We have a small electrical problem in our house. Two outlets downstairs quit working and another outlet upstairs shuts other outlets off when in use. Probably connected, right? Also our doorbell suddenly quit this winter, for no particular reason other than refusing to sound when the UPS man pushes it and sprints back to his truck like he’s playing a Halloween prank. I guess I’d quit working too if the only action I got was a careless, half-hearted poke once in a blue moon.
Electricity is something we all take pretty much for granted. When something doesn’t work we just look at it like it suddenly grew two heads. I actually threw my hand mixer in the garbage before I realized it was the source of power and not the actual power tool that was broken.
I called an electrician and set up a day for him to come out and fix the problem. He had one of those little fish emblems on his advertisement in the phonebook and I mistakenly believed he could be trusted, like he was one of the chosen twelve or something. He said he’d be here “sometime after ten.” I stayed home and waited all day long, because sometime after ten could mean 10:35 a.m. or it could mean 5:10 p.m. No sign of him or his fishy logo.
A day later he called to inform me (as if I’d forgotten) that he was supposed to be at my house the morning before. Did I still want him to come out? No apology. Nothing. I totally wanted to give him the silent treatment, but he was waiting for my answer so I simply said, “No, I don’t think so,” in a very sarcastic tone and hung up. (I know. Sarcasm is the weak woman’s comeback but I was trying to be good. I wanted to remind him that even Jesus left end time hints as to when he would show up again. Like the sound of the trumpet!) If he didn’t have enough common courtesy to give me a call and let me know he wasn’t coming before I’d wasted a whole day hanging out waiting, I would give my broken outlets to another. Christian fish emblem be damned!
I’m sure the man forgot my name before he hung up the phone, but I felt better. I didn’t yell or throw a hissy fit. I just refused him my business and took back my power. I hate feeling powerless. First my children grew up and decided to do things without even asking me and now an electrician thinks he can play head games with me?! I am the mother of all head games! I decide who fishes or cuts bait! Actually, I don’t think that has anything to do with what I was talking about—but you have to admit that the fish thing is similar.
Today another electrician is supposed to be coming. He only gave me a two-hour window of time to wait. So I am eagerly anticipating his arrival and subsequent fixing of all my problems. Electrical ones anyway. No doubt I’ll have to deal with my need for power with a different kind of professional.
So with a little luck and a lot of bucks, my doorbell should be heralding the arrival of the UPS man in time for the dogs to bark before he can make it back to his truck, and my outlets should be surging with renewed power for mixing up a cake or turning on a fan. All will be as it should in my Western world of plenty.