This has got to be either the most boring or most relaxing job in the world.
Here’s what happened.
On Monday our neighborhood had a major power outage. Somehow I power-napped through the loud BOOM which I’m told happened about 6 p.m. I got up about 6:45 ready to make dinner and watch a DVD movie…but obviously nothing of the kind was going to happen so I went out back to the alley to supervise the APS¹ guy fooling around with the power lines. (Turns out he didn’t actually need my help.)
I considered lighting some candles and doing some romantic candle-light snacking and reading like my parents set up for us back in Erie in the old days. And then I remembered that it was still 105° out!
But it’s a dry heat, I thought, before slapping myself.
A few of the neighbors settled for a dinner across the street at the Spoke & Wheel, where the lights were still on. Power was restored about 9pm.
The next day I noticed that two of the large utility boxes were all police-taped and there was a thick hose connecting them with who-knows-what. In fact, there was about 50-feet-worth of hose-like cabling.
I then noticed a vehicle marked with VET-SEC emblems and a security guy sitting inside. Over the course of that day, that night, the next day, I visited with him from time to time.
Turns out APS has set up continuous security for the electrical box setup. Yep, these folks have to stay on duty, 24×7, in 12-hour shifts, to keep an eye on the boxes. One agent explained that this was partly to make sure no one inadvertently (or advertently) messed with the boxes, and partly to make sure no one tried to steal anything…like someone thinking there might be copper wire.
By day, the agent — sometimes a man, sometimes a woman — sat in an folding chair in the shade until it got too hot. By evening the person stayed in the car watching videos, listening to music or reading from their tablet.
I checked to make sure they had plenty of water, but of course they were well-supplied. I figured they wouldn’t mind a couple minutes of conversation since they weren’t really required to do anything but sit there and watch for thieves and pranksters. I wondered what they did for bathroom needs and was told that they could drive over to the Circle K for a few minutes as long as they phoned in. If they were going to be more than, say 15 minutes, they might have to get a relief agent.
One evening, about 1 a.m. I moseyed on over to say ‘hi’ and chat with the agent (don’t ask why I was up) and found him engaged in watching a movie. To his credit, he was wide awake, aware of my approach and seemed to enjoy a quick conversational break.
He would be there all night until his relief came about 8:30 a.m.
I dunno…would you be able to sit in a car for 12 hours? On the one hand, you are stuck there with no actual duties other than to be there. On the other hand, what a way to catch up on your GOT or Downton Abbey‘s!