Thursday, February 17, 2011

What Decade Is This?

Last night my husband had made arrangements for a guy to come by that was selling electricity in the neighborhood.

But guess what?

Hubby wasn't here. He was at practice.

I was a sweaty mess from a gym workout, dashed home to get dinner on the table for after practice. Spaghetti sauce was cooking on the stove, noodles were boiling away and the rolls were in the oven.


Oh crap. I knew the guy was supposed to come by, but his timing was terrible. I had stuff going on.

Come on in. Here is our electric bill from last month, give me some numbers on how you can save us money while I get a few things settled in the kitchen.

I turned off the sauce, drained the noodles, covered them, pulled the rolls out of the oven and went back to see what he had.

Starts off bad. He is giving me all this history about deregulation in the utility industry and how now customers can shop around. All good, but let's get to the good stuff. What's your price and what kind of savings would it be on the volume of electricity we use in this house?

He starts explaining the pricing to me, and gets a real condescending tone in his voice. Like it is real complicated for me to understand that the base price is a higher percentage of the cost if you use less electricity, but if you use more electricity the base price is a lower percentage of the costs.

I totally grasped the concept before he even started explaining it. I work with numbers, rates and percentages all day long in my job. And Hello...I went through 8th grade algebra last year dude.

So I nod along, giving him a visual that I understand. And he looks at me and says "I know it seems complicated, but it is really just basic math."

Thank you, jack***. What else?

Are there any hidden fees? Is Oncor still going to be my provider? Any cost for us to switch? How long have you been in business?

He answers my questions again in this tone that tells me he doesn't really think my girly little brain can handle this kind of information.

Then it got worse...there is a $150 visa card rebate that they give you for switching. Great. Not really a factor in the decision, but based on the cost savings I tell him we will do it.

The rebate you have to hold on to for six months then send it in with your monthly bill and they send you the gift card. He says to me...and I am not exaggerating or making this up "Your husband probably has a computer at work and you can ask him to put a reminder in his Outlook so this doesn't get lost."

I looked at him like he had five heads.

I have three computers sitting on my desk, ten feet away from this dining room, and my husband hardly remembers his own birthday so I feel pretty sure that I can keep up with the damn rebate coupon. Thanks again.

Then he says "I think we should tell your husband that he should take you out for a nice dinner for doing all this hard work and saving him all this money."

I wanted to punch him in the face.

Is that wrong?

We wrap up the deal. I have to go through the whole phone call thing where they verify you want to make the change and understand the terms. Yes, Yes, robot survey guys 87 questions. Got it.

In walks Hubby, dirty from practice, Chip is buzzing with news to tell me and he is starving. I get busy finishing up dinner, knowing Hubby can wrap up the exchange with the bozo. I hear them chatting about sports and the bozo is telling Hubby all about the wonderful savings, etc.

Hubby walks him out and walks into the kitchen and says "That guy was so nice."

I about spit my water across the room and started re-telling our interaction to the boys. I might have over exaggerated a bit to them, but they were rolling on the floor laughing at my re-enactment of this guy treating me like a little housewife from the 60s.

I honestly thought during the exchange with the bozo that this is what it must have felt like to be a woman in the 60s. Then I remembered an incident with my first boss at SAIC. She was a woman. She was brilliant, fabulous, smart as a whip and making the big bucks. Her husband was a stay at home dad. It was the 80s when I worked for her. She went to a little dealership in Tennessee to buy a car and they so much as told her to come back when she had her husband with her and they could talk. She obviously didn't buy from them, but it just chapped her good.

Now, I don't think the electricity bozo is a bad guy. He was personable enough. I am sure his momma raised him to be a nice, kind respectable fellow, but I am not sure I have ever felt quite so belittled, even if it wasn't malicious.

Anyway, that's my vent for the day. I saved my husband some money last night. When he gets home today I am going to ask him if he will let me use some of his savings to buy me a new vacuum or that red apron on sale at Woolworth's.


  1. Man, that spins me up just reading it. I can't believe you gave him the business. I think I would have had to ask him if he could refer another employee because I don't deal with idiots like him. Unbelievable!!

  2. Too bad you didn't have time to don a pink dress, heels and pearls. LOL!