I gotta love the fine folks at Progress Energy.
They may do stupid things, like letting a live wire lay on my front lawn for over an hour before sending one guy out by himself to fix it and "forgetting" to trim trees that pose an imminent danger to my family, but they sure can read blog posts and the comments very carefully and not only understand what I'm threatening to do, but respond very quickly to the threat.
The next morning there were three guys in my yard on a cherry picker with looks on their faces like they had just seen the Devil. Before I even had my first cup of coffee my neighbor was furiously pounding on my door:
"You gotta talk to them! Hurry up!"
"What's wrong? They knock another power line down?"
"No! They're about to leave! They didn't do the tree!"
"What? For Christ's sake. What did they do?"
"Nothing. One f#*@ing branch. HURRY UP!"
Sighing, I went out the door and crossed the wet grass barefoot in my nightgown. Once again they were getting ready to leave.
"Wait!" I shouted as the driver started slamming the door behind him. He turned around and looked at me, seeming to mentally debate whether to talk to me or not. I stared at him - like a cat with rabies.
He climbed out of the truck. "What?"
"Come here," I instructed. He followed me.
"See this tree?" I asked, pointing upward. "See those limbs against my house? I want them down."
"Can't do that."
"Not in the contract. Only thing in the contract is if the limb puts pressure on the line, we take it down."
Pointing to a dead limb laying on the power line, I said, "So you're going to leave that one up? It's putting pressure on the power line."
"Wait...what?" he said, feigning confusion and walking under the limb, inspecting it from every angle like he'd never seen it before.
Pointing to my house I said, "And you guys left that limb up? The storm comes and what do you think's going to happen? It's going to come crashing through my roof, that power line's going to come crashing into my living room, and I'm going to sue everyone's asses off."
"I'll be back in a minute."
He went back to the truck. I followed but stayed about ten feet behind just to make sure he didn't leave. After a few minutes I got tired of waiting and went back inside to call PE.
Another guy, a much younger, cuter one, came up behind me. "Look", he said. Expecting nothing good, I turned around and looked at him.
"I'll hook you up, OK? A lot of this is not in the contract, but some of it is, but it's hard for us to get to with the cherry picker. So we're not supposed to do it. But we'll get it taken care of."
"Thank you so much," I said. We talked for a few minutes while the guys brought the cherry picker around the front of the house, and I got someone to move the car so they could slide the cherry picker in where it needed to go.
Ten minutes later the nearest branch on that tree was at least 10 feet away from my house and at least 5 feet away from that power line, and this time they managed to trim without knocking the line down.
Tropical Storm Fay crashed into my yard with 15mph winds and 30mph gusts fifteen minutes later. That's how damn lucky I am. Glad, too, that Progress Energy seems to read my blog.