I had intended to spend the fourth of July weekend packing. Unfortunately, the electric company had other ideas.
I started packing on Friday. I’m not moving until next Saturday, but I wanted to get a head start since my roommate finally cleared out (most of) his stuff. One of my favorite things to do while packing to move is throwing things away. Or at least, finding things to donate. Or sell. Like the whole box of books that I have read once and know I will never read again. There’s a Half-Price Books near my soon-to-be-former abode, and I have sold to them many times before, though the money they give me for 20+ books generally ends up going right back to them for two or three books.
I had only managed to skim the titles of a couple of clearance shelves before the lady at the seller’s counter called my name over the intercom. $16! That was easily twice any other amount I have received for selling there. So, I bought two books for $6, and I spent the rest on a six-pack of Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat beer. For those of you not from Oklahoma, liquor stores can’t sell chilled beer. It’s all room temperature when you buy it. So when I made it home, I headed to the fridge to start cooling down the beer.
The light didn’t come on.
I must have been a little slow from the heat or the craziness of the past few weeks, but somehow my first thought was just: “The light must have burnt out.” Of course, then I opened the fridge again, and this time I noticed that it really wasn’t particularly cold in there. It was then that the silence of the apartment settled into my consciousness. No A/C, no fridge buzzing, no dryer that I had left running less than an hour before.
En brèf, the electricity was in my roommate’s name. My roommate moved out, but when getting the account transferred to his new place, he specified that it would be possible to leave the power on at our shared space until I move out. Clearly, some wires were crossed somewhere. No big deal. Or at least, it wouldn’t be a big deal if the power company (OG&E, for those curious) hadn’t closed it’s offices early for Independence Day.
Here’s my problem with this: I work in retail, and we are open on holidays. Buying clothing is not a necessity. Electricity? Kind of necessary, as evident from the fact that I lost approximately $100 worth of food by not having power for an entire three-day weekend. Despite having a so-called emergency phone line for outages, the line just kept redirecting to the Edmond offices, which were closed for the holiday weekend. They gave me absolutely no recourse to fix the issue until tomorrow.
Is the power company going to give me that $100 to restock my fridge because they royally screwed up? Of course not. Why should they? They have a virtual monopoly in OKC; I literally can’t switch companies. My new apartments use OG&E, so I have to use OG&E. Despite the fact that they just ruined my first three-day weekend in a very long time, I still have to give them money every month. Because I like to cook, I like air conditioning in the middle of the bloody summer, I like to have preserved food, I like hot showers, and I like to have light at night that doesn’t come from a candle or tiny LED flashlight.
But hey, at least I was off this weekend so I could invade my family’s home without having to commute an hour to work.