The public

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The public

Post  rcdallas on Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:04 am

How do you all handle the public?

You put up do not enter tape around the area where there is a pole laying in the road and a transformer leaking oil everywhere and you turn your head and you see a member of the public going through your barricade.......I watched my supervisor basically ream the guy's ass out.

Your set up at an air switch isolating a broke main line pole in the middle of communicating with the operator, while in the middle of receiving instructions for a switching order, there is 2000 people out and you get some idiot banging on your window all furious pointing at his house thinking he's the only out.

You have a 200 amp fuse barrel on the end of your stick and your about 18" from setting it back in the bottom side of the cutout and soccer mom walks right underneath you.

You have exposed energized equipment and your wearing all your PPE and you get some know it all customer all up in your face.

Your patrolling some overhead because you have 2 of 3 fuses blown and while your getting turned around to go look at the next lateral there is some jack ass chasing you down in his car....

You show up and see a dip fuse blown and while your opening up each transformer checking fault indicators, every transformer you go to you have another customer running up to you asking you how long its going to be, what happened, etc, etc....

Without a doubt on a line crew - much easier.

It doesn't seem to matter, the public are idiots--they can't seem to grasp to stay away, along with the more they interrupt you the longer it's going to take.

I'm starting to think my area that I'm in it's just worse then others. Country folks seem to leave you alone and let you focus to do your job--in the city....... ****************************************

So how do you handle them while in a respectful, professional manner?




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Re: The public

Post  Gumbo on Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:51 pm


I'm starting to think my area that I'm in it's just worse then others. Country folks seem to leave you alone and let you focus to do your job--in the city....... ****************************************

So how do you handle them while in a respectful, professional manner? I always tell them the power will be on in fifteen minutes. Go sit in front of your TV and in fifteen minutes it'll be comin back on. Doesn't matter if there are twenty poles to set and twentyone spans of wire. I don't know why it works, but it does. Rarely do I ever see the same person twice. I think maybe they start noticing all the work involved and just stay away.......or maybe they just think I'm not very good at estimating time and keep giving me another fifteen minutes just to be on the safe side. Laughing



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Last edited by Gumbo on Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:54 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : the reply is embedded in the text)

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Re: The public

Post  hotwiretamer on Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:18 pm

I tell the ass holes the longer I spend talking to them it will take that much longer.
The Ass holes that tell me how hot it is getting in their house I tell them they should try working in it in FR!

The people that are nice about it I do my best to give them a real time frame.

Golf coarses, gated communities, etc. are usually full of the ass holes. Lower rent neighborhoods seem to be more understanding. (and rural)
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Re: The public

Post  MI-Lineman on Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:24 pm

I used to be rude and say things like "as long as it takes" when asked how long but now we can be disciplined for what we say so I try and talk to people in a nicer but authoritative manner! Our co. has a commercial run after every storm on the radios telling people how dangerous down power lines can be and to "stay at least 25ft away whenever you see a down power line and never touch anything a down powerline is touching!" I've requested repeatedly that they add ....."and stay at least 200ft away from any power co. employees!" violent
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Re: The public

Post  rcdallas on Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:33 am

Yeah no doubt. I just love it when they get their damn flashlights and start shining it at you. "I ain't got no power...." -- "Yeah neither does the rest of your block..." Mad

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Re: The public

Post  MI-Lineman on Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:29 pm

rcdallas™ wrote:Yeah no doubt. I just love it when they get their damn flashlights and start shining it at you. "I ain't got no power...." -- "Yeah neither does the rest of your block..." Mad

Ya see that's another reason you need that big orange light like mine!! Taunting
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Re: The public

Post  Gumbo on Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:35 am

MI-Lineman wrote:I used to be rude and say things like "as long as it takes" when asked how long but now we can be disciplined for what we say so I try and talk to people in a nicer but authoritative manner! Our co. has a commercial run after every storm on the radios telling people how dangerous down power lines can be and to "stay at least 25ft away whenever you see a down power line and never touch anything a down powerline is touching!" I've requested repeatedly that they add ....."and stay at least 200ft away from any power co. employees!" violent
Another tidbit that I, personally would like to see added to those public service announcements is....."please leave your porchlight on so crews know your service is OK when power is restored as we do our drivebys to double check after renergization of damaged areas." That and maybe a request to turn off air conditioners and hot water heaters to reduce drawdown on the system when we pick up load. Bean counters and media professionals don't much care about those kinds of issues though. They only matter to linemen.

