Linden electricity company travails

Dear Editor,

I came across a quote a few days ago by Immanuel Kant that has since been playing in my head: “Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing can ever be made.”

Kindly follow me along and get a peek into the modus operandi of the Linden Electricity Company Inc (LECI). The LECI like other utility services carries out disconnection on defaulting customers of which I was a victim – no problem.

The thing is, the very month before I made a substantial payment leaving a balance of $3,000, and when the bill for the following month came, added to the arrears it did not exceed $5,000, and it was for this amount I was disconnected. So I went in and was told some mumble jumble about the “pattern of payment” not being regular. If say for three consecutive months of non-payment this was done, that’s understandable, but why should someone paying a substantial sum on the last pay date, leaving a negligible outstanding amount be disconnected on the grounds of that silly explanation. Is this a policy of LECI that is done across the board or just at the whim of individuals? Why cut off a consumer for owing less than the reconnection fee – $5,800? You just have to wonder why top personnel within organisations sit and formulate callous and even silly rules as they see fit, which are not always applied even-handedly. But it surely gives some a sense of importance and authority in which they bask.

Some people like to raise their chest and run their mouths because they have things to their advantage and see the plight of others as of their own making, forgetting that many working folks wages are totally inadequate; some don’t even meet the stipulated minimum wage, not to mention the underemployed and the unemployed. Why does the LECI not have the system adjusted, making it consumer friendly at no lost cost. This is clearly a case of don’t give a damn. It was both heartening and disheartening hearing a few LECI workers expressing their dissatisfaction and lamenting the rigid hard and fast manner in which the company operates; of the bosses not even allowing, much less considering their suggestions.

In any community the affairs of its members ought to be conducted with a human face, and not in any unconscionable, callous any old how manner – remember it was for this exact same reason with regard to the proposed electricity increase that the community was catapulted into protest.

No one is saying that things should be done any old how, but considering the economic reality of the community, the majority being ordinary folks who are LECI consumers, some things can be tweaked a bit as a principle and not only for selective favoured ones. And please I beg, spare me that absurd comparison about what goes on in the USA. It is funny how we blame government for causing hardship to the working class while we carry on in like manner. No wonder Gandhi in listing his “seven blunders of the world” included “Commerce without morality”.

I made an application on behalf of my sister to have a meter/light connection to the bottom flat of her two story building, supplying all relevant particulars after the electrical wiring was done and certified. This connection was done and is still in place with the bill being paid as per month, all in my name. Now comes the time to have the same done to the upper flat. Of course, after being wired and certified just as was done before, once again I went in with the certificate to make the application – mind you this was after a long wait to get the building inspected; imagine the ridiculousness of a town forty-three years in existence and they must wait patiently on electrical inspectors from Georgetown because the town has none! But back to LECI with the certificate; a different ball game is now in play. One would expect that the same particulars that were required in the first instance and which they ought to have would have been in order – there is no change in ownership. First I was told that a simple identification would suffice, but then I was told to produce a document showing ownership of property; an authorisation signed by a notary stating that I was so instructed; and finally, if in six months for whatever reason the connection is not made then I must have a new certificate since the existing one would be deemed invalid – I’m not sure if I would have to pay another $15,000 as I did before.

As is required I filled up the form for the connection; “in about two weeks’ time it should be done, but keep checking,” the staff member said to me. After about a month it still wasn’t done and the other staff who attended to me said, “well the men/workers had to check to see if the wire was in place, so now you have to pay $8,000 to have the meter connected, probably in a couple of days.” So after about one week I returned to them, and this time the same staff member said to me: “Well, I did my part and handed it over, you will have to check with the men in the field to know when they will attach the meter.” Search and find the men working in the field?

So there you have it, a peek into the operations of LECI.

Editor, some people walk with their noses high in the air and seem to be carried away by satisfaction with their own well-being, causing them to develop convoluted reasoning and to drift from the surrounding reality. Thus they become too proud, cold and distant and they can no longer empathise with others.

Yours faithfully,
Frank Fyffe

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