We had a stranger in our backyard this morning. I knew he was there when the dogs went crazy. Imagine my surprise at seeing a perfect stranger in my backyard not wearing a uniform of any kind, waving a huge wrench around and spitting at the dogs. I don't know what possible purpose spitting tobacco juice all over my yard could serve, but it's probably the same thoughtlessness which allowed him to scrape the dog poo he stepped in on my patio rather than on the grass.
He was from the gas company, but who knew that? He never knocked on my door to let me know he was here to do something to my meter. If he had, I would have brought my dogs inside so he didn't have to spit at them or threaten them with that huge wrench. If he had bothered to ring my doorbell, he could have walked across my lawn and looked where he stepped because he wouldn't have been chased by a wild-eyed schnauzer and he wouldn't have gotten the poo on his shoe. If he had knocked and asked, I could have saved him the trouble of going in my yard at all since he was actually looking for my neighbor's meter across the street. See how much time and effort we could have saved if only he had bothered to have a bit of courtesy this morning?
My first instinct was to call the gas company and give them a piece of my mind. (I'll probably still do that.) They need to know that one of their employees was trespassing this morning and that he was just generally a disgusting human being. The way I see it, the economy is not so good that they can afford this kind of poor customer relations. Then again, they're the gas company and I have no other choice about where to go for hot water and heat. They're the only game in town.
While the yahoos in Washington are trying to "fix healthcare" with a bit of competition, why don't they do the same thing for the utility companies? Most of them operate as local monopolies and could use a bit of competition to keep them on their toes. If there were another gas company I could go to, then this yutz would have been told to clean up his act or find a new job a while ago. As it stands now, he's competent enough, and reliable enough, and not too disgusting, so there's no reason to make any kind of change. After all, we're a captive audience and the gas company knows it.