house with no power or heat. They are just working people, like you and me, who were not immune to Sandy’s wrath. Many of these utility workers leave their spouses and children each day, in homes, like yours, without power, heat, refrigerators, TV, etc. OR, they have traveled a great distance from another state to help us get back on our feet. They are doing the best that they can, and they are working their collective butts off. Our area has never experienced anything like the Sandy aftermath, and it is nothing short of a miracle that we are coming around, however slowly it may seem to some, to normal life as we know it. I certainly wouldn’t want to be touching those potentially live wires, or be suspended from those buckets, while working to get customers back online!
If you see a utility worker, thank them. They might be far from their home. They are tired. They are worn down. They are doing the very best that they can. They are bringing you your power back. A smile and a good word from us would mean everything to them. And it costs us nothing.
THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR HARD WORK, UTILITY WORKERS!!!