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August 3rd, 2011


Happened last month, but I was reminded of it today.

I was at our neighborhood 7-11, went there to get some junk food.  I usually get a burger and some chips.  Well, they'd replaced the regular burgers with some freakishly huge double-decker burgers.  It was all they had and I was craving a hamburger, so I snagged one.

I get to the cash register and while ringing up my purchase, the cashier/sales associate/whatever the 7-11 calls them starts going on about how unhealthy the stuff I'm buying was.  Yeah, I know that it's going to lead me to an early grave.  Yeah, going to the 7-11 in and of itself makes me feel like a landwhale.  Yeah, way to make me feel like shit and cry myself home.

I stopped going there for a few weeks, out of shame, but have recently started going back again.

I've never had that happen any other time, in the seven years I've been going to that store.  Or at any store of any kind.  Ever.


Soooo I don't know... I guess there's a partial awareness fail on my part here... ? But it's pretty "wtf were you thinking?" on their part, too. Idk, y'all decide.

I'm at the gas station. They're doing some construction business to the right of me, so there are people walking around and cones and all that jazz (so I don't think anything of a construction worker walking near/around my car). I pump my gas, get back in my car, and make a quick phone call while still parked next to the pump (the place isn't busy).

While I was making that phone call, apparently one of the construction people (or a store employee) decided to put a bunch of those orange cones in the front and the back of my car. Since they were clearly not there when I pulled up and not there while I was pumping my gas, I have to assume they appeared sometime between me getting back in my car and driving off about a minute or two later. They're small enough and close enough to my vehicle so I can't see them out of my windshield or rearview mirror when I look to pull away (and I assure you I did look, since there are people walking around the area).

I drive off. Naturally, I run over the cones in front of me and one is dragged under my car. I look back and see the cones that were once behind my car, too. I stop, reverse to get the cone out from under me, and kind of look back like "wtf just happened where did these cones come from am I high?" One of the construction workers starts yelling at me while a gas station employee who was chatting with him gives me the finger and starts picking up the cones.

I...... don't quite know what to say. Sorry for hitting the cones that you placed in front of my vehicle while I was in it without informing me that you were doing it... ? How did they expect me to pull away from the pump? The employee was standing right next to the construction worker so I don't know whether this was some kind of weird practical joke or what. Just very "wtf" all around.

Damn you Meralco, Damn you to hell....

 Meralco is the power company of the Philippines.

Yes, THE power company. There is no other, ever, anywhere.  It used to be government owned and operated during the Marcos years but then the following president spun it off to a corporation that can charge whatever the hell it wants for power.

After living here for several years I can deal with a lot...

I can deal with the constant power outages with no known reason for anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes at a time.
I can deal with the increases in charges per KWH every 6 months or so.
I can even deal with a bill being due 5 days after it is printed.

However, I cannot deal with the absolute hell that we've been dealing with for the last 3 months.

Let me summarize:

We have very little in the form of electrical stuffs.  
1 medium size refrigerator
1 PC with flat panel monitor (no printer or scanner)
3 fans
1 evaporative cooler (either this OR the fans are on, not both at the same time)
various cell phones and gadgets that are only plugged up to charge, then chargers unplugged and put away quickly.

We have had these same items for years and when we lived in another part of the city we only paid between P800 and P1100 for power.  
When we moved to this new apartment two years ago we continued this trend, then oddly a year ago it spiked to around P1700.  We had the meter calibrated and then assumed that the change was something to do with new rates.  
In February the power bill went down a bit, then a bit more in March and in April it was all the way down to P400 and then in May it was P6.
Yes, you read that right.. P6 which is about 12 cents US.  Something was definitely not right.  I had already communicated in April to the maintenance that there may be a problem since the power dropped so much and then in May I informed Meralco who just said "i dunno" and refused to check on it.
Well, then in June I got a bill for P2,500 and I jumped out of my skin. 
I checked the KWH consumption and did some power consuming math.  All of our electrical stuff combined running 24 hours a day all month long could not have used up all the power we were getting billed for.  So I called Meralco, the customer service people looked up my info, we did a collective "holy crap!" and they dispatched tech teams.
Unfortunately these teams arrive when I'm at work and my wife isn't very technical so she doesn't really know what to tell them or ask them and they are able to use a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to talk her out of some tests that I specifically wanted done.  I wanted a line trace done to verify that our meter box was connected to our apartment and ONLY our apartment.  This is what I told Customer service and my wife.  What did the techs do?  Meter calibration (note that it had already been done a year prior).
I got home and was moderately irritated that the techs hadn't done what was needed but decided to wait and see. The tech told my wife that probably what happened is the meter reader made a mistake in May and then corrected it in June. (NOT an acceptable explanation though)
July came and the bill is HOLY SMOKES! P2,900!!!
So I call Meralco again... and again.. and again!  Finally on the 11th of July I'm able to get a management type person who I convince to walk with me through all 2 years of our power consumption and express to her that we have NOT BOUGHT ANY NEW ELECTRONICS OR APPLIANCES so therefore our power consumption should be nearly the same.  She cited the mere fact that the May bill showed ZERO power consumption so there was clearly a problem.  CLEARLY a problem.
Today, nearly a month later, the techs visited our apartment (again while I was at work). What did the tech do?   Shut off the power in our meter box for 10 minutes, saw no movement on the meter and said "no problem" then left.
I. am. livid.
I have no idea what to do.. it's like they know I can't really do anything against them so they keep screwing me over at every turn!

EDIT: UPDATE: Just for kicks we shut off the power for an hour and a half last night.  Guess what? Meter showed power consumption!  I guess whoever is connected to our meter isn't there in the middle of the day (gee whodathunkit?).

Update to today

Okay, I'm really pissed off again. They did it again. Dpd man can't be bothered to do his job and didn't bother even bother to knock or put a thing through the door. That's £140 of jewels sitting inside an unlocked garden store and we didn't even know. Now I'm really pissed off.

There was even a car in the driveway and windows open. Still haven't heard from the company.

(Sorry about the shortness. I'm writing this on my mobile...)


I had to be at work in ten minutes so I stopped at the Walgreens that's thirty seconds from my job. Usually. I'm in and out in about 2 minutes and would love to go about my merry way, but some genius decided to park his liquor delivery truck in a way that completely blocked me in. Worth noting also: he could have pulled forward a matter of feet and been in front of all empty spaces. I immediately go into the liquor store to locate the driver, and he tells me "yeah yeah, one minute...", to which I reply "No, you are blocking me in and need to move immediately, I have a job to get to".
(With attitude)"Well I have a job to do too!"
"And if you used your eyes and brain while doing your job you wouldn't be blocking me from getting to mine...please move it now."
(grumblegrumble) "FINE! Let me just drop everything for you!"
"Excuse me? It's your own stupidity that's making you have to stop, move your fucking truck now!" - Not my shining moment by any means, that attitude after he caused the problem in the first place just pissed me off and I wanted time to get to work and get settled before starting, plus my car ac is busted and I live in South FL so a few minutes in the store to cool down are very beneficial!

I really started off trying to be as nice as possible, but I felt like the response should have been "Oh crap, I'm sorry...". He finally did move and I made it on time, but his attitude, when he messed up, just totally rubbed me the wrong way.


Bad Service

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