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COLUMNS


Utility bills require strict attention


By Matthew Woodrow
Posted on April 19, 2011 | Columns | Comments Off on Utility bills require strict attention

Many of us had to go without water on Monday morning, when the water main broke on East North 16th Street. In one of my friend’s classes, students took an extra long break when their teacher had to visit the library to use the bathroom.
The inconvenience for the teacher probably seemed like a blessing for the students, but not having running water when you expect it is a pain.
This year, I was in charge of paying the water bill for the house I live in off campus. There are four of us, one to take care of gas, another electricity and the third, Internet.
I don’t know how those three took care of their respective bills, but I know I completely forgot about mine when Christmas vacation came around.
As soon as my last exam finished, I was off for five weeks of family, friends, presents and my first-ever ski trip.
When I got back to Abilene, I had a nice overdue bill from the Water Utility Office. The last day, it said, to turn it in was Jan. 7, and it was already Jan. 10. So I wrote a check, and not wanting to wait for the snail mail to get it in, drove to the drop box downtown.
I was at ease, knowing I had done everything that could be done. I guess I could have called in and delivered the check in person, but who has time for all that?
All was well, except the next week after supper one night, when I went to the sink to wash my plate, and the water didn’t turn on. Needless to say, I freaked out. I knew I had turned in my check, but what if it hadn’t cleared yet, or the paper work hadn’t caught up with the order to cut off my water.
I ran to the bathroom, and the water didn’t work there either. I couldn’t think of any other possible alternatives, other than they had shut off our water. But the water had worked just fine to make the food, and I found it a bit odd that they would send the workers to shut it off at 9:30 pm.
So I grabbed a flashlight and went outside to check our water meter. I don’t know what I would have done once I got there, because I didn’t know anything about water meters, but I was hoping I could at least tell if it had been shut off.
But once I got to the alley behind my house, I saw yellow flashing lights about a block down.
I padded over in my slippers and pajamas to find out from two construction workers that a pipe had burst, and the water, hopefully, would be back on in two hours.
Hallelujah! Immediate relief: It was not my fault after all.
I don’t know if anyone else in Abilene had the same experience as I did that Monday in January. But I do know that if they did, they’ll never forget to pay the water bill on time again.

avatar Posted by Matthew Woodrow on Apr 19th, 2011 and filed under Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.  - This post has been viewed 18164 times.

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