Shoes and conspiraciesWritten by Tom Morrissey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Besieged by multiple marriage books and pre-marital counseling, there was one pivotal thing that was left out of the advice. Nobody warned me of it, and after three wonderful years , I have come to deal with one of the most important parts of our marriage.
Learning how to shop for shoes after the initial shock and bewilderment of how integral shoe shopping is to our marriage, I have it figured out.
Shoe shopping is pure choice and competition on display, and the concept is beautiful. We see the price, decide if they are worth trying on by appearance, test the comfort level, and make our decision based on a formula of the 3 combined factors.
Well, my wife makes the decision, and price usually factors in less.
What she tries on is what she gets, and a decision is made after careful and formulaic thought.
Luckily for governmental services, what they give us is what we get, there’s no trying on or putting back. One can usually expect dismal service from government run operations, such as the Post Office despite their monopoly on mail.
However, I think there is a conspiracy afoot to change my mind, destroy stereotypes, and break down barriers.
Unsure why and too scared to inquire, my mail has been coming three hours earlier than before with consistence. It’s not broken, and I refuse to ask.
Beyond mail delivery, the City’s water department is in on the conspiracy.
After dealing with a burst pipe, repair skills granted by Google kicked in. I discovered my water meter was leaking, and on a Sunday afternoon, I put in a call to the City’s emergency water service with zero expectations. In less than an hour, the City employees assessed the situation, retrieved the correct parts, stopped the leak, and informed me on how to care for my pipes.
I was stunned at the timely and friendly service. In previous dealings with City services such as trash and leaf removal, I had come to expect subpar customer service, but the professionalism of the men that responded to my water meter issue blew me away.
However, not everyone got the memo.
Toledo Edison practically has a monopoly on the supply of electricity. With oversight from the State as a public utility, the First Energy subsidiary would not be Milton Friedman’s shining example of free market capitalism. The utility is more public than private, and one’s customer service issues assumedly carry less weight.
Upset with the service? Go ahead and Google your way to those watermill blueprints.
There has been a contractor hired by the local utility to trim trees. At least as far back as 2006, Pennline has been wreaking havoc on Toledo’s trees. Complaints and pictures on blogs document the shoddy work. Other newspapers have reported on the tree carnage.
When I called, Pennline refused comment.
In the very least, Pennline employees do not take pride in their tree art.
Of the many victims of the Toledo tree slaughters, my parent’s above ground pool has been included. Falling into the stereotype of a government agency, Pennline admitted fault at first, then denied fault, then quit answering their phone.
The orchestrators of the conspiracy failed to send the details of their plot to every institution that is heavily monitored by the government. Admittedly, these institutions are numerous.
Ultimately controlled by the PUCO, the practical monopoly of Toledo Edison certainly should have gotten the excellent service memo, and they should have forwarded it along to their contractors.
Refusing to right their wrong, Pennline is seeking refuge behind the protection of their contract, hiding behind Edison’s monopoly. They’ve dealt with customer complaints before; every other complaint too shall pass. Edison will not lose business because of them – my parents and most Toledoans aren’t looking to start a windfarm or solar field in their backyards yet.
The imaginary conspiracy has been ruined, and lack of competition is still biting customers despite the existence of an agency designed to protect the bite victims.
The shoe was never tried on by the customer. Forced to wear the Edisons, the trashy uppers, courtesy of Pennline, are chafing Toledo’s already calloused foot.