Companies Get So Miffed when I Can't Pay Them

My entire world runs on electricity. At least my entire household. Without electricity, I can't microwave my Stouffer's macaroni and cheese, watch Chopped on cable television, watch The Big Bang Theory on regular television. There are no lights, no hot showers, no heat, no air conditioning, no plugging in my snoopy night light with any satisfactory results. I've considered alternate methods of energy. (I tried making toast by tossing a slice of bread on the counter and surrounding it with 1200 pinwheels I got at the dollar store.) I seem to remember learning somewhere back in junior high school that monopolies were against the law in the United States so I guess somehow the energy empire that looms over my house must have found a legal loophole and registered as a non-profit agency. I can see their argument: "We keep rich people warm in the winter and cool in the summer." It's humanitarianism at its best.

Never mind about the pages of inexplicable explanations of charges on their bills. Never mind that I get a love note from them every week or so about what I owe or that I'm carrying on an affair with my invisible meter reader. (I call him "Jacques". Is that wrong?) Now I have a deposit of $300 on top of my regular monthly unpaid bill to contend with.

Apparently, to get even with all of us poor souls who promptly pay our electric bill-- in full--exactly, to the day, one month behind, religiously, every month, the energy empire strikes back. Suddenly they decide to assess a deposit based on whatever and toss that on top of the heap of charges. (I'm only 5'2" so I don't know for sure, but I sense it's up there somewhere on top of that pile.)

I called to complain to the tired and useless. That week of the month is always a solemn one for me and everyone I love. It's when pre-menstrual meets peri-menopausal meets cut-off notices meets "I don't get paid for another week." It's my perfect storm.

I spoke to the "supervisor" whom I'd swear was the same chick who just transferred me to her with a fake accent. (It was like eating at Outback with the server who said he was from Sydney.)

I politely disputed the $300 additional charge suddenly assessed to my account for no apparent reason. If memory serves, and I think it does, I implied that my deposit had been extracted by a doctor as he had discovered it behind a polyp at their collective company colonoscopy. If you'd like to hear my words verbatim, feel free to check the tape. I'm sure our conversation was recorded for "quality assurance". It's more likely to capture threats by the likes of me against their poor front line customer service suckers. I can picture coworkers coming to work bright and early the next morning and seeing the yellow tape outline in the parking lot. "Hey, isn't that John? Yeah look, there's the outline of his headset."