‘Shocking’ story of good people

Published 10:21 am Thursday, January 28, 2016

I’ve been having some trouble at home. It happens to everybody, I guess, but this has opened my eyes as to how good people can be in this area.

We started with a cable outage. The cable guy responded on a Sunday and discovered that the cable line coming to the house was fully powered. He even showed me that the wire would spark against metal.

Cable wires aren’t supposed to do that. Cable wires do not have electricity, which is why you can touch them without getting shocked.

He decided my home had an “open neutral,” which basically (and I am firmly on the basic end of things because I have discovered I know nothing about how electricity works) means that we have electricity flowing into ground and getting into things it has no business getting into, like the cable TV connection.

Since this threatened to burn down the house, we had to cut off the electricity in 20-something degree weather; we had to abandon the house and our kitty cats, since hotels don’t like kitty cats.

We got up with an electrician Monday (I’m not supposed to give free advertising to local businesses, but this Ahoskie firm is a long-time advertiser in this newspaper). He came right over, determined that the problem was probably not in the house, and suggested we get our electric provider to come take a look for problems on their end.

The electric company responded quickly, the same day, and between the private company electricians and the power company’s electricians, they found the wiring problem at the top of the house and fixed it right then.

Kim, my wife, coordinated everything. She did a very good job.

The private and power company’s electricians responded very quickly, got right to work, and got the job done quickly.

And Kim said they were all very polite, kind, and professional. They didn’t even complain about the several days of kitty litter, which coincidently was in the same tiny room as our breaker box.

Good guys. Thank you for your excellent service and your kindness.

I’ve heard all my life about how expensive electricians can be, but this experience has taught me that they’re worth their weight in gold. Their knowledge and work ethic is top notch and I sure am glad to have seen such great people at work.

In another matter, the latest snowpocalypse passed us by. Good thing because a whole lot of people were out there slipping, sliding and crashing on days that anybody with enough vision to operate a motor vehicle should have been able to see – it ain’t safe to drive with the roads like that.

Most people were just looking around to see how bad things were. Not much different than the way things are at your house.

What really gets me is how some of the gawkers believe that going 50 in a 55 mph zone means they’re driving at a safe and reasonable speed on icy roads.

Got some news for you, if the roads are icy and your car is moving (without snow tires or chains on your tires to give you a little bit of traction) no speed is completely safe.

How about staying home in the warmth, watching the endlessly looping weather casts about the storm, or reading a good book with a hot bowl of chili?

Think about all the first responders in the cold and the icy mess…they’re out there on the job to help you if the ice gets you. I bet they’d like to be warm at home with their families knowing everybody is safe because they stayed off the road.

They do a heckuva job and make huge sacrifices to make sure all people are safe. So please think of others before you go out in your vehicle to “play” on the ice.
Keith Hoggard is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at keith.hoggard@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7206.