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Re: The public

Post  CanadianLineman on Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:51 pm

I used to say, quite curtly, what ever the estimated time was. - 3 hrs or what ever. Then I decided to be nicer and say as sweet as honey, "Well when I got here it estimated at about 3 hours, however I have had to stop my work for at least 20 customers and answer the same question - When is my power going to come on? - I tell them it takes about 10 minutes from the time I stop my work, answer the question and get the work started again - so, unless I get more questions it will be an additional 4 1/2 hours from the time of outage instead of the original 3 hour estimate. Hopefully it will happen by then because I'm mandated by law to work on 16 hours in 24 and I'm starting to run short of time. If that happens it will take about 4 hours minimum to get someone else in here to take up where I had to leave. Once in a while I use a break like this to pour a coffee from a thermos I keep for effect just to emphasize the situation if there are a number of people standing around or coming down to the site.

Questions dry up quickly as word spreads. Next time there is a wind storm in the same area causing a power outage there are very few questioning customers. It was nice when I worked "one man".

The "16 Hour" thing is pretty strictly enforced here and most linemen don't really like it - mostly because they are greedy and think it is an impediment to the making a few hundred dollars to be taxed at the highest rate, not actually a hard fought for safety regulation to prevent fatigue related accidents. Fact is the risk sky-rockets after multi-days of 12 hour plus shifts especially like in a storm with the added risk of the inclement weather that often accompanies the work. Here on the Pacific NW you can run into a 10 day disaster with high wind (30mph) plus heavy rain which tears down things as fast as you can put it up. After 3 days of this a toll is taken of even a 35- 40 year old lineman in good shape let alone a newly topped out lineman without the experience to "pace ones self" or a lineman over 45. Productivity severely suffers and RISK goes up. And this risk is not only always because of the hazards a lineman might be able to control, somewhat. I have had trees comedown near me while attempting a splice on a rural line and tear the conductor, along with the jack right out off the pole leaving me hanging on for dear life. I have had mudslides block roads 30 seconds after I drove the truck down past the bank that collapsed and i have had a tree come over with the roots trapping a leg - without my being injured. Others haven't been so lucky.

In one wind storm a sub-forman was giving instructions to a flagging crew when a large Douglas Fir fell. It was dark and made darker by the serous clouds and rain and there was no warning sound. One of the TCPs standing in the middle of the "tailboard" was killed leaving the others untouched.

Usually few customers venture out in this kind of weather to ask, "How long?". But it does happen. A story about the injured and fatalities caused by falling trees hurry them along. But then you just cannot fix stupid. Once we had a middle aged couple approach a crew that was waiting for a tree crew to finish clearing trees that were was too large for the saw we typically carry, and besides they are professional and can handle this kind of situation much faster and safer than we can. They, of course, work under our grounding and safety tagging system. Well this couple approached our crew and proudly announced they had "helped us out" by clearing the area up near their house reporting that only one of the wires was broken. Shocked It would be hours before the roadway would be cleared of trees to get past their property. They just didn't understand why our crews were being resigned to a place already cleared and waiting for the conductor to be repaired and placed back into service giving perhaps a thousand or more customers power instead of the hundred or so up their road.
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Re: The public

Post  MI-Lineman on Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:22 pm

You know, I really think we're being too harsh! Soap Box I've come to realize the public can be quite useful! Especially when ya pull up and they meet ya at the road and point out the problem......."There's your problem right there, see right there that thingy hangin down! It made a loud bang and fell down like that. You should be able to just flip it back up right? In-fact every time our power goes out it's that dam breaker thingy there!" Rolling Eyes

OOOH of course the silly breaker thingy??? Banging head against If I throw a stick will you leave? Finger
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Re: The public

Post  CanadianLineman on Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:54 pm

Once there was a transmission tie lie outage along with a wind storm that took out a lot of distribution. It was in the summer and power was out most of the day. The wind had died off soon after it started and all the damage was done quickly but it complicated matters where I worked because 3 or 4 substation feeds were disrupted. We worked on obvious damage but had to be very cautious because we did not know when the power would return and if we were going to get any notice. Sun light soon turned into darkness and it was nice and warm so we patrolled in areas where there was reported wired down.

At one point in time I drove up to a neighbourhood, all in darkness except for one house that had a lot of light from camp lanterns and there was an obvious wild party going on, probably most of the neighbourhhood was there. As I pulled up an inebriated good looking young woman staggered up to my truck and asked, "How long is this blackout going to go on??" I had just heard that the transmission lines were ready soon and so was to watch for problems to happen when the power was restored so I told her very soon.

within 10 seconds the whole area was powered up and the lights came on flooding the previously blackout area with lights from everywhere. She stood there with her mouth hanging open for maybe another 10 seconds.........

Then she fell flat on her back on the lawn and said, "God you're good. I wanna have your baby."

Some part of the public does know how good we linemen really are!! Twisted Evil
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