A tale of two calls

Published 8:14 am Wednesday, September 16, 2009


“Hello. You have reached __________ Power Company. If you are calling about an outage or any other electrical problem, press 1. Other planned work, press 2. For the main menu, press 3.”


“Hi. This is Sonya. May I have your name and phone number?”

“Rex Alphin. (757) 328-8029”


“No ma’am. A-L-“P”

“Thank you, Mr. Alphin. How can we help you?”

“There’s a power line so low over our corn field that our combine can’t get under it to pick the corn.”

“Where is this located?”

“Off Knoxville Road in Isle of Wight County.”

“We need a physical address, sir.”

“It’s in a field, ma’am. If you drive down the road, you’ll see the low hanging line.”

“We must have an address, sir.”

“Try the Lottie Turner Farm.”

“That’s not an address, sir. Can you name someone who resides on the road with whom we have an account?”

“Try Kevin Whitehead or Bill Jenkins.”

(click-click-click-click. Click-click …)

“I have an address sir. Did you say “combine?”

“Yes ma’am. It’s a large machine that picks corn.”

(click-click-click …)

“How high is the line off the ground?”

“A little lower than the top of my combine. By the way, do you know when someone can come out?”

(click-click-click …)

“No sir. I will turn this in. Your request number is 806HA9432.”

“Thank you, ma’am.”


“Hello. This is __________Power Company.”

“Hi, Debbie. This is Rex.”

“Hey Rex. What can we do for you?”

“We have a low hanging power line at the Lottie Turner Farm we can’t get under to pick the corn.”

“We’ll send W.H. out to take a look. By the way, how’s your dad?”

“He’s getting better. With such a serious surgery, recuperation takes a while. I’ll tell him you asked about him.”

“Please do.”

“Thanks, Debbie.”

(Author’s note: I think I’ll stay in the country)