Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for Lineman

My father was a lineman for the electric company.  He spent his entire career climbing poles and working with high voltage wire, and it was a job that suited him well. He loved being outdoors and physical work. In fact, when he was offered managerial positions, he declined because he didn't want to be inside all day. His mother should have known that this might be the career he would chose when she saw him as a boy jumping from tree to tree playing tree tag.

However, there were parts of the job that were difficult and that's what I remember most. Daddy had to go out anytime day or night in the worst weather because that was when there was usually a power outage. Severe thunderstorms with lots of rain. My father was out. Ice storms. My father was out. Deep snow. My father was out. Sometimes for days. One time he worked 54 hours straight without a break. Luckily since then, there is a rule that you can't work that long at any one time. But linemen still work very long hours in very difficult situations.

Which brings me to one of my pet peeves--people complaining about how long it takes to get their electricity back on after a storm. When it takes more than a few hours, the complaining starts. News reporters go out and get man-on-the-street comments about how bad the electric company is and how things should be fixed by now. No one seems to think about what might be involved to get the electricity working again. It takes a lot of hard physical work usually done in severe weather conditions.

Enough lecturing. But you know, we all have buttons that can be pushed and you just learned one of mine.

The picture is of an amazing cross-stitch done by Aunt Martha. The man on the pole looks much like my father did including the blue jeans and work shirt he is wearing.