I left out one little tale from yesterday’s story (Lineman for the County). It’s all fun and games when a nineteen-year-old is risking his life climbing a telephone pole just to make some beer money for college. But what happens when he’s a part of a telephone monopoly’s conspiracy to ruin a small business owner’s property?
The work order from the day before had been completed with an extreme focus on customer service, with the newly buried cable running within the property lines of a small business named Tuttle and Spice General Store. The owner of the store wasn’t particularly happy about the upgrade in cable, but was highly annoyed that our labors would obstruct his business’s driveway from any potential customers drawn by his Interstate signs around Exit 269.
Every precaution and promise was made to ease the mind of the property owner as we proceeded to plow a small ditch through his manicured lawn and gravelled access road. My co-workers became the Henry Kissinger’s of the Shenandoah Telephone Company country, ensuring the gentleman that we would leave the property just the way we found it. After the cable was finally buried, the ditch was cosmetically manicured, and the driveway’s gravel stones were raked back into place, we exchanged uncomfortable thank-yous and goodbyes, then headed back to the shop. Not knowing who was happier to see us leave…us or him. Back at the service building, we shared a collective laugh and “Whew!” after accomplishing a miracle in customer service.
When I rolled into work the next day, there were supervisors everywhere and an uneasy feeling in the atmosphere. As I quickly learned, we had buried the wrong size cable at the property the day before. Which meant that we had to go back to Mister I-didn’t-like-you-in-the-first-place’s little store, tear up the cable that was buried yesterday, and re-bury the new, properly sized cable.
There was EXTREME grovelling going on at the Gift Shop. I was emphatically instructed to stand in the middle of State Road 730, at the entrance to the Tuttle and Spice General Store and be a Flagman.
“You send every single car into his driveway!”
Completely fooled by my newly acquired flagging abilities, everybody heading to Stonewall Jackson High School, everyone going to work down Route 730, everyone going grocery shopping at Food Lion in Mt. Jackson… E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E. was directed down the little driveway to Tuttle and Spice General Store. When they arrived at the store, they knew not why. But I had done my job and Mister T&S was very happy.
Quality Customer Service. Yes is the Answer. What’s the question? Yes, we can divert unknowing traffic from a public road down your little driveway. There are no problems, only solutions!