Here’s the power story.
I called PSE&G, New Jersey’s power provider, about eight times yesterday. With my calls, in addition to those from my five neighbors without power, we were surely heard.
We were told repeatedly that power would be restored by 11:59 p.m. last night. At around 10:00 p.m., I made another call to make sure that was still the case.
We have all been “sleeping” in rooms that are 45 degrees. I use quotations because none of us have slept in days. All on our block with no power have small children. I will say with conviction, that an extended power outage is extremely hard no matter what, but with little ones? Forget about it. Crazy sauce in a pot of non-boiling water. There is no ability to make it an adventure by pretending you’re on “Survivor”. By hour three, the novelty has worn off.
This 10:00 p.m. phone call was different than the rest. The woman told me that all seven tickets under my phone number were showing “resolved”. It would seem that the visible air coming from our mouths was a figment of our imagination. I looked at the clock to see if it actually displayed the time, indicating that we just forgot to turn on the lights or heat.
Nope. The issue had most definitely not been “resolved”.
She assured me that we would still be up by midnight, two hours away. This sounded fanciful to me, but for my own heart and soul, I needed to believe her.
We went to bed feeling like it was “Power Eve” and dreamt of men wearing yellow fluorescent vests and hard hats jumping down our chimney with magical power-restoring tools.
At 3:00 a.m., I woke up to the kids crying and cold.
At 7:00 a.m., I made call number nine to PSE&G and could no longer get through to a human. We drove around the neighborhood searching for power company vehicles and found none. Giving up, we got in the car and drove to friends in Philly to borrow their generator.
We pulled into our driveway six hours later, armed with the generator and two full gas tanks. Lo and behold, our yard was scattered with those magical yellow-vested and hard-hatted people.
Apparently, while we were on our generator mission, my next door neighbor also went driving around in search of help. She found some men in PSE&G trucks and asked them to come to our block, but they knew nothing of our area and were not authorized to do anything. She begged for someone in charge, explaining that all of us, herself included have small children. They finally told her to search the neighborhood for a red truck and a guy named Bob. He would have answers.
She actually found this red truck and Bob himself! Although he had strict orders to not leave that area, he took pity on her and followed her car to our houses. Within minutes, he had a whole crew looking for the problem.
Our house lit up before we had the generator out of the car.
What was the problem?
During the snow storm that followed
Sandy, our power was shut off for repairs on another line. When these repairs were complete, they forgot to flip our switch back.
All of us went without power for days because of a switch.
The dozens of phone calls did nothing because they did not consider us a large issue, and according to them, they restored our power after Hurricane Sandy. Which was true. For all of 30 hours.
Although, we still have no internet or cable, and most likely won’t for weeks, I am happy and warm, my children are asleep in their beds without seven sleepers and four blankets, and all is right and cozy in our house and those surrounding it.
The moral of the story?
Look for Bob. He has the answers